How does anorexia nervosa affect daily life?

Living with anorexia nervosa can be very difficult both mentally and physically. The constant stress, and pressure to be thin he or she feels weighs on them every moment of the day. People with anorexia nervosa also often deny they have a problem and resist treatment. The disorder may get in the way of one’s ability to uphold relationships and do normal activities such as going to work. People with anorexia nervosa can often have other mental health issues that can make everyday life even more difficult such as depression, anxiety, and drug/alcohol abuse disorders. 
Although difficult, proper intervention and treatment can help someone with this disorder become healthy again. Having a good support system can also be very helpful in fighting this disorder.
Some steps that can be taken along with professional treatment include:
  • Sticking to your treatment plan
  • Try not to isolate yourself from loved ones
  • Try and resist the urge to weigh yourself
  • Take vitamin and mineral supplements 
Anorexia nervosa can also result in many different complications and even death if not treated. People with anorexia nervosa tend to be extremely malnourished and may over-work themselves with excessive exercise, causing great harm to their bodies in many ways. Unfortunately, even after proper treatment, some of these health problems might not be reversible.  Some potential complications of anorexia nervosa include:
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Heart problems such as abnormal heart rhythms 
  • Damage to other organs such as the brain and kidneys
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low breathing rate
  • Decrease in pulse
  • Electrolyte imbalances such as low blood potassium, sodium, and chloride
  • Bone loss/thinning of bones and increased risk for fractures
  • Absence of a menstrual period in females
  • Loss of testosterone in males
  • Nausea, bloating, constipation, and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Suicide
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Loss of hair
  • Lower body temperature
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Fine body hair 
living with anorexia nervosa

  • "Anorexia nervosa" Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 Jan. 2016. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.
  • "Anorexia Nervosa." | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.
  • “Anorexia Nervosa.” Cleveland Clinic, 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 14 Aug. 2017.


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