Does Anxiety Lead to Eating Disorders?

mental health facilities in Asheville, NCEating disorders are dangerous. They can cause severe health problems that can be life-threatening. Oftentimes, this type of mental illness is present with another form of the disorder. Anxiety and eating disorders co-occur often. Whether or not one causes the other is still unsure, but research shows that the two are linked. If you're looking for mental health facilities in Asheville, NC, call Legacy! We can help you. states, "A 2004 study found that two-thirds of people with eating disorders suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives and that around 42 percent had developed an anxiety disorder during childhood, well before the onset of their eating disorder. Other studies also confirm that an anxiety disorder is usually the onset of an eating disorder, but panic disorder often follows."

Eating disorders typically begin during adolescence or the young adult years. However, they can also appear during childhood or later on in life. There are adults who suffer, as well. Eating disorders are more common in women and girls but men and boys suffer from these disorders as well. Because anxiety disorder is a common co-occurrence, symptoms are worse for both the anxiety and eating disorder. Those suffering from anorexia believe that they are overweight. In reality, it's likely they are unhealthy and dangerously thin. Bulimia causes an individual to binge eat. Then, they believe they should purge, fast, or exercise excessively in order to control their binge eating.

Below, you will find symptoms of both anorexia and bulimia, according to

Bulimia Nervosa

  • worn tooth enamel
  • swollen glands in the neck and below the jaw
  • severe dehydration from purging of fluids
  • kidney problems from diuretic abuse
  • irritation from laxative abuse
  • intestinal distress
  • increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth
  • gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
  • fear of weight gain
  • chronically inflamed and sore throat


  • thinning of the bones
  • severe constipation
  • mild anemia
  • muscle weakness and loss
  • low blood pressure
  • slowed breathing and pulse
  • lethargy
  • infrequent or absent menstrual periods
  • growth of fine hair over body
  • dry and yellowish skin
  • drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the time
  • brittle hair and nails

Suffering from anxiety alone is difficult, overwhelming, and stressful. When an eating disorder accompanies this, it's hard to imagine how to deal. Thankfully, you won't have to do this alone. There are treatments available for both anxiety and eating disorders.

There is no defined study that shows anxiety or other mental illness causes eating disorders. That means it's important to treat both anxiety and eating disorders. Even if the treatment for both is done at the same time and in the same way, it's important that both disorders and be addressed. Otherwise, it's possible to recover from one but not the other. Seeking help for both is essential.

To learn more about anxiety and eating disorders, be sure to visit our next blog post. There you'll find more information about these co-occurring disorders.

Holistic Mental Health Facilities In Asheville, NC

If you, or someone you love, seem to be suffering from sleep disorders, anxiety, or any other type of mental illness, contact Legacy Freedom of Asheville. We can help. Our trained professionals are able to treat your causes and conditions with holistic treatment and alternative therapy. We tailor these programs to fit your needs, not the needs of the group. Contact one of the best mental health facilities in Asheville, NC now to make an appointment.

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