Eating disorders: What are the anorexia health risks?
Eating disorders like anorexia would have serious consequences. This article would focus on anorexia health risks and how to prevent this disorder. Read more about anorexia due to stress.
What is anorexia?
Anorexia is a dangerous eating disorder that affects mostly young women. Men can also be diagnosed with anorexia but it is much more common in women. This disorder would have one of the highest mortality rates because of the effects that it has on the body. If a person would have anorexia, they would restrict what they eat because they would want to achieve the “perfect” body by staying thin. Anorexia would pose significant risks to the entire body, from the skin to the bones to all the organ systems.
Anorexia health risks
There would be several health risks associated with people who have anorexia. Here are the most common.
Amenorrhea. This would refer to the absence of the menstrual cycle for women who are in the childbearing age. The cause of this would be the low body weight of these women. Low body weight can affect the hormones in the body, hormones that would also control the menstrual cycle.
Osteoporosis. Weak bones would also be a part of having this disorder. Since hormones are affected when the bodyweight will be too low, estrogen is one of those hormones. Estrogen is the hormone that aids in calcium absorption. With too little estrogen, the body will not be able to get enough calcium, making bones brittle and easy to fracture.
Hypoglycemia. This would be the result of the body not having enough food to produce glucose. There can be many effects of hypoglycemia ranging from irritability to loss of consciousness.
Hair loss. Malnutrition would be the cause of hair loss. When the body does not receive enough sustenance, it would stop doing the unneeded functions, one of these would be for hair to grow. The body would reserve its stored reserves for more essential functions. This would also make hair weak and would cause hair loss.
Bradycardia. This would refer to the low heart rate in people with anorexia. They would also stand to lose a significant amount of muscle mass because of the lack of food they take in.
Lanugo hair. Lanugo hair is usually only found in babies. It would be the small, wavy hair found on their bodies to insulate them in the first few weeks of life outside the womb. As the child grows, the lanugo hair is replaced by a layer of body fat. In anorexia patients, they would not have enough body fat to insulate them, so the body would compensate by growing this type of hair.
Can anorexia be prevented?
It is not yet possible to prevent anyone from getting anorexia because little is known about what causes it. However, if you do know someone who has anorexia, you can help them overcome this disorder by building their self-esteem, encouraging them to go to therapy for the disorder and teaching them about the dangers of extreme dieting.