Almost half of people who have Reference anorexia nervosa Opens New Window will eventually develop symptoms (binge-purge behaviors) of another eating disorder called Reference bulimia nervosa Opens New Window.Reference 1
Long-term or severe anorexia also can cause serious medical complications, such as:Reference 2
- Reference Osteoporosis Opens New Window, which results from a lack of calcium in the diet as well as too much cortisol and too little estrogen in the body. The teenage years are critical bone-building years.
- Reference Joint Opens New Window injuries, from too much exercise.
- Reference Fractures Opens New Window, which are common in female athletes who have an eating disorder and also have osteoporosis and irregular menstrual cycles (known as the female athlete triad).
- Reference Anemia Opens New Window.
- Reference Kidney Opens New Window function problems, often caused by ongoing dehydration or abuse of laxatives.
- Heart problems, such as a slow or Reference irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) Opens New Window and low blood pressure (hypotension).
- Reference Cavities Opens New Window or Reference tooth decay Opens New Window.
If left untreated, many of these conditions can lead to death. Up to 15 out of 100 people who have anorexia will eventually die from complications of malnutrition or from suicide.Reference 1 But restoring healthy eating habits and good nutrition may reverse many of the complications of anorexia.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference August 25, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine
Reference W. Stewart Agras, MD - Psychiatry