Anorexia, with 6% mortality, tops all the psychiatric diseases. There are some severe complications, which arise in these patients. A number of anorexics die because of the imbalance of electrolytes in their bodies while as the cardiac arrest is also a major contributor.
Since this is a psychological disorder, a number of anorexics resort to suicide as well. This is also turning out to be a major contributor in increasing rate of fatality rate of anorexics.
The children and the young people recover from this disease. So the survival chances reduce with the age of patients. Whatever the age it is always important to diagnose the disease well in advance. When the patient is brought for treatment at the early stage, the recovery chances are more.
However, most people suffering from anorexia are brought for treatment when the medical complications appear. At this stage, there is somewhat difficulty in the treatment and patient’s recovery.
There is a variation in the duration of the treatment of these patients; some need treatment at intervals and do recover when treated while there are some who need the treatment throughout the life.
As anorexia affects may prove lethal, there is need to understand the organs of the body which are affected most by this disease:
Effect on circulatory system, including heart
Though the effect is not fatal but severely affects the working capacity of the person. The most common effects on the circulatory system are lower blood pressure i.e. hypotension, lower heart rate i.e. bradycardia, which are obvious in case of starvation.
However, the problematic thing involves arrhythmia, where there is a disruption in the heart beats. However if these conditions persist over a period of time, it may result in instant unconsciousness. This is where the problem starts and the patients meet with accidents.
Effect on kidneys
This may not sound too dangerous to may but anorexia effect on kidneys can be the fat one. The kidneys are under a severe strain with low blood pressure. There are changes in the kidney functioning which can be associated with low or frequent urination. The patients also suffer the risk of diabetes incipidus.
The two common gastrointestinal complications found in anorexics are the severe abdominal pain and constipation. This occurs when the less amount of food goes down the gut; the intestines remain empty and tend to lose the normal functioning. The absorption process in the intestines is also severely affected.
There are problems in the elimination process as well. Though there is no proof and scientists are yet to discover effect of anorexia on liver and should supposedly work normal but some patients have been found to have disrupted enzyme levels in the liver and also some other associated damage.
Effect on bones
Osteopenia is a common bone disorder, found in the women after menopause. The anorexics suffer from this disease at an early stage. In this disease there is severe loss in the bone density leading to the thinning of the bones. The bones become highly fragile and prone to fractures.
Apart from all these complications, the anorexics may also suffer anemia. This involves lesser number RBC’s and hence the reduced rate of oxygenation. The physical impacts are quite evident as the patients lose considerable amount of weight and become thin and lean. The face loses texture and becomes very dull, in addition to dropping of the body.