What Can Anorexia Be the Result Of?

Eating Disorder Side Effects

Many people have asked, “what can anorexia nervosa be the result of?”. The American Psychiatric Association, broadly defines eating disorders as “illnesses in which people experience severe disturbances in their eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions.” Though they are most common in girls and women between the ages of 12 and 35, eating disorders affect individuals of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. Eating Disorders frequently develop alongside other severe psychiatric issues, such as the abuse of drugs and/or alcohol, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, and many others. Oftentimes, those that develop eating disorders become preoccupied with thoughts surrounding food and their body weight. The American Psychiatric Association says that the three main iterations of eating disorders are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. 

Possible Signs of an Eating Disorder (such as Anorexia Nervosa)

The Mayo Clinic lists a variety of signs to look out for that may suggest someone is struggling with an eating disorder. These could include:

  • Adopting a hyper-restrictive vegetarian diet
  • Skipping meals
  • Making excuses not to eat meals
  • Exercising in excess
  • Hyper-focusing on eating healthily
  • Instead of eating what the rest of one’s family eats, someone is making their own meals
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Consistently worrying or complaining about being overweight and discussing wanting to lose weight
  • Frequently looking at oneself in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
  • Calluses on one’s knuckles, which may appear from forcing oneself to throw up
  • Using laxatives, dietary supplements, or other herbal products to induce weight loss
  • Going to the bathroom in the middle of a meal
  • Secretly eating
  • Issues with losing tooth enamel that may be a result of repeated vomiting
  • Expressing sadness, depression, disgust, guilt, or shame about one’s eating habits
  • The repeated consumption of foods that are high in fat, such as sweets
  • Eating an abnormally large amount of food during a meal or for a snack

Possible Side Effects of Eating Disorders

Though the side effects one may experience from an eating disorder largely depends on what type they suffer from, some broad effects may include:

  • Severe health issues
  • Suicidal behaviors or thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Issues with work or school
  • Issues with development and growth
  • Relationship issues
  • Social issues
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Death

Potential Side Effects of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an individual refusing to eat an adequate amount. They also could exercise in excess and attempt to lose weight through the use of laxatives or forced vomiting. Some side effects that may arise with anorexia nervosa include:

  • Hair and nails becoming brittle
  • The stopping of menstrual periods
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • The thinning of bones from losing calcium
  • Mild anemia
  • Muscles (including cardiac ones) waste away
  • Severe constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Yellowish skin
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Lowered pulse and breathing rates
  • Constantly feeling cold due to a dip in one’s internal body temperature

Potential Side Effects of Bulimia Nervosa

Individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa tend to experience a dangerous cycle of binge eating followed by purging, often through induced vomiting or the use of laxatives. Some side effects that may come with bulimia nervosa include:

  • Severe dehydration
  • Kidney problems from the use of diuretics
  • A sore throat from chronic inflammation
  • Intestinal issues from laxative abuse
  • Tooth enamel wearing off from exposure to stomach acids
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disorder from persistent vomiting
  • Swollen salivary glands below the jaw and in the neck
  • Puffy cheeks and face
  • Esophageal tears, cardiac arrhythmias, and gastric rupture, which may be fatal

Potential Side Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

Those who experience binge eating disorder tend to experience episodes in which they consume inordinate amounts of food in a given period of time; during such a binge the sufferer likely feels out of control. Some side effects of binge eating disorder could include:

  • Physical discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Loneliness, depression, anger
  • Social isolation
  • High blood pressure 
  • High cholesterol
  • Adult-onset diabetes
  • Gout
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Suffering socially or career-wise

If you or a loved one is experiencing disordered eating, we are here to help at Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists. You may contact us via phone (866-525-2766), email, or by filling out our contact form.

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