Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by abnormally low body weight, a fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image. People with anorexia may eat very little, exercise excessively, and use other means such as purging or using laxatives in an effort to lose weight. Anorexia causes many complications related to starvation and, if untreated, may be fatal. Visit this site to read more information about anorexia.
People with anorexia become so thin that their muscles waste away. As the muscles of the body thin and weaken, the muscle of the heart also becomes weak, the chambers enlarge, and the heart becomes unable to pump properly. Because of the enlargement of the chambers, the valves may not close properly. The heart rate slows as the heart does not have the energy to pump faster. Heart failure or cardiac arrest is often the cause of death in anorexia patients.
Osteoporosis and fractures
Because people with anorexia become severely malnourished, they have low levels of essential nutrients in their body. One of these is calcium. As the body tries desperately to increase its available calcium, it starts to break down the bones in an effort to free up more of this important mineral. This decreases bone density and can lead to severe osteoporosis. Because of this, patients with anorexia are prone to broken bones, even with only minor injuries and mishaps.
Both males and females use body fat in order to create sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone. Women with anorexia may stop ovulating and menstruating due to deficiencies of the major sex hormones, and men may equally become infertile. Both men and women with anorexia may also experience sexual dysfunction.
People with anorexia may suffer from kidney damage. The causes are multiple: a reduced protein intake, abnormalities in blood levels of electrolytes, increased risk of kidney stones and decreased blood pressure due to heart problems all contribute to kidney damage which may be lifelong.
Anemia is a common complication in anorexia. People with anorexia often consume diets deficient in iron, leaving their bodies unable to make enough healthy red blood cells to circulate oxygen to the tissues. Anemia may stress an already damaged heart, cause skin rashes,
Anorexia is an eating disorder that can lead to multiple severe complications affecting all the body systems. Some of these complications can cause lifelong illness or disability, even when the anorexia has been treated, and some may result in death. If you think that you, or a loved one, maybe suffering from anorexia nervosa, contact a doctor to get on the path to recovery and prevent any permanent damage.