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Mod4 Art1 - Module 4 Article 1 TREATMENT HIGHLIGHTS MEDICAL...

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©Copyright 2011 MWK Publishing LLC; from The Complete Practitioner: Mental Health Applications (Vol. 6, No. 7 -- July 2003) For next article, go to next page. Module 4 --- Article 1 TREATMENT HIGHLIGHTS MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA Medical complications of anorexia nervosa are described in a review of research. Noting that “anorexia nervosa has the highest morbidity and mortality of any psychiatric disorder” (the 5.6% annual mortality rate is 12 times higher than that of women age 15-24 in the general population), the author describes com- plications “associated with the restricting/malnourishment behavior in patients with anorexia, nonpurging type.” Endocrine/Reproductive Complications • For women who are not taking oral contraceptives, at least 3 consecutive months without a period is a requirement for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. This amenorrhea, which occurs prior to significant weight loss in up to 1/3 of patients, appears to be the result of malnutrition and starvation, rather than only low weight. • Ovaries can be small or undetectable and may have no follicles due to severe malnourishment and low body mass index.
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