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What Are the Complications of Anorexia

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
What Are the Complications of Anorexia

Anorexia is a dangerous eating disorder which puts the life of the sufferer at risk. It is characterized by a reduction on the amount of food ingested or a total aversion to eating. This eating disorder is, along with bulimia, the most common form of eating disorder. It is mostly suffered by teenage and pre-teen girls, but this does not mean that it is an easy problem to solve, in fact this condition can come with very harmful effects. Although the majority of anorexia patients are girls, there is also a small amount of men that suffer from this disorder. In OneHowTo.com we explain what the complications of anorexia are.

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Anorexia is a serious problem

Many people believe that anorexia is a passing obsession, a simple sign of discontent that will disappear over time. But this disorder is a serious illness that brings consequences on both a physical and psychological level, so it is a problem that requires medical attention.

Treatment should combine psychological therapy and nutrition education for the patient to understand that it is possible to maintain a balanced diet and still have a healthy weight.

Patients that suffer anorexia can even die suddenly, even if they're not severely underweight. This is because of abnormal heart rhythms or an imbalance of electrolytes, i.e. minerals such as sodium, potassium or calcium that keep the fluids in our body balanced.

What Are the Complications of Anorexia - Anorexia is a serious problem

Physical complications of anorexia

Anorexia presents various physical complications that, in severe cases, can cause irreversible damage. These include:

  • A decrease of potassium levels in the blood can cause serious cardiac problems.
  • Kidney and liver problems due to a lack of nutrients.
  • Malnutrition, in most severe cases.
  • Convulsions due to loss or absence of liquid.
  • Thyroid problems may be irreversible.
  • Bone weakening due to lack of nutrients that can lead to premature osteoporosis.
  • Significant decrease in white blood cells, weakening the immune system and leading to serious infections.
  • Dehydration
  • In females, absence of the period.
  • In males, decreased testosterone
  • Deterioration of dental plaque, caries and irreversible damage to the appearance of teeth.
What Are the Complications of Anorexia - Physical complications of anorexia

Psychological complications of anorexia

The complications of anorexia on a psychological level can be difficult to overcome and may last for many years. For this reason it is important to receive specialist care. These include:

  • Low self-esteem leads the patient to hate their own figure. Severe dissatisfaction with physical appearance.
  • Chronic depression.
  • Social isolation, not wanting to go out or see friends.
  • Very high levels of anxiety.
  • Irritability, mood swings and extreme sensitivity.
  • Increased possibility of self harm or suicide.
What Are the Complications of Anorexia - Psychological complications of anorexia

What to do if you or someone near you has anorexia

If you suspect you or someone near you has anorexia, you should seek for medical help immediately. It is better to start treating the disorder before it gets worse and starts having severe complications to your body. Don't be embarrassed to share your problem and ask a family member or a friend to come with you to the doctor. He or she will make a diagnosis and explain you what to do.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are the Complications of Anorexia, we recommend you visit our Mental health category.

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