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How Does Anorexia Nervosa Progress?
While symptoms vary widely, people with anorexia nervosa can experience life-threatening damage to vital organs like the brain, heart, and kidneys.
Over time, anorexia nervosa causes a range of worsening medical problems:
- Bone loss and muscle weakness
- Bloating and skimpy bowel movements
- Feeling cold all the time and having a low body temperature
- Itchy, scaly or blotchy skin
- Fine, downy, dark hair on arms, chest, face, and face
- Deficits in memory and attention
- Trouble sleeping
- Decreased ability to recognize hunger
- Low blood pressure
- Headaches and nausea
- Slow wound healing
- Damage to the colon and digestive system
- Liver and kidney disease
- Cardiovascular complications and congestive heart failure
As the disorder progresses, anorexia nervosa can cause various cardiovascular complications, ranging from dizziness and fainting to irregular heart rhythm. In very severe cases, imbalances in electrolytes like potassium and magnesium can lead to life-threatening heart failure. Medical complications account for more than half of all deaths in people with anorexia nervosa.
Angela Guarda, MD
Angela Guarda, MD is the Stephen and Jean Robinson Associate Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at…Read More…
It is impossible to recover from Anorexia unless you reach a minimal normal weight.
– Angela Guarda, MD
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