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1590s, "lack of appetite," Modern Latin, from Greek anorexia, from an-, privative prefix, "without" (see an- (1)) + orexis "appetite, desire," from oregein "to desire, stretch out" (cognate with Latin regere "to keep straight, guide, rule;" see regal). In current use, often short for anorexia nervosa.
anorexia an·o·rex·i·a (ān'ə-rěk'sē-ə)
Loss of appetite, especially as a result of disease.
A short name for anorexia nervosa.
persistent lack of appetite not caused by repletion. It may spring from psychoneurotic causes, as in anorexia nervosa (q.v.), a lack of appetite, primarily in young women, that may lead to extreme emaciation and even to death. Anorexia, like nausea and vomiting, may be brought about by shock, pain, or an inadequate supply of oxygen to a centre in the medulla oblongata (the part of the brain immediately above the spinal cord). An increase in pressure within the skull may cause anorexia, nausea, or vomiting, as may infections in the mouth or badly fitting dentures. Obstruction at some point in the gastrointestinal system, chronic disease of the kidneys, liver disease, allergic reactions to foods, and the taking of certain drugs (e.g., amphetamines) are among the many other causes of the disorder.