The Effects of Eating Disorder

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Effects of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are serious medical illnesses. They often go along with other problems such as stress, anxiety, depression, and substance use. Eating disorders can lead to the development of serious physical health problems, such as heart conditions or kidney failure. Someone whose body weight is at least 15% less than the average weight for that person's height may not have enough body fat to keep organs and other body parts healthy. In severe cases, eating disorders can lead to severe malnutrition and even death. With anorexia, the body goes into starvation mode, and the lack of nutrition can affect the body in many ways: * a drop in blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate

* hair loss and fingernail breakage
* loss of periods
* lanugo hair — a soft hair that can grow all over the skin * lightheadedness and inability to concentrate
* anemia
* swollen joints
* brittle bones
With bulimia, constant vomiting and lack of nutrients can cause these problems: * constant stomach pain
* damage to the stomach and kidneys
* tooth decay (from exposure to stomach acids)
* "chipmunk cheeks," when the salivary glands permanently expand from throwing up so often * loss of periods
* loss of the mineral potassium (this can contribute to heart problems and even death) A person with binge eating disorder who gains a lot of weight is at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and some of the other diseases associated with being overweight. The emotional pain of an eating disorder can take its toll, too. When someone becomes obsessed with weight, it's hard to concentrate on much else. It can be exhausting and overwhelming to monitor food intake and exercise, and be in a constant state of stress about food and how your body looks. It's easy to see why when you develop an eating disorder you could become withdrawn and less social. It gets too hard to join in on snacks and meals with friends or families, or too hard to stop the addictive exercising or working out to have fun. Having an eating disorder also can use up a lot of mental energy planning what to eat, how to avoid food, planning a binge, getting money to buy food or laxatives or other medications, making up reasons to use the bathroom after meals, or figuring out how to tell people around you that you want to be alone after a meal.

The effects of eating disorders?
Eating disorders may result in physical damage. Left untreated, they may even be life threatening. Individuals with anorexia can damage their heart, liver and kidneys due to not eating enough. Physical effects may include:

* swollen joints
* Brittle bones/osteoporosis (risk to bone fractures)
* Seizures do to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
* Brain tissue loss (memory and attention altered)
* Hormone shifts (loss of fertility)
* hair can fall out and fingernails break off
* Drop in core body temperature
* soft hair called lanugo grows all over the skin (attempt of body to keep warm) * cessation of menstrual periods
* abdominal pain/cramping
* irregular bowel patterns
* severe malnutrition
* increased risk of cardiac problems
* death due to medical complications (ex: sudden cardiac arrest) Physical issues associated with bulimia may include:
* lesions and/or perforations of the esophagus
* damage to the stomach and kidneys due to vomiting
* damage to the intestinal tract and kidneys from habitual laxative use * constipation and bowel paralysis from laxative abuse
* tooth decay due to the acids that come up into the mouth while vomiting * cessation of menstrual periods (risk to osteoporosis)
* loss of the potassium which can contribute to heart problems and death Individuals with Binge Eating Disorder/Compulsive Overeating may often be significantly overweight because of the amount of food eaten. Physical difficulties include: * menstrual irregularities...
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