Effects of Eating Disorders

Complications of Eating Disorders

There are many men and women in this world all suffering from effects of eating disorders that goes unnoticed or is created because of stigma for losing weight.

For those with anorexia that can be slightly overweight this will result in another kind of eating disorder of eating in excess, which also goes unnoticed, as your loved ones will never want to hurt you by saying that you are eating in excess.

The patients will vary from the amount of suffering that they will undergo, and the danger that they are going to face will not visible in the outward appearance or the emotional conflicts going inside, all in combination contributing to the complications of eating disorders.

Dangers Associated With Eating Disorders

  • Malnutrition results as an effect of eating disorders, which will involve reduced eating or over eating. This is represented as deficiency in nutrition, energy, protein and micronutrients, for example, vitamin A, iodine and iron in isolation or in combination. This can lead to other complications in the body like respiratory infections, blindness, kidney failure, heart attack and death.

  • Dehydration is due to the depletion of fluids in the body when there is a decline for fluids following complications of eating disorders.  This could be due to the restriction of carbohydrates and fat in the body. Some of the eating disorder symptoms will include dizziness, weakness and darkening of urine. These can lead to kidney failure, seizures, heart failure, brain damage and death.
  • Electrolyte imbalance will involve some of the imbalances created in the body owing to complications of eating disorders. The electrolytes are the body’s natural electricity that will ensure a healthy teeth, joint and bone development, proper nerve response and muscle impulses, good functioning of the kidneys, heart and brain by allowing the blood to deliver oxygen in required and sufficient levels and remove carbon-dioxide in proper levels.
  • Hyponatremia or “water loading” will include the proper functioning of the body, which is rectified by drinking enough water and maintain adequate levels of sodium in the body. This can result accumulation of fluid in the lungs, brain and can cause swelling of brain, nausea, vomiting, confusion and death, because of effects of eating disorders.
  • Refeeding syndrome occurs in starved and severely malnourished patients as they can undergo some of the life-threatening conditions like shift in fluid and electrolyte balance that can result in further complications of eating disorders because of the increased supply of nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals should not be given in more than recommended daily dietary allowances. These patients will then slowly regain their organ function, fluid balance and need continuous monitoring.
  • Lanugo or the tendency to grow excessive soft and downy hair on face, back and arms, or in those regions where hair growth is not usually observed, is owing to the development of the protective mechanism built-in the body to keep the person warm during periods of starvation and malnutrition, as a result of hormonal imbalances all because of the complications of eating disorders.
  • Edema is the swelling of the soft tissues that is because of the presence of excess of water accumulation, and is commonly observed in the legs and feet of people with compulsive eating disorders and in the abdominal area, anorexics, and bulimics.
  • Muscle atrophy is the wasting of muscles and decrease in the muscle mass due to the wearing off body tissue itself.
  • Impaired neuromuscular function results as a complication of eating disorders owing to the deficiencies of potassium and malnutrition.
  • Paralysis will occur when there are extreme weaknesses in muscle or in the degeneration of nerve cells or lowering of potassium levels because of the presence of spinal cord and deprivation of essential nutrients.
  • Tearing of esophagus and Mallory-Weiss tear are caused by self-induced vomiting and tearing away of gastro esophageal junction.
  • Gastric rupture is the spontaneous erosion and perforation of rupture and gastrointestinal bleeding leading to ulceration of intestinal tissue occurs when there are complications of eating disorders due to starvation.
  • Yet other effects of eating disorders will include reflux of food by regurging out the food in the stomach, mixed with enzymes, comes up into the larynx and lungs, and can ultimately result in cancer.
  • Frequency in bruising and callusing of fingers, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, hair loss, are some of the complications of eating disorders which results because of deficiencies, malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Other complications of eating disorders are low blood pressure, hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, high blood pressure and hypertension in the case of binge eating, low platelet count and thrombocytopenia, disruptions in the blood glucose levels, diabetes, ketonuria due to the use of fats in the body that can lead to ketoacidosis. Iron deficiency, kidney failure, and heart failure are some of other effects of eating disorders.

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