Eating Disorders, Gender Identity and Transitioning, LGBTQ Wellness, and Adolescents.

M. Brett Debney, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

Risks of Restriction and Anorexia Nervosa

Restriction and Anorexia Nervosa

General Effects

  • Anemia, which can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, increased infections, and heart palpitations.
  • Fatigue and weakness, including fainting spells, sleep disruption, bad dreams, and mental fuzziness.
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, bloating, bowel irritation or nausea.
  • Bone density reduction (osteoporosis), increasing risk of fractures later in life.
  • Neurological problems and weakened immune system.
  • Muscular degeneration, resulting in weakness and loss of function.
  • Edema (swelling).

Skin and Hair

  • Growth of a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm.
  • Sunken eyes, hair loss, bloating, and dry skin.
  • Skin that becomes dry and blotchy and has an unhealthy gray or yellow cast.

Hormonal Effects

  • In females, absence of a period. In males, decreased testosterone.
  • Prepubertal patients may have arrested sexual maturity and growth failure.
  • Infertility, increased rates of miscarriage and other fetal complications.

Deadly Consequences

  • Electrolytes: Electrolyte abnormalities, such as low blood potassium, sodium and chloride, which can lead to irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and possibly heart failure and death.
  • Heart: Changes in the heart muscle, where its beat becomes irregular, potentially leading to cardiac arrest and death.
  • Kidneys: Dehydration, kidney stones, and kidney failure may result in death.
  • Liver: Liver damage (made worse if substance abuse is also a factor) may result in death.
  • Psychological: Psychological consequences include depression and increased risk of suicide.

M. Brett Debney, MS, EdS, LCMHC, CCMHC

Phone: 336-686-3555


Hours of Operation

Mon-Thur: 10a - 7pm

Fri: 10a - 4p

Sat & Sun: Closed


3707 West Market Street, Suite D

Greensboro, NC 27403