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Ask the Experts


I've had anorexia for 8 months now. I'm 5 ft. 6 in. tall and weigh 75 lbs. I've been given an eating plan by my therapist which I'm trying to stick to, but I've started taking diet pills because I don't want to put on weight. Can this do harm to my body and could I stop seeing my doctor if I wanted to or can you be forced to see the doctor?

Answered by: Evelyn Attia

Anorexia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening disorder that is characterized by reluctance or refusal to maintain normal weight together with exaggerated fear of fat or weight gain. Low weight has been associated with multiple medical problems including anemia, slow heart rate, bone loss, liver and kidney damage and sudden death.

Diet pills are potentially dangerous because they often contain stimulant ingredients that can stress the heart, and because they keep you from doing what you need to do most -- feed yourself adequate nutrition. Different states and countries have different rules about involuntary (forced) treatment.

Generally, treatment teams and families work hard to help patients accept treatment in order to avoid involuntary arrangements.