Table of Contents
Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that leads to severe self-starvation and malnutrition. It also causes damage to the heart, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract.
Professional treatment can help reverse some of the long-term consequences of anorexia, but some effects may be irreversible or fatal without appropriate care. Read on to learn about the risks of anorexia and how treatment can improve your health and life.
The body is a complex system of muscles, organs and cells that need food to function properly. When an individual with anorexia nervosa restricts their intake, their body begins to starve itself. This leads to a number of health problems, including a loss of muscle mass and weakened bones.
A person with anorexia may also experience symptoms of dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, seizures or heart failure as the body tries to cope without the calories and nutrients it needs. The damage to the heart (the body’s most important muscle) can be serious and even fatal.
In women, the lack of calories can affect their hormones and lead to a disruption in their menstrual cycle. This can increase a woman’s risk of infertility, pregnancy complications and miscarriage.
A person with anorexia nervosa may also experience hair and nail problems as a result of the malnutrition. Hair may thin or fall out, nails could become dry or stop growing.
Anorexia can cause long-term damage to the brain. It can alter the shape and size of your brain, and it can make it harder to recover from an eating disorder and change your diet.
Researchers have found that people who have anorexia nervosa are more likely to show reductions in three key measures of the brain’s volume. But if the condition is treated early on, the changes may not be permanent.
Eating disorders can also affect the way your brain cells connect with each other. This can cause problems with learning and memory.
The damage caused by anorexia can also lead to depression. It can also increase your risk for suicide.
Anorexia is one of the most serious forms of mental illness. It can put you at a high risk for life-threatening health complications like heart disease, seizures and congestive heart failure.
People with anorexia nervosa are at risk of suicide. This is because extreme food restriction can lead to starvation, malnutrition and severe mental distress.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for people with anorexia nervosa, and it can also be a result of other mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It is often associated with alcohol and drug abuse, so it is important to seek help if you are struggling.
Talk therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), can be effective in treating suicidal thoughts and behavior. This type of therapy can teach you how to change your thinking patterns and replace negative beliefs with positive ones. It can also help you regain a sense of control over your life.
Mental Health Issues
A person with anorexia may also have other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). These conditions may lead to a variety of physical problems and can interfere with daily life.
Some of these illnesses can have serious long-term effects, causing severe damage to the brain, body and other parts of a person’s life. Some of these issues can be reversed, but others may remain permanent.
Having poor mental health may be caused by many different factors, including genetics, environmental factors and social situations. People of all ages, genders, races and socioeconomic groups can have mental health problems.
While many mental health issues are treatable, stigma and a lack of knowledge about these conditions often erect barriers to treatment and recovery. These barriers include attitudinal, structural and financial limitations.