Types of Heart Complications
There are a number of different types of heart disease conditions that can take place as a result of eating disorders like anorexia.
- Heart attack
- Arrhythmias in the heart
- Heart failure
In the case of someone with long-term, severe anorexia, heart disease is very likely to occur. Heart disease may in fact be the most common form of death for anorexics.
Signs of a Heart Condition
Symptoms which may indicate the above conditions include:
- Lowered blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Poor blood flow
- Swelling in the legs and feet
- Feeling short of breath
- Pain in the heart or upper body
- Stomach pain
- Poor sleep quality
- Decrease in heart size
Heart disease is more common among the male gender and our risk increases as we age. Those with a family history of heart disease should be especially cautious and regularly visit their doctor to monitor heart health. Eating disorders put a person at high risk for heart disease and those with eating disorders like anorexia should seek out eating disorder treatment at an anorexia treatment facility in order to prevent health consequences such as heart disease.
Heart Disease Prevention
For those with eating disorders, it may be difficult to prevent conditions such as heart disease. It is often very helpful to seek out anorexia treatment at an eating disorder treatment center. Eating disorder residential programs offer specialized therapy programs and can provide a healthy diet and important nutritional information. For those who desire to prevent heart disease, the following steps should be considered:
- Appropriately deal with stress through healthy coping methods.
- Avoid excessive drinking. (If you struggle with alcohol addiction, consider attending alcohol rehab at an alcohol rehabilitation center.)
- Keep your weight at a healthy level. (This may be especially difficult for those with an eating disorder.)
- Test yourself for diabetes. (Diabetics are at a higher risk for heart disease and require specialized care for their condition.)
- Avoid smoking.
- Keep cholesterol levels normal. (Having these and levels of triglyceride tested may be helpful in keeping you aware of higher than normal levels.)
- Regularly exercise.
- Maintain a normal blood pressure level. (By regularly monitoring blood pressure levels in order to keep them in a healthy range, you will better be able to prevent severe heart conditions.)