Eating disorders are real, complex, and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships. Eating disorders are not just a \u201cfad\u201d or a \u201cphase.\u201d They are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that affect a person\u2019s emotional and physical health. People struggling with an eating disorder need to seek professional help.The earlier a person with an eating disorder seeks treatment, the greater the likelihood of physical and emotional recovery. Health Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa In anorexia nervosa\u2019s cycle of self-starvation, the body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to function normally. Thus, the body is forced to slow down all of its processes to conserve energy, resulting in serious medical consequences. \tAbnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which mean that the heart muscle is changing. The risk for heart failure rises as the heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower. \tReduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones. \tMuscle loss and weakness. \tSevere dehydration which can result in kidney failure. \tFainting, fatigue, and overall weakness. \tDry hair and skin; hair loss is common. \tThe growth of a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm. Health Consequences of Bulimia Nervosa The recurrent binge-and-purge cycles of bulimia can affect the entire digestive system and can lead to electrolyte and chemical imbalances in the body that affect the heart and other major organ functions. \tElectrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death. Electrolyte imbalance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium, sodium and chloride from the body as a result of purging behaviors. \tPotential for gastric rupture during periods of bingeing. \tInflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting. \tTooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomiting. \tChronic irregular bowel movements and constipation as a result of laxative abuse. \tPeptic ulcers and pancreatitis. Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder Binge eating disorder often results in many of the same health risks associated with clinical obesity. \tHigh blood pressure. \tHigh cholesterol levels. \tHeart disease as a result of elevated triglyceride levels. \tType II diabetes mellitus. \tGallbladder disease.