Papers And Originals

Relation between Aspects of Nutritional Disturbance and Menstrual Activity in Primary Anorexia Nervosa

Br Med J 1971; 3 doi: (Published 17 July 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;3:149
  1. A. H. Crisp,
  2. Edward Stonehill


    A significantly high number of patients with anorexia nervosa are overweight immediately before the onset of the condition. This premorbid weight may be a feature of their constitution but is sometimes a more transitory phenomenon. Menstruation ceases early in the condition but usually within the context of significant weight loss. However, the subsequent amenorrhoea, related to factors that presumably may not begin to operate until several weeks later, may be a symptom which first draws attention to the condition.

    Treatment included the restitution of body weight to the matched population mean weight for each patient. This may be important, as the mean weight at which menstrual activity returned was not significantly different from the matched population mean weight. A further treatment aim, so far as nutrition was concerned. was restoration of regular and reasonable feeding behaviour, including adequate carbohydrate ingestion. It is suggested that these findings support the view that the nutritional disturbance in anorexia nervosa is an important factor affecting menstrual activity.