Anorexia: 8 Health Complications Caused by the Disorder

Anorexia: Top 8 Most Common Misconceptions

Anorexia has a myriad of side effects, but how much do you really know about what you are putting your body through when you partake in this act? Read on to discover all of the health complications that you will encounter when you choose to be anorexic.

Number Eight: Seizures from Anorexia

Research studies have shown that people struck with anorexia are at an extreme risk to experience seizures. When the body does not receive necessary nutrients for a prolonged period of time, this can cause extensive and permanent nerve damage. It is this nerve damage that leads to seizures, strange numbing sensations, and other conditions.

Number Seven: Amenorrhea

As most of you know, eating disorders can affect the menstrual cycles of women. Many anorexic women have been noted to experience amenorrhea, otherwise known as pre-menopause. In many cases, these women never regain their normal menstrual cycles. This is especially dangerous because it increases pregnancy complications, including risk of miscarriage, cesarean section birth, or postpartum depression.

Number Six: Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects a whopping 90% of all patients diagnosed with anorexia. These affected persons experience extremely weakened and decalcified bones, which will intensely affect body function in old age. This is not a temporary effect- once malnutrition occurs, the bone and body growth will be stunted for life.

Number Five: Liver Damage

When a body encounters malnourishment, the liver takes a hard hit. When not so much effort is needed to metabolize food (because it doesn’t have any), the liver takes a hiatus that can have permanent effects. The metabolism is damaged and never quite returns to normal, and high cholesterol becomes an imminent danger.

Number Four: Kidney Disease

The kidneys work to remove toxins and keep the body hydrated. However, when the body experiences malnutrition, it doesn’t have the nutrients necessary to keep functioning. This can lead to many complications with the kidneys, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and severe kidney damage.

Number Three: Bradycardia

Bradycardia is a severe condition that targets the affected body’s heart; it is caused by an electrolyte imbalance from a lack of necessary minerals for heart function. The onset of bradycardia often causes the person to have a slowed heart rate and dangerously low blood pressure, and can often be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

Number Two: Pancytopenia

Pancytopenia is a health condition categorized by the action of bone marrow reducing production of blood cells. This happens primarily in extreme cases, but is still fairly common. This lack of blood production can have severe consequences, and is often fatal once it occurs.

Number One: Anemia

Heart disease is by far the most common health defect of patients with anorexia. Even in otherwise healthy young people, this side effect may arise. A common form of heart disease that appears in anorexic people is anemia- the absence of vitamin B12 in the blood stream. We hope you enjoyed learning about the eight health complications that can be cause by anorexia!