Musculoskeletal Problems

Musculoskeletal problems are very common in individuals with an eating disorder. As a general rule, individuals with severe anorexia nervosa have poor muscle strength and a
decrease in stamina. Eventually, people with long-term and severe cases will have difficulty standing from a crouch or lifting the arms above the head to comb the hair. The poor muscle strength also leads to an impairment in respiratory function.

Musculoskeletal problems are dangerous in the long-term and can include problems with broken teeth and bones. For example, people with anorexia nervosa are seven times more likely to break a bone than other people in their age group. In terms of muscle damage, the heart is an important muscle and is commonly damaged in long-term anorexia cases. Obviously, heart damage can lead to death.

Musculoskeletal problems are not completely reversible. They can however, be improved once the eating disorder is treated.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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