The Effects of an ED

Psychological effects 

Being consistently underweight can cause long term health problems, and influence all your bodily functions, including physically, psychologically and socially. 


  • Lack of concentration 
  • Difficulty in decision making 
  • Pre-occupation with food 
  • Disinterest in hobbies and activities 
  • Less spontaneous 


  • Easily irritated or upset 
  • Feel anxious and depressed 
  • Isolated from friends and family 
  • Unwilling to maintain friendships 


  • Obsessional, ritualised behaviour and routines 
  • Setting rigid rules around what you must not eat or must not do 
  • A need to be clean and tidy or hoarding behavior 
  • Avoid eating in restaurants or in public and avoid social occasions 
  • Drop out of school, college or work and stop doing things you enjoy 

Physical effects 

Heart and Circulation: 

  • Loss of heart muscle 
  • Lower blood pressure and pulse 
  • Heart beat irregularities 

Sex Hormones and Fertility: 

  • All non-essential processes are stopped to preserve energy 
  • Menstrual periods may stop which could result in infertility 

Bones, Muscles and Joints 

  • Reduction in bone strength 
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures 
  • The Muscles weaken and joints become swollen 

Skin and Hair 

  • A downy hair covering can start to grow on the face, forearms, back and abdomen. 
  • Hair loss from scalp. 
  • Dry skin 

Temperature regulation 

  • Reduction in body temperature, feeling cold 

It requires real effort and application to regain a healthy mind-set and body weight. However, if you regain weight to a low, but healthy level, many of these symptoms will go away.