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Why do Anorexics develop Osteoporosis?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 10, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

What Is Osteoporosis?

 

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become less dense and more likely to fracture. Fractures from osteoporosis can result in significant pain and disability. Osteoporosis is a major health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans, 68 percent of whom are women.

 

Risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:

  • thinness or small frame
  • family history of the disease
  • being postmenopausal and particularly having had early menopause
  • abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea)
  • prolonged use of certain medications, such as those used to treat lupus, asthma, thyroid deficiencies, and seizures
  • low calcium intake
  • lack of physical activity
  • smoking
  • excessive alcohol intake.

Osteoporosis often can be prevented. It is known as a silent disease because, if undetected, bone loss can progress for many years without symptoms until a fracture occurs. Osteoporosis has been called a childhood disease with old age consequences because building healthy bones in youth helps prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life. However, it is never too late to adopt new habits for healthy bones.

 

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

 

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an irrational fear of weight gain. People with anorexia nervosa believe that they are overweight even when they are extremely thin. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of females have anorexia nervosa. Although the majority of people with anorexia are female, an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia are male.

 

Individuals with anorexia become obsessed with food and severely restrict their dietary intake. The disease is associated with several health problems and, in rare cases, even death. The disorder may begin as early as the onset of puberty. The first menstrual period is typically delayed in girls who have anorexia when they reach puberty. For girls who have already reached puberty when they develop anorexia, menstrual periods are often infrequent or absent.

 

 

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