High Cholesterol and Malnutrition in Eating Disorders
Posted Jun 02 2012 3:40am
It is not uncommon for people with anorexia nervosa to have high cholesterol levels. Since people with anorexia typically do not consume high amounts of saturated or trans fat (two things, which tend to raise LDL (low density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol, other factors are likely the cause for this.
Although nobody knows exactly why this phenomenon occurs, malnutrition can cause a low level of estrogen and thyroid hormone. Malnutrition can also cause an increased level of cortisol (another hormone). These three hormone changes may contribute to increased levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. Malnutrition can also affect the liver (an organ that is involved with cholesterol transport and excretion), which is also thought to increase cholesterol levels in the body.
It is not recommended that those suffering from anorexia and high cholesterol levels not be placed on cholesterol lowering medications (as you might see in people who do not suffer from anorexia). Rather, cholesterol levels usually return to normal when a person is weight restored and nutritionally nourished.
Conclusion: Eat a balanced food intake and normal amounts of fat and you will be much healthier!