Gastrointestinal Complications of Refeeding in Anorexia Nervosa

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Trees N
Beaty L
Cusimano C
Estry K
Koutsavlis A
Mehler P


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complicated and life-threatening mental illness. Restoration of weight and nutrition rehabilitation are key elements for the treatment of AN. However, gastrointestinal (GI) complications often develop due to eating disorder behaviors, concomitant malnutrition, and during the refeeding process. These problems may give rise to significant medical complications and contribute to increased difficulties with refeeding and weight restoration. This review aims to describe common GI complications in AN including delayed gastric emptying, gastric dilatation, superior mesenteric artery (SMA) syndrome, refeeding hepatitis, and refeeding syndrome. Recommendations for clinicians refeeding a patient with AN are provided. Knowledge of these GI manifestations is required for correct management and successful nutritional rehabilitation of patients with AN.


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Review Article