Eating Disorders Health Center

Eating disorders can also cause someone to not act like her or himself. She or he may talk about weight and food all the time, not eat in front of others, be moody or sad, or not want to go out with friends. People with eating disorders may also have other psychiatric and physical illnesses, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • obsessive behavior
  • substance abuse
  • issues with the heart and/or brain
  • problems with physical development

The slow starvation of an anorexic patient can cause a multitude of health problems, not limited to imbalances in the blood chemistry (low potassium, low sodium), loss of the menstrual cycle diarrhea and constipation, osteoporosis and bone loss, damage to the nerves of the eyes, atrophy of the brain, and a disrupted immune system. Ultimately patients can suffer cardiac arrest.

Review Date: 
March 13, 2012
Last Updated:
August 8, 2014