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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 1990 Jul;12(4):264-70.

Untreated anorexia nervosa. A case study of the medical consequences.

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University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa.


This case demonstrates the devastating physical sequelae of 30 years of untreated anorexia nervosa. A full array of these consequences occur in this one patient and include the following: malnutrition and hypoproteinemia, electrolyte disturbances, cortical atrophy with hydrocephalus ex vacuo, tricuspid and mitral valvular dysfunction, anemia, impaired lower gastrointestinal motility, delayed gastric emptying, disturbances in the hypothalamic pituitary target organ axes, severe osteoporosis, marked edema, and extreme muscle wasting. Other possible physical sequelae of her anorexia nervosa are discussed. Psychiatrists, as well as other physicians, should be vigilant in diagnosing this illness and treating it as early as possible. This particular patient was in the medical system for numerous admissions and workups over three decades before the correct diagnosis of anorexia nervosa was made.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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