Anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders can have significant physical consequences – both long and short-term. Often, people with eating disorders do not realize the significant amount of long-tem damage that they are causing.
For example, affected individuals can experience nutritional and hormonal problems that negatively impact bone density. Low body weight in females causes the body to stop producing estrogen, resulting in a condition known as amenorrhea, or absent menstrual periods. Low estrogen levels contribute to significant losses in bone density.
While that may not seem important now, long terms effects of estrogen levels can be serious. Estrogen levels help in producing secondary sexual characteristics like breasts, accelerate the growth of height and metabolism rate in your body, and help in maintaining blood vessels and skin. Osteoporosis in later life, when your bones become very brittle and break easily, is another consequence of inadequate estrogen levels.