Women with anorexia can help themselves

Informing young women with anorexia about their future risk of developing the brittle bone disease &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/columnists/2002/11/14/39497.html ' target=_blank>osteoporosis may lead some to make healthy changes, such as increasing their calcium intake, new study findings suggest.

Having a bone density measurement and the discussion around the results may lead to positive changes if approached in a sensitive and caring manner by a health provider," Dr. Catherine M. Gordon, of Children's Hospital Boston told Reuters Health.

In her study, "many participants expressed that they recalled discussions about healthy steps to good bone health and were able to engage in some of these behaviors later when they got better psychologically."

Much of a person`s bone density is determined by genetics and research shows that people gain at least half of their bone density and peak bone mass during the adolescent years. Teen girls and young women with anorexia nervosa, however, are known to experience early bone loss and to have a higher risk of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/fun/2002/01/08/25033.html ' target=_blank>bone fracture than their peers.

In fact, findings from 2001 report indicated that more than half of the non-recovered anorexic women involved in a 4-year study had significant bone loss in the spine, and more than 20 percent had osteoporosis-at an average age of about 25, reports ABC News.

Some health care professionals conduct bone mineral density tests on their anorexic patients to alert them to the effects of disordered eating on their bone health. Gordon and her team investigated the extent to which the results of such bone tests impact the eating behaviors of anorexic patients.

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