Audrey Hepburn, Kristy Henrich, Nicole Richie, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Mary-Kate Olsen, Tracy Gold all have one thing in common besides being in the spotlight. Some of these women died of heart failure or struggled with numerous health problems due to one major eating disorder. Other every-day women who are writers, clerks, teachers, mothers, teens, grandmothers share the same disease.
]]> ANOREXIA NERVOSA ]]> is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder that is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. It puts an enormous stress on the body, especially the heart. "The cardiac tolls are acute and significant, and set in quickly," says ]]> Diane Mickley, MD, ]]> co-president of the ]]> National Eating Disorders Association ]]> and the founder and director of the ]]> Wilkins Center for Eating Disorders in Greenwich ]]>. Other eating disorders like ]]> bulimia ]]>, ]]> binge eating ]]>, or ]]> orthorexia (excessive focus on eating healthy foods) ]]>may also cause heart problems over time. Of course, there are other complications of anorexia such as ]]> osteoporosis, hormonal changes and psychological ]]> to name a few.
HOW IS THE HEART AFFECTED?
The heart is a muscle. During starvation, it begins to get smaller and weaker like the other muscles in the body. Blood pressure may drop and blood flow is reduced increasing a chance for heart failure. Cholesterol increases.