Anorexia Nervosa May Change The Structure Of The Bones

New research indicates children and teenagers with even a mild case anorexia nervosa can develop abnormal bone structure before they lose bone density. Once the bone structure is changed, it can cause loss of bone density.

Clinical Study

An imaging technique called dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used to measure bone mineral density in adolescents with anorexia. This study, researchers assessed bone structure using high-resolution computed tomography (CT) as well as bone mineral density using DXA.

Clinical Findings

They compared the scans of adolescent girls with anorexia and others without. No differences were observed in bone mineral density, but the CT exam showed significant differences in bone structure between the two groups. The researchers found that changes in bone structure occur in anorexic adolescents before decreases in bone density. Once the structure changes the bone density loss follows.


Anorexia affects so many parts of the human body. Without proper “insulation” (fat cells), the bones become more vulnerable to breaks causing even more medical problems for an individual with anorexia.

Source: Presented at the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting

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.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2018
Company Information

© 2018 All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.