Clinical guidance on osteoporosis and eating disorders: the NEDA continuing education series

Eating Disorders
By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS


Osteoporosis is a common and very serious complication of anorexia nervosa. It affects these patients, both males and females, at very young ages. This loss of bone mineral density begins quickly, soon after the onset of the eating disorder. It is one of the rare medical complications of anorexia nervosa which may result in irreparable harm, even if there is successful nutritional rehabilitation and weight restoration. Nevertheless, notwithstanding its high importance, there is a paucity of evidence-based medicine to guide the optimal approach to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. This paper attempts to inform clinicians taking care of these patients about a reasonable and measured approach to this problem, while the field awaits more definitive medical literature.

Written by

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip S. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 35 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine and then Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) until he was promoted…

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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