The Associated Risks Of Other Conditions Brought On By Anorexia

Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa can lead to major health complications. Conditions brought on by anorexia include bone loss, pregnancy complications and life-threatening heart conditions.


The loss of bone density, called osteoporosis, is a common condition that develops in people who are anorexic. Osteoporosis worsens over time, causing your bones to become weak and brittle. This means that you’re more susceptible to broken bones, especially those in the spine, hips and wrists. Slips and falls will become even more hazardous, as the potential for injury is more serious.


Mothers with anorexia face hazardous complications when preparing to give birth. Often times, her body is simply not strong enough to bear the birth, and a Cesarean section must be performed. Babies are often born underweight and malnourished, with organs that haven’t formed completely.
Mothers with anorexia are more likely to experience severe postpartum depression.
Miscarriages are more common in anorexic women. In addition, the loss of estrogen caused by anorexia can cause irregular periods–or no periods at all–making it difficult or impossible to conceive in the first place. Sometimes menstruation will return once the body reaches and maintains a normal weight, although in some situations, the effect is permanent.

Heart Problems

Anorexia can result in dangerous heart rhythms, such as the slow rhythms known as bradycardia, when the heart slows from its average 60 to 100 beats per minute. When this occurs, blood flow is reduced, blood pressure drops and heart muscles begin to shrink of starvation.
Another potential complication of anorexia that is caused by malnutrition is electrolyte imbalance. Often a result of severe mineral deficiencies in the blood, this condition is caused when you don’t get enough calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. The heart relies on this critical electric current to maintain a normal heartbeat. This is a serious condition that may result in death.
Along with electrolyte imbalance, cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death for people with anorexia.

Neurological Problems

Anorexia may deteriorate nerves in the brain as well as other parts of the body. Severe complications that may result include seizures, disordered thoughts and numbness or strange nerve sensations in the hands and feet.
Brain scans have revealed that parts of the brain experience structural changes and abnormal activity when anorexia is a factor. These conditions may return to normal in recovery, or may be permanent.
Bone damage, infertility and heart and neurological disorders are several of the long-term effects associated with anorexia.