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Anorexia – causes, side effects and treatments at

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 by

Anorexia nervosa is a type of psychiatric condition that is classified as an eating disorder. The condition is characterized by an incessant obsession with dieting and weight loss. A article reveals that the eating disorder is more prevalent in females than in males, with a higher rate seen among adolescent girls. According to the entry, anorexia nervosa is caused by self-esteem and body-image issues, societal pressures and genetic factors.

Known side effects of anorexia

Anorexia is notoriously detrimental to many parts of the body. An article published on the Help Guide website reveals that the eating disorder primarily targets the central nervous system and spurs changes in the brain chemistry, which in turn results in seizures, mood swings, irritability and irrational fear of weight gain. Likewise, the disease is found to trigger the onset of various cardiovascular conditions such as low blood pressure, slow heart rate, palpitations and heart failure.

The eating disorder is also known to cause anemia and other blood disorders. Anorexia nervosa is associated with an increased risk of muscle weakness, joint inflammation, osteoporosis and bone fractures as well. In addition, the condition is tied to a higher likelihood of suffering from kidney stones, kidney failure and digestive issues including diarrhea and constipation.

Moreover, anorexia is found to deplete the levels of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium and sodium. The eating disorder is also linked to hormonal imbalance, fertility problems and higher miscarriage risk in women. The disease may also result in dry and yellow skin, bruising, and brittle hair and nails. The disorder is associated with thyroid gland problems and increased risk of infections too.

Body systems harmed by anorexia

Anorexia primarily targets the central nervous system, the cardiovascular profile and the female reproductive health. Likewise, the disorder is detrimental to the muscles and bones, the digestive tract, the kidneys and the thyroid glands as well as the skin, hair and the immune system.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent anorexia

An article posted on the Very Well website recommends consuming more than 1,000 calories per day as a starting point for patients with anorexia. According to the entry, the meal plan for patients is usually comprised of 50 percent to 60 percent of total calories from carbohydrates, 15 percent to 20 percent from protein, and 30 percent to 40 percent from dietary fat. The entry also suggests adding 400 more calories if no weight gain is observed. However, the article advises that patients consult a medical doctor and a registered dietitian to tailor their diet schemes to reduce the risk of refeeding syndrome.

A Live Strong entry has also made a list of essential food items that may help recovering patients improve weight and maintain a healthy eating habit. According to the article, the recommendations for anorexia patients are the same as healthy individuals. The entry suggests that patients choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and starchy vegetables, and healthy protein sources including lean meat and poultry, egg whites and tofu as well as fish and low-fat dairy products. Patients are also encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocado.

Treatments, management plans for anorexia

A Med Line Plus article notes that different programs are currently available to address anorexia nervosa. According to the entry, these programs focus on increasing the patients’ social activity, reducing their physical activity and employing eating schedules to get them back on track.

Where to learn more


Anorexia causes a plethora of psychiatric and cardiovascular disorders.

Anorexia triggers various digestive, urinary and female reproductive issues.

Anorexia primarily targets the central nervous system, the heart and the female reproductive health.

Anorexia also affects the muscles and bones, the digestive tract, the kidneys and the thyroid glands.


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