Is Anemia from Disordered Eating In the Past?

By February 21, 2013

I have struggled with an eating disorder in the recent past, but am currently on the road to recovery. I used to get lightheaded often, but now that I have resumed a healthy diet, I continue to have problems with shortness of breath and blacking out. Is this related to disordered eating in the past?

Dear Anonymous,

I’m so glad you are on the road to recovery. Physical recovery means that you have renourished your body by both eating a balanced diet and achieving a body weight compatible with physical and mental functioning (such as having a normal menstrual period without birth control pills or external hormones).

Anemia is reversible but can take some time to resolve. It is best to check out your symptoms with a medical professional. Along with other tests to determine the cause of your symptoms, a medical professional will likely check your iron status through a blood test. If you still have anemia you will probably be advised to take an iron supplement in addition to eating a balanced diet.

Eileen Stellefson Myers, MPH, RD, LDN, FADA