Anorexia (sometimes referred to as anorexia nervosa) is an eating disorder and serious mental health condition.

Individuals with anorexia try to keep their weight as low as possible by not eating enough food, over-exercising or both. Some people may also make themselves sick or use laxatives.

Sometimes, they may also have a distorted view of their weight and shape, thinking they are fat when they are underweight. Anyone of any age or gender can be affected by anorexia. Some people may not always be fully aware that they have it.

Individuals will have an unusually low body mass index (BMI). Other symptoms can be different for everyone, but include:

  • Avoiding eating food, eating very little, eating in a rigid manner, eating little variety of foods
  • Thinking you are fat when you are a healthy weight or underweight
  • The use of medicine to suppress or reduce your hunger
  • Physical impact such as dizziness, hair loss or dry skin
  • Your periods stopping or not starting

You can find a longer list of symptoms on the NHS website and NAViGO’S Choice and Medication portal.

If you think you have an eating disorder, talk to your GP or contact our specialist eating disorder service Rharian Fields.

It can be very hard to admit you have a problem but getting help and support as soon as possible is important.

Each person’s treatment and recovery is different. Your treatment plan will be tailored to you but may include talking therapies, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

Sometimes it may be necessary to use medication. You can see a list of medicines we might offer you on our Choice and Medication portal.

If you’re in a mental health crisis and need urgent help, call the Single Point of Access on (01472) 256256 and select option 3. They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 free from a landline or mobile phone.

If you’re concerned about a friend or family member, encourage them to speak with their GP or offer to go with them.

Rharian Fields is our specialist eating disorder service. Call them on (01472) 808450 or email for further advice about referring to our service.

You may be eligible to access support through our FREED service — Rapid Early intervention for Eating Disorders (FREED). 

Safespace provides instant support if you’re vulnerable and need assistance with your mental health out-of-hours. You can speak to the team using Zoom or by visiting NAViGO House on Brighowgate in Grimsby. Find the latest opening times here.

We've also teamed up with Shout 85258 to provide specialist mental health text support for North East Lincolnshire. Just text ORANGE to 85258. This is also a 24/7 service. Please note: this service is run by Shout and not be the NAViGO crisis team.


Beat: The Beat Adult Helpline is open to anyone over 18. Parents, teachers or any concerned adults should call the adult helpline.
Helpline: 0808 801 0677

The Beat Youthline is open to anyone under 18.
Youthline: 0808 801 0711

ABC: Anorexia & Bulimia Care provide on-going care, emotional support and practical guidance for anyone affected by eating disorders and eating distress.

Orcha Apps Library: This library lists thousands of NHS-approved health apps by condition, making it quick and easy for you to find support.

Found a useful resource we haven't included? Know an organisation or group we could be signposting to? Contact us and let us know!