Long-term or severe anorexia also can cause serious medical complications, such as: 2
- Osteoporosis , which results from a lack of calcium in the diet as well as too much cortisol and too little estrogen in the body. The teenage years are critical bone-building years.
- Joint injuries, from too much exercise.
- Fractures , which are common in female athletes who have an eating disorder and also have osteoporosis and irregular menstrual cycles (known as the female athlete triad).
- Anemia .
- Kidney function problems, often caused by ongoing dehydration or abuse of laxatives.
- Heart problems, such as a slow or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and low blood pressure (hypotension).
- Cavities or tooth decay .
If left untreated, many of these conditions can lead to death. Up to 15 out of 100 people who have anorexia will eventually die from complications of malnutrition or from suicide. 1 But restoring healthy eating habits and good nutrition may reverse many of the complications of anorexia.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||Adam Husney, MD, MD - Family Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||W. Stewart Agras, MD - Psychiatry|
|Last Revised||August 25, 2011|
Last Revised: August 25, 2011
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