Anorexia Nervosa, or simply anorexia, is known to have very serious complications and physical effects. The condition even has a devastating impact on a person’s psychological well-being.
This eating disorder has both long-term and short-term physical effects. The body immediately experiences physical effects as it makes an effort to continue functioning without the necessary fuel and nutrients. The sufferer may even develop long-term and even life-threatening health issues, especially when left untreated for years.
Table of Contents:
Who’s at Risk?
Women and girls tend to develop and show signs of anorexia. However, this eating disorder and other similar conditions are also starting to become more prevalent even among men and boys, which is probably the result of the pressures from their peers and society as a whole.
While it is not common for over 40 people to suffer from this disorder, people of all ages and walks of life can exhibit signs of anorexia. Teenagers are also more vulnerable because of the different changes their bodies go through as part of puberty. They may also experience peer pressure with heightened sensitivity to innocuous remarks and criticisms about their body type and weight.
Young members of the LGBTQ+ community are at a higher risk of suffering from an eating disorder. Over half of the population of LGBTQ+ youth between 13 to 24 years old have been diagnosed with a certain type of eating disorder at one point.
The Physical Signs and Symptoms
Being deprived of food has numerous physical effects while the body tries to keep up with an inadequate supply of calories and nutrients. Similar to other forms of eating disorders, your entire life might succumb to anorexia, making recovery extremely hard and challenging.
The good news is that with the help of therapy, you might still be able to rediscover your identity, start adopting healthier eating habits, and keep yourself safe from the side effects of the disorder.
Since the definition of low body weight may differ from one person to another, it might be difficult to pinpoint symptoms and signs of the condition. It can also be very challenging to diagnose anorexia since most people who have it often try to hide their thinness, eating patterns, and health problems.
The Physical Effects
People who are diagnosed with an eating disorder might experience a few unwanted side effects. Sufferers of anorexia may notice all or some of the following effects:
- Abdominal pains
- Disrupted menstrual cycles or complete absence of periods
- Faintness or dizzy spells
- Yellow-coloured and dry skin
- Early morning waking
- Muscle weakness
- Fine and long downy hair on body and face
- Poor circulation makes a person feel constantly cold
When to Visit Your Doctor
Since anorexia is a very serious condition that is also found to have some of the highest fatality rates, it’s recommended to visit a doctor sooner than later. If you suspect that you or someone you know suffers from any type of eating disorder, make sure you seek help as soon as you can.