Does aneroxia affect puberty and unwanted hair growth?

Hi Andrea,

Does anorexia suppress the production of testosterone and androgens, which consequently may be able to inhibit unwanted hair and puberty? I suffered from aneroxia nervosa when I was between 10 to 12 years old (I am 24 now), and I noticed that my voice remains unbroken, some puberty traits were delayed and some people have commented that I look much younger than my twin brother.

If aneroxia can help, I am more than willing to relive the painful moments of crash dieting.

Thanking you in advance.

Starvation dieting causes many kinds of stress on the body, which is why it’s so unhealthy. One of the biggest stresses it causes is changes in metabolism. Rapid weight loss and weight gain can throw your endocrine system into a tailspin, causing it to overproduce or underproduce all sorts of hormones. That’s why a lot of anorexic teen girls stop menstruating-- it throws off hormone levels needed to regulate all sorts of things.

While losing weight can help reduce hair in obese patients, it usually has the opposite effect on normal to underweight consumers.

For an overview and links to medical references, check out this page: Anorexia induced hypertrichosis

Like Andrea said, starving yourself will most likely make you grow MORE hair, not less.

What a scary message to post! Please, dear, keep it all in perspective! Hair, as terrible as it may be, is still just hair. I think the sight of a malnourished body is much more disturbing than any hairy dude I’ve ever seen.

Agree with Andrea, read somewhere (don’t know if it is true) that women with eating disorders have increased body hair when thay get very thin as it is the bodys way of keeping you warm!

Well, since I’m calling myself “Anonymous” I guess I don’t mind sharing. :smile:

I was anorexic as a pre-teen. My mother actually encouraged it - told me I was overweight when I was not, and taught me that the most effective diet was the rapid starvation one.

The good news is I was very thin. The bad news is about a book long. Let me try to give a couple examples of the problems it caused:

  1. I stopped menstruating and later, after I stopped being annorexic, my periods have always been unusually heavy and painful. I’ve always wondered whether there is a connection - I don’t know.

  2. The hair on my head started coming out. (It grew back when I started eating regularly)

  3. It made me become OVERWEIGHT as an adult. Because I had such awful eating habits. I didn’t know how to “eat sensibly”. All I knew was starvation. So when I decided to stop starving myself … I got fat. I’ve now overcome that and am a nice, normal weight. But isn’t it ironic? Young anorexia causes high weight later in life.

  4. As everyone can tell from my presence on this forum … it did NOT prevent me from inheriting my mother’s facial hair problem.

So I do not recommend this! I can’t tell you how hard it is to learn for the first time as an ADULT how to eat like a normal person - if all you ever knew was “dieting” when you were young. It’s like trying to learn how to read and write for the first time when you’re 60. It’s just harder when you’re older!

If I ever had a daughter, even if she were a little chubby, I would tell her, “Don’t worry about your weight. Just eat right … and if you do that … then your weight will be what God means it to be… whatever that looks like.”

Thanks very much for sharing that, Anonymous. I have body image issues of my own, and I remember how alone I felt about it until I got help. It’s important that we all support each other like this! :smile: