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Anorexia Nervosa
Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

Medical Complications of anorexia nervosa, ARFID and Atypical Anorexia Nervosa

By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS Kamila Cass, PhD, CEDS

Cass K, Mcguire C, Sobotka N, Bjork I, Mehler PS. Medical Complications of anorexia nervosa, ARFID and  Atypical Anorexia Nervosa. Psychosomatics, 61: 625-632, 2020.

Objective of this Study on Medical Complications of Anorexia Nervosa

The purpose of this study was to describe the medical complications of anorexia nervosa (AN) to enable a consult-liaison psychiatrist to be familiar with these complications when involved with the care of a hospitalized patient with AN.

Methods Used in Study

Comprehensive PubMed search of English language publications of adult patients with AN was carried out using keywords, phrases, and medical subject headings of anorexia nervosa–medical complications, cardiac, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal, hematological, and endocrine. The database search was restricted by time of publication of studies from 2005 to 2020.

Results of the Study

Every organ system can be adversely affected by AN. Most are fully reversible with time and informed medical care. A multidisciplinary team is needed to optimally care for patients who are hospitalized as a result of the medical complications of their AN.

Conclusions Regarding Severe Anorexia Nervosa Medical Complications

Consult-liaison psychiatrists are asked to help in the care of patients with AN who are admitted to a hospital because of a medical complication of their illness. Being familiar with these complications and their treatments will optimize their hospital stays and the care provided. In addition, involving other relevant ancillary services is an important care consideration.

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…
Written by

Kamila Cass, PhD, CEDS

Dr. Kamila Cass is a Clinical Psychologist at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health, providing psychodiagnostic assessment, individual and group psychotherapy, and crisis intervention…

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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