Medical Complications of Anorexia Nervosa Handout

Medical Complications of Anorexia Nervosa
Cerebral Atrophy – loss of brain cells
and connections between brain cells
Peripheral Neuropathy – nerve damage
causing numbness, weakness, tingling,
and pain in hands and feet.
Pulmonary (Lungs)
Aspiration pneumonia – inflammation in
lungs caused by inhaling materials such as
vomit, food, or liquid
Respiratory failure – lungs cannot properly
exchange gasses
Spontaneous pneumothorax – collapsed lung
Emphysema – damaged air sacs in the lungs,
causing breathlessness
(Hair and Skin)
Dry Skin
Alopecia – hair loss
Lanugo Hair – soft, downy,
fine light hair on the arms,
chest, back, & face
Pruritus – severe itching
Ophthalmic (Eyes)
Lagophthalmos – inability to close eyelids
(Heart and Blood Vessels)
Bradycardia – slow heart beat
Hypotension – low blood pressure
Sudden death – arrhythmia
(abnormal heart beat)
Refeeding syndrome – changes in
body fluids and electrolytes
Echo changes – changes in size of
the heart, seen on an
Refeeding pancreatitis – swelling
of the pancreas causing abdominal
pain, nausea, vomiting
Acute gastric dilation – overstretched and rotated stomach
Delayed gastric emptying – impaired stomach muscles that
causes slow stomach emptying
Hepatitis – inflammation of the
Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing
Endocrine & Metabolic (Hormones and Metabolism)
Amenorrhea – loss of menstrual cycle
Infertility – inability to reproduce
Osteoporosis – loss of bone density
Thyroid abnormalities – hormonal disruptions/fluctuations
Hypoglycemia – low blood sugar, causing confusion, dizziness, headaches, irritability, shakiness
Stunted/arrested growth – lower than normal growth patterns