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Many things can happen. You won't have much energy to burn if you are not eating, because food provides proteins and minerals that form an energy source for the body. Without this fuel you will feel sluggish. You can become very sick, due to dehydration and vitamin deficiencies.

One of the worst things that occurs during eating disorders is muscle wastage. As much as athletes use their muscles, if you do not eat enough food to maintain that muscle, it will begin to waste away. While this can, of course, impair an athlete's ability to perform well, it is more serious that the heart is also a muscle. The heart shrinking can cause low blood pressure (hypotension), including orthostatic hypotension - a risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

All the muscles, including the heart can also be impaired to inadequate intake of electrolytes, which are salts/minerals that enable to the body to create electrical activity. For the skeletal muscles of the body, lack of these can create severe cramping and temporary paralysis. For the heart this can mean arrhythmia and even cardiac arrest. Athletes with eating disorders are in even more danger of this lack of electrolytes, because they are using their electrolytes during exercise.

Athletes with eating disorders can become prone to fractures, due to inadequate intake of calcium, causing osteoporosis, paired with the impact of the exercise they are doing. This is particularly true in the case of youth and adolescents who develop eating disorders, as their body is still forming their bones and requires more calcium. It is even more true for female adolescents, because cessation of menstruation (which can happen even to serious female athletes who eat healthy) increases the likelihood of osteoporosis, because estrogen helps the body absorb calcium.

The above are only a few of the many, many serious effects eating disorders can have on the body. There is hardly an organ in the body that does not get affected in some way.

AnswerI am an athlete and I became anorexic last year, thankfully I am no longer! I throw javelin and had competed for my county many times over the past few years. My anorexia appeared from nowhere and I had dropped to only 70 pounds - that's 5 stone. I was forced to stop sport for over a year to recover. I had lost nearly all of my muscles and was very weak and fragile. I have regretted starving ever since. Thankfully my sport has improved and am fully into my training again! x
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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 21:50:19
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Q: What bad things can happen to a serious athlete with an eating disorder?
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