Battling an eating disorder such as anorexia can cause both immediate and long-term side effects. In severe cases, it can even result in death. In this post we discuss the long term effects of anorexia.
For obvious reasons, anorexia can have significant physical implications due to the body being starved of the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that it needs to stay healthy. From physical changes in your hair, skin, and nails, to organ shutdown, your body will gradually stop working the way nature intended. In many cases, it’s impossible for them to repair themselves, even if the anorexia is treated.
Other common side effects include osteoporosis, gastrointestinal problems (constipation, indigestion, bloating), and in females, the absence of a regular cycle (which can lead to infertility). The key is to seek out professional help before permanent physical damage becomes severe.
Cognitive Side Effects
Although not commonly discussed, anorexia can also contribute to brain damage, causing confusion and difficulty concentrating. Studies show that the lack of nutrition in someone with anorexia can cause the brain to shrink, impacting IQ. Without help, it can be difficult to mentally navigate your way through successful treatment.
Emotions and Relationships
Anorexia destroys families, friendships, and careers. Although it’s often a silent disease, the effects are far reaching, especially when loved ones are attempting to understand the cause and find ways to help. Fortunately, a licensed counselor can help to mend these broken relationships through private therapy sessions and cognitive behavioral therapy to assist the individual living with anorexia and those close to them.
The sooner you seek out the help of a psychotherapist to overcome the triggers of an eating disorder, the more effectively you can avoid or minimize the impact of how anorexia affects you emotionally and physically for the rest of your life. Avoid the long term effects of anorexia. Pick up the phone or contact us online to schedule a confidential session with one of our licensed Park City or Salt Lake City therapists. Online counseling sessions are also available.