Hypothermia results when the fat cells, which are the body's natural insulation, become non-existent and the victim starts feeling cold all the time. As a result, the body develops a light coating of fur on the body, to retain whatever little body warmth it can. 15% of patients with anorexia nervosa have temperature below 95°F (35°C)
The neurotransmitters of the brain can be altered, leaving the perception affected. Hypothermia can occur due to the loss of fat tissue from starvation. An anorexic suffering from hypothermia may have these symptoms:
- Confusion or sleepiness
- Slowed, slurred speech, or shallow breathing
- Weak pulse or low blood pressure
- A lot of shivering or no shivering; stiffness in the arms or legs
- Poor control over body movements or very slow reactions
According to the International Journal of Eating Disorders, some weight-recovered anorexics may have long term problems with hypothermia.