Seed | Eating Disorder Support Service

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helping people not the eating disorder

Advice Line (01482) 718130

help & support

Physical effects of Anorexia

  • A significant or serious loss of weight
  • Fatigue. Dizziness or Fainting
  • Excessive Coldness and inability to keep warm without many layers of clothing
  • Poor Hair and Skin Condition (skin becomes dry and blotchy hair may start to fall out or break off)
  • Periods have stopped or becoming irregular (decreases the chance of becoming pregnant)
  • If a female stops having period the body stops producing estrogen and bone density is lo, this can lead to brittle bones (osteoporosis and infertility)
  • Osteoporosis (brittle bones) if developed you may be at risk of broken bones and curvature of the spine. Osteoporosis levels can be improved with medication but the condition is long term and is irreparable. A person is high risk for broken bones and the break may not heal properly due to the condition.
  • Loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Distorted body image (see 'Body Image' on the left). Someone will see themselves as being overweight when in truth they may be very underweight.
  • Lanugo - The growth of fine body hair which is nature's way of keeping the body warm. This will shed when eating patterns are re-established and weight improved.
  • In the case of critical low weight all organs may be compromised
  • 20% of people die as a direct result of anorexia or through suicide it has the highest mortality rate of any other mental health illness.
  • Loss of teeth, gum disease and receding gums.