Anorexia nervosa
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Anorexia nervosa

August 17, 2019

back now as we mentioned with a warning for parents about a dangerous even deadly eating disorder usually associated with teenage girls but as you’re about to see anorexia does not discriminate our report tonight from our chief medical editor dr. Nancy Snyderman thomas lee were chefs key TJ to family and friends a straight-a student and exceptional athlete and a boy secretly obsessed with diet and exercise in hopes of achieving the perfect body he wanted a six-pack he wanted rock-hard abs he wanted muscles that’s how it all started it was anorexia nervosa a life-threatening eating disorder for eight years TJ starved himself an exercise compulsively eventually he stopped eating for up to 23 hours a day while exercising close to five he would ask us beg us please don’t tell anybody it’s so embarrassing everybody thinks this is a girl’s disease TJ died in the middle of his nightly routine doing 1,000 situps weighing just 78 pounds his heart gave out the look in his eyes the last pictures he took of himself on his camera it wasn’t TJ it was not my son TJ is the new face of anorexia now an equal-opportunity disease at least 1 million males in this country suffer from eating disorders dying to be thin experts say it takes a certain kind of personality to go to this extreme it’s very unusual for someone to come into my office for an assessment of anorexia if they do not have straight A’s and this is true for boys and this is true for girls and in sports these are great athletes usually who drive themselves to the next level doctors like psychiatrist James lock believe that kids strive for the same airbrush perfection they see in the mass media and while girls obsess about calories in waite boys concentrate on muscle mass and fat index they come later to treatment they have therefore had longer time to lose weight so they’re physically sicker avi Steen I was 10 when his family first noticed he was losing weight his family knew he was in trouble when in a matter of weeks javi went from being a picky eater to having a psychosomatic illness he couldn’t swallow solid food I felt I was up against death watching my child potentially die on me so I was fighting to save him even after two lengthy stays at a treatment center avi now 14 admits he still struggles with a distorted body image I definitely sometimes you know I’m looking myself as it oh I’m so fat but for now food is not his enemy after not eating for a few years everything seems like so good like I love burritos ice cream cubana which is like a Yemenite food and pizza and all sorts of stuff if you suspect your child particularly your young man in your house might be anorexic look for changes looking for changes like isolation does your child hiding food eating alone getting excessively picky about food and then watch for how he or she dresses boys will many times layer their clothes and wear hoodies it really requires a lot of suspicion because as a parent you can’t do this yourself Brian this is one time where you have to turn to a pediatrician who will get you to needing specialists and then frankly you have to fight with insurance companies to make sure they help you along the way it helped with reimbursement such a virulent illness I’m so happy we’re doing this story thank you for doing it and we’ve posted more information on all of this on our website tonight NBC nightly news com

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