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Diseases » Eating disorders » Complications

Complications of Eating disorders

Complications list for Eating disorders:

The list of complications that have been mentioned in various sources for Eating disorders includes:

See also the symptoms of Eating disorders and Eating disorders: Introduction.

Complications of Eating disorders:

Eating Disorders: NWHIC (Excerpt)

The consequences of eating disorders can be severe. For example, one in ten cases of anorexia nervosa leads to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide. Fortunately, increasing awareness of the dangers of eating disorders -- sparked by medical studies and extensive media coverage of the illness -- has led many people to seek help. Nevertheless, some people with eating disorders refuse to admit that they have a problem and do not get treatment. Family members and friends can help recognize the problem and encourage the person to seek treatment. (Source: excerpt from Eating Disorders: NWHIC)

Eating Disorders: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Medical complications can frequently be a result of eating disorders. Individuals with eating disorders who use drugs to stimulate vomiting, bowel movements, or urination may be in considerable danger, because this practice increases the risk of heart failure.

In patients with anorexia, starvation can damage vital organs such as the brain and heart. To protect itself, the body shifts into "slow gear": monthly menstrual periods stop, breathing pulse and blood pressure rates drop, and thyroid function slows. Nails and hair become brittle; the skin dries, yellows, and becomes covered with soft hair called lanugo. Excessive thirst and frequent urination may occur. Dehydration contributes to constipation, and reduced body fat leads to lowered body temperature and the inability to withstand cold.

Mild anemia, swollen joints, reduced muscle mass, and light-headedness also commonly occur in anorexia. If the disorder becomes severe, patients may lose calcium from their bones, making them brittle and prone to breakage. They may also experience irregular heart rhythms and heart failure. In some patients, the brain shrinks, causing personality changes. Fortunately, this condition can be reversed when normal weight is reestablished. (Source: excerpt from Eating Disorders: NWHIC)

Fact Sheet Eating Disorders: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Eating disorders have numerous physical, psychological and social ramifications, from significant weight preoccupation, inappropriate eating behavior, and body image distortion. Many people with eating disorders experience depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and childhood sexual abuse, and may be at risk for osteoporosis and heart problems. Moreover, death rates are among the highest for any mental illness. (Source: excerpt from Fact Sheet Eating Disorders: NWHIC)

You may also want to research other symptoms in our Symptoms Center.

About complications:

Complications of Eating disorders are secondary conditions, symptoms, or other disorders that are caused by Eating disorders. In many cases the distinction between symptoms of Eating disorders and complications of Eating disorders is unclear or arbitrary.


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