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A Combined Form Of Eating Disorder During Pregnancy – A Case Report

Darina Naydenova, Dimitar Marinov


Introduction: Eating disorders (EDs) are most common in women of childbearing age, incl. during pregnancy. The available data show that ED increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, as well as psychopathological and socio-emotional problems in the child’s development.

Materials and Methods: We present a case from the practice of a medical specialist in nutrition and dietetics. The patient is a woman, pregnant at 26 GW with a combined form of ED (new-onset pregorexia on the background of long-term bigorexia). A set of clinical methods were used to assess the nutritional assessment: detailed nutritional history, dietary intake, clinical examination, anthropometry, and laboratory methods.

Results and Interpretation: The therapeutic approach included motivating the patient to achieve adequate dietary carbohydrate intake and professional advice on choosing appropriate alternatives. The young woman agreed to meet with a specialist in cognitive behavioral therapy and managed to overcome the self-imposed dietary restrictions. Whole grains and some types of legumes were successfully included in her diet. Her pregnancy reached full term and she delivered a healthy child. This clinical case demonstrates that in some instances of ED there can be a lack of significant deviations in biochemical tests, which complicates the diagnostic process. Thus, a correct diagnosis requires a careful approach while taking the patient’s medical history and in-depth conversation about the patient's behavior and habits. Scientific data strongly suggests there are both short- and long-term negative health consequences for the children of mothers suffering from ED during pregnancy. It is important to offer professional advice to pregnant women with ED about the possible effects of their eating patterns on the health of the child.


eating disorder, pregnancy, bigorexia, pregorexia, pregnancy outcome

Full Text


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