The long-term effects

I've talked about this before, but recent discussions about the role of alcohol and anorexia reminded me of this paper on death rates.

"anorexia patients' five-fold increase in deaths due to gastrointestinal diseases may have been due, at least in part, to the indirect effects of alcohol abuse since 4 out of 6 deaths in this category were from liver cirrhosis. Moreover, other researchers have found that a number of patients with anorexia do not have alcohol problems during the first part of their illness, yet develop them later. Thus, anorexia patients should be carefully monitored for signs that they may be developing alcohol dependence."

Parents are understandably eager to return to 'normal' after initial recovery, we are often told to back off, and the patients almost always want us to let them move on and move out. But it is clear to me that eating disorder patients, even after recovery, deserve a higher level of vigilance on the part of loved ones. Not suspicion or distrust or babying: loving vigilance. Checking in, ongoing medical monitoring, open communication.


  1. Unrelated to the above post, but check out #7 on this website: Refreshingly logical, isn't it?

  2. I had no idea, but it makes sense.

  3. As parents, we must do everything possible to monitor our kids for the rest of their lives. We've got to guard against relapse and medical problems associated with anorexia indefinitely. We also need to educate brothers, sisters, cousins, and other family members so that they can continue to watch out for our loved ones after we, the parents, are gone.

  4. in some cases the parents are part of the problem. then the left over loved ones, eg friends and other family members are there to pick up the pieces, so a little more parental input goes a long way


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