Anorexia - is this dangerous?

There are many questions asked on this site about anorexia. Hopefully, the following advice will answers some of those questions:

Dangers of Anorexia

Reprinted from Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery
By Lindsey Hall & Monika Ostroff

Anorexia health related problems...

Anorexia nervosa has a multitude of medical complications ranging from mild to severe.

In fact, 5-20% of anorexics die, usually frm complications associated with self-starvation, such as: heart, kidney, or multiple organ failure, or illnesses like pneumonia, which may be due to an inability to fight infection—all due to the dangers of anorexia.

Cardiac Problems—irregular heartbeat

Gastrointestinal disorders—risk of internal bleeding, ulcers, gastritis, and constipation

Amenorrhea—due to decreased estrogen production, which causes females to cease ovulation and mentration

Anemia—a blood disorder characterized by either a decrease in the number of read cells, or a reduction in hemoglobin; the body's ability to carry oxygen frm the lungs to its tissues is reduced; often caused by an iron deficiancy

bingeing—an effect of starvation


decreased testicular function in men—some studies reveal a decrease in testosterone and certain male hormones

dental decay and discoloration

depressed immune system


dry skin; brittle hair and nails

edema—water retention, most commonly in the ankles and feet

endocrine abnormalities


high cholesterol—an effect of starvation, not necessarily warranting a low cholesterol diet



increased risk of osteoporosis—bones lose density and fracture easily


ketosis—the excessive accumultion of ketone bodies in the blood and urine, which is indicative of the body digesting its fat stores as a sole source of energy

kidney damage/failure—usually due to dehydration; many be worsened by the use of diuretics

lanugo—the growth of fine hair on the body, which is the body's attempt to keep itself warm when fat stores are depleted

liver damage—a condition that is usually irreparable

loss of hair on the head

low blood pressure

low body temperature—causes anorexics to feel cold

muscle cramps and weakness—usually due to electrolyte imbalances

pancreatitis—the painful swelling of the pancreas evidenced by severe abdominal pain, distention, and fever

sensitivity to light and sound

yellow skin—also called hypercarotinemia

Do you really think the above health problems sound attractive?

Remember, anorexia kills and death through this is usually slow and very painful.
If you are concerned you may havge this, please speak to a health professional.

Link to anorexia help pages:

Worldwide supportlines:

Remember, asking advice from other anorexics 'may not' always be the best advice.

Take care


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