Eating disorders have very many effects on the sufferers. The effects can be divided into mental, spiritual and physical.

The mental effects can be associated with different levels of anxiety (from moderate to very severe), depression, and difficulty to focus on tasks, low span of attention, lethargy or impulsivity and distortion of thoughts.

One of the very specific effects of eating disorders is a distorted body image when people see a wrong picture of themselves and others. This mental problem is called "broken eye syndrome".

This is when the sufferer sees in the mirror a much fatter reflection of themselves then they actually are. And when they look at other people they judge them according to the person's weight and body looks. Other people can also look bigger to them then the person really is.

Spiritual effects of eating disorders can be associated with loss of self-identity or insight, inability to maintain healthy relationship with people and loss of coping strategies.

Eating disorders become a way suffers see themselves. When you ask a person:" Please, describe yourself. Who you are? And what do you do?", the sufferer describes her/his eating disorder and how they feel about food and other things associated with food or their eating behaviors. It means that the eating disorder replaces their insight completely and they become incapable of relating to the things other then food and eating.

Also anorexics –bulimics loose their ability to be close or intimate with people. They can't connect to another human being on a spiritual level because their spirit (soul) is taken over by food and distorted feelings. Many sufferers even feel disgusted in relation to opposite sex or some other people.

Some of them even say:"My best friend is always here with me." By "my best friend" they mean their eating disorder.

Coping strategies with everyday stress disappear or significantly diminish and get replaced with food and abnormal feelings about food and eating. For example, a bulimic response to stress, boredom or other uncomfortable feelings would be an increase in the binging-purging behavior cycles.

Anorexics will starve themselves and exercise more then usual in relation to the same feelings.

Eating disorders effects on a body could be differentiated by organs being affected. Kidney damage often occurs especially in long standing cases. The heart can slow its rhythm or become irregular and can even stop resulting in death in severe cases of anorexia-bulimia.

Teeth get eroded. Skin becomes dry, fragile and old looking. Bones loose their density resulting in broken bones easily. Immune system deteriorates making a person become susceptible to many infections and other illnesses.

In conclusion, eating disorders effects are harmful and can be lethal. To avoid the worst, one should start doing something immediately. To do find the right action you can go to

Author's Bio: 

Dr Irina Webster MD is the Director of Women Health Issues Program. She is a recognised authority in the eating disorders area. She is an author of many books and a public speaker. To know more about how to overcome bulimia go to