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How Does Anorexia Affect the Body?

Every 62 minutes, someone suffering from anorexia nervosa dies. Eating disorders are a growing epidemic in America and kill more people than any other mental illness. Anorexia is more than simply not eating; it wreaks havoc on the entire body.

Digestion and Metabolism

Long-term anorexia destroys the digestive tract and promotes severe constipation. The body will go into “starvation mode” and stall the metabolic process in attempt to hold onto every calorie.

Hair Loss & Growth

Someone struggling with anorexia will notice hair thinning and falling out. At the same time, patches of hair may begin to show up across the body to keep it warm from lack of body fat.

Swollen Joints

Anorexia can cause edema in the joints, or painful swelling. This is why many people suffering from anorexia may appear swollen in the stomach region; the body retains any source of water to protect itself.

Bones

Malnutrition can lead to early osteoporosis, or brittle, weak bones. This thinning bone density leads to a high risk of breakage. Bone density damage cannot be reversed.

Heart

Electrolyte balance in the body is crucial. Many people suffering from anorexia die from electrolyte imbalance due to resulting heart arrhythmia. As the body eats its own muscle out of starvation, the heart muscle is also broken down.

When diagnosed and treated properly, anorexia can be managed. Anyone who is interested in our Eating Disorders program must be approved by our medical team. A pre-admission assessment will be completed and reviewed by our medical director and dietician. All clients in our Eating Disorders program must be medically stable, willing to follow and eat an abstinent meal plan and be at a safe body weight upon admission. We can also make a referral to a higher level of care if our program is not the right program for an individual.

Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment in Tampa since 1987. If you need help or know someone who does, please contact our admissions department at 813-882-3003, 800-397-3006 or admissions@tpoftampa.com.