Medical Complications of Anorexia Nervosa
MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA WITHOUT PURGING
This group of anorexics do not purge their food; they simply starve themselves and can reach dangerously low weight levels. (See identifying anorexia nervosa and clinical features of anorexia nervosa).
1. There is loss of fat, muscle mass, reduced thyroid metabolism, cold intolerance, and difficulty maintaining core body temperature.
2. Cardiac: Loss of cardiac muscle, arrhythmias (irregular heart beat), sudden death.
3. Digestive and gastrointestinal problems: Bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain.
4. Amenorrhoea (menstruation, or periods cease).
5. Lanugo (fine body hair).
6. Abnormal taste sensation, depression, mild cognitive disorder.
7. Osteoporosis (low bone density).
MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA WITH PURGING (VOMITING)
1. Metabolic disturbance.
2. Dental erosion and tooth decay. The family dentist may be the first medical professional to pick up on the purging or vomiting pattern.
3. Seizures, weakness, fatigue, mild cognitive disorder (i.e. difficulty concentrating).
4. Anorexia Nervosa can be life-threatening. In severe cases this can lead to organ failure and death.
Do not delay, seek help