Cardiac arrhythmias (also called dysrhythmia or palpitations): Irregular heart beat, caused by abnormal electrical activity, is a potentially life-threatening complication of malnutrition and weight loss in anorexia nervosa, or chronic purging in bulimia nervosa. Severe weight loss causes thinning of the heart muscles. Starvation, fluid imbalance, or chronic purging may lead to serum electrolyte imbalance. These complications impair cardiac function and output. Common signs of arrhythmia include slowed or erratic heart beat, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness and/or fainting. Untreated arrhythmias can lead to cardiac arrest or sudden death.
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