How Dangerous Are Eating Disorders? These Facts Will Tell You

Home » How Dangerous Are Eating Disorders? These Facts Will Tell You

Before you proceed, be warned: this isn’t going to an easy topic to discuss. Its prevalence, however, suggests that it’s high time to do so. If you’re also suffering from an eating disorder (or suspect to have one), you can approach bulimia nervosa treatment centers. These facilities can provide a comprehensive treatment plan to heal yourself quickly.

What you need to know now is this: your eating disorder can affect your body and even mind in many ways. Multiple studies will explain why and how.

1. Negative Impact on the Heart

Eating disorders can become life-threatening, and one of the reasons is it compels your body to “eat your muscles.” When you eat carbohydrates, your body converts them into glucose, which it uses for fuel. When you have an excess of it, this glucose becomes glycogen. You store it in your liver and muscles.

This way, if you find yourself hungry and don’t have any source of food, your body breaks down glycogen and transforms it into fuel.

If you have an eating disorder, you are restricting your calories severely. To compensate for the lack, your body begins to break down glycogen in the liver and the muscles. It hurts your heart because it’s one of the largest muscles in the body.

If you have bulimia, you may be familiar with vomiting or purging. It can result in an imbalance of electrolytes. These are mineral salts that support your heart’s electrical activity to function correctly.

2. Hormone Dysfunction

Hormones are chemical messengers in the body. They influence many aspects of survival, such as fertility, glucose (or blood sugar) control, metabolism, and body development.

A study in the Journal of Eating Disorders revealed that people with anorexia nervosa might be prone to hormone dysfunction. In other words, the body may produce more or less of it. It affects sex hormones, in particular. Women, for instance, may develop amenorrhea, which means they don’t experience menstruation. It may then impact their fertility and struggle with getting pregnant.
Those who can become pregnant, their eating disorder may increase the risk of prenatal complications such as miscarriage. It may also have adverse effects on the baby once they’re born.

3. Risks of Mental Disorders

woman doing counselling

More scientists learned a deep connection between mental disorders and eating disorders. Some even refer to conditions like bulimia or anorexia as a problem of one’s mental health. A 1996 study by Blinder revealed that as many as 75% of those with eating disorders might also have depression.

In a 1998 review, health experts learned that people with eating disorders were also more likely to suffer from either depression or anxiety (or both). They may also exhibit signs of personality disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is a type of anxiety disorder.

Because these conditions can co-occur, the treatment plan may become complicated. In fact, a 2011 study showed that antidepressants alone do not impact recovery from eating disorders or protect a person from relapse.

For this reason, many treatment centers incorporate other modalities, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In CBT, a mental health professional will help you see your deep-seated issues in a new manner so you can learn to deal with it better.

This list isn’t to scare you but to remind you time is your friend here. If you have an eating disorder, you need to get help immediately.

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