Anorexia: Is It Powerful Enough To Cause Osteoporosis?

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disorder affecting the bones of the body. When someone has osteoporosis their bones become brittle due to a loss in bone density and are easier to break. This type of problem often occurs in older women and is common in those with the eating disorder, anorexia. Many people with anorexia seek treatment at eating disorder treatment clinics. A lack of calcium in the body is often a primary cause of osteoporosis. Possible risks which make heighten development of this problem include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Low calcium intake
  • Smoking
  • Menstrual dysfunction
  • Specific medication
  • Genetics
  • Small bone structure
  • Lack of exercise
  • Old age
  • Specific disorders
  • Type of race

What is Anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa is a popular type of eating disorder. It can occur in both men and women but is most common in women. Those with this disorder eat very small amounts of food or completely refrain from eating anything. Anorexics choose not to eat because of a perceived distortion of their body image. This distortion arises from factors such as past traumatic experiences, stress, and sudden life changes. Signs of anorexia include:

  • Perfectionist behaviors
  • Use of laxatives of diuretics (most common in bulimia)
  • Weight loss
  • Presence of depression or drastic mood changes
  • Eating alone
  • Avoidance of previously fun activities
  • Loss of hair, thin hair
  • Constant exercise
  • Frequent weighing of one’s self
  • Cold
  • Wearing baggy clothing
  • Moving food around a plate and eating very little of it
  • Menstrual dysfunction
  • Exhausted, sleepy
  • Spending a lot of time alone

If anorexia continues for a long period of time, amenorrhea (loss of a menstrual cycle) eventually occurs. Death can result in severe cases of this disorder. If you or a loved one struggles with anorexia, it is important to seek anorexia treatment. This eating disorder treatment can be found at one of many different anorexia nervosa treatment centers.

How Anorexia Causes Osteoporosis

Anorexia is a serious eating disorder, one which when continued, can cause severe damage to a person’s body. One form of damage this complication can cause is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis takes place as a result of several changes in the body. First, nutrition levels become low in the body as a result of an anorexic’s lack of eating. Because of this, the body quits producing as much estrogen. A lack of estrogen in the body then causes menstrual cycles to cease, a condition known as amenorrhea. This last factor then triggers poor bone density in the body.

Other factors which may contribute to osteoporosis include calcium deficiency, loss in weight, reduce in growth hormones in the body, and a lack of adequate amounts of testosterone (in men). Also, an excess level of the adrenal hormone cortisol, a hormone which encourages bone loss, tends to be very common in those with anorexia. Anorexia can be a very harmful eating disorder. For those who desire to overcome this disorder, anorexia treatment at an eating disorder residential center is often beneficial.

Just like other living parts in your body, your bones need to be taken care of or they will weaken. If a person does not consume enough calcium-rich food, the bones in the body will not be very strong. Also, is a person is lacking vitamin D in their diet, they will not be able to absorb calcium. Due to the fact that most anorexics have very little, if any, fat in their diet, vitamin D cannot be taken in.

If someone continues with the cycle of anorexia, in time they will eventually develop osteoporosis or osteopenia, a disorder in which someone has low mass in the bones. In many younger women who develop anorexia, poor bone development develops, thus, osteoporosis often takes place. If you or a loved one struggles with anorexia, call an eating disorder treatment center today. Seeking treatment early is the first step in avoiding the serious consequences of osteoporosis.

Prevention & Management of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis caused by anorexia can be very detrimental to the body, especially if it is allowed to continue without treatment. The following steps may help those who desire to prevent osteoporosis or manage existent osteoporosis.

  • Do not consume excessive amounts of alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Vitamin D and calcium are two primary vitamins which are crucial to the health of your body’s bones. If you do not receive enough of these two vitamins in your diet, supplements may prove helpful.
  • Consider hormone replacement therapy.
  • Consistently exercise. Exercise makes the bones in your body stronger. If your body is already very weak, you may need to talk with a trained professional when considering what forms of exercise is safe for you. Weight-bearing exercise is most effective.
  • Have a bone density test. Such a test will tell you the current density of your bones and determine how greatly you have already been affected by osteoporosis.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Take prescribed medications. Taking medications prescribed to you by a doctor may help, especially if you are older in age or have the eating disorder, anorexia. Today, however there is still no cure for osteoporosis.
  • Maintain a monthly menstrual cycle.

Anorexia is a serious disorder. In fact it is so serious that anorexia treatment is often necessary for recovery. This form of eating disorder treatment can be found at anorexia treatment centers in a variety of areas. If treated early, there is a lesser chance of osteoporosis development. Call an anorexia treatment facility today and finally discover recovery and healing.