Health & Support
Moderators: autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405


How dangerous is a 15.5 BMI?

Quote  |  Reply

Self explanitory - thanks all

Edited Aug 08 2013 22:44 by coach_k
Reason: locked to prevent unnecessary zombie bumps
7 Replies (last)


  I was reading an article months ago regarding eating disorders. A woman's fiance developed an eating disorder, which went on for a couple of years. He eventually fell to a BMI of 15. He had a heart attack and was hospitalised. He gained weight, but lost it once he returned home. (IIRC) To cut a long story short, he suffered another 2 heart attacks and the 3rd one killed him.

   I was only a couple of weeks into recovery when I was reading this and it really hit home. My BMI was in the 15 mark at this point.


Having a BMI so low is extremely dangerous. You may feel fine, but you really can't see what's happening inside your body.

extremely dangerous, literally life threatening. 

I know that had I gone to that bmi I for sure wouldn't be alive. at bmi 17-ish my organs were days away from failing. my blood test results shocked me into being serious about recovery.

scary scary stuff :(

One of my best friends died with a BMI of 16.

15.5 is VERY dangerous and typically is grounds for being taken into custody of a hospital against one's will (at least where I am living currently you can be taken away- even when you are over 18-years-old)

Severely dangerous

I was seconds away from dieing when I  was at a BMI of 14.5. 

I think you know that a BMI of anything lower than 18.5 is unhealthy.  Anything below 19 or above 27 BMI increases rates or mortality, chronic illness and diseases of the heart, cardio-respiratory, cardiovascular and many other related illnesses.  Some of which are reversible and non-reversable.  To be healthy and prevent such illnesses aim for a range in-between the above range. 

Very dangerous. Anything under 18.5 is considered underweight, and even 18.5 is pretty low. Please gain some much needed weight!

Original Post by billycollins1:

Moderated text

Sure, it's okay if you're naturally thin... and, like, five years old.

OP, this bmi is VERY dangerous.  I didn't even get that low when I was diagnosed with anorexia, and I had moments when I was scared for my life. 

Edited Mar 05 2011 03:25 by coach_k
Reason: Previously moderated text quoted and removed

When I was a bmi 15, I was just starting an intensive outpatient treatment.  I was still exercising fanatically, restricting, felt fine or so I tried to convince myself, was even told by a few strangers that I looked great and they envied that I could fit into a size 0 or less.  I had to have blood tests and an EKG before I could enter the treatment.  The results were shocking.  I had bradycardia and heart arrythmias, and some bad kidney labs.  I already knew I had severe osteoporosis in my spine (T score -3.2 in my cervical spine at age 36, I have the bones of an 80 year old).  I had to beg and beg my team not to commit me to IP and tube feeding.  I barely got out of that.  Unfortunately I later got sick again,  more so, and my regular doctor came very close to having me involuntarily commited.  She said she could technically commit me to the hospital right then (and I am way over 18) but she gave me a second chance.  I ran with it and have worked hard to get better.  I am still struggling but in much much better shape than I was then.  However, the permanent damage to my bones is irreversable at my age and I am looking at a hard future in the next ten years.  I have already experienced a fractured foot and let me tell you it doesnt feel too good. 

The longer you remain at a bmi below what is considered healthy (18.5) the more stress you put on yourself.  You are compromising your immune system, making your organs work harder because your heart for instance is losing muscle mass because your body is not getting enough nourishment to replenish fat/musle/tissue stores.  There isnt enough there at a bmi of 15.5 and so your body has to take from itself.  You may feel fine now but it wont last.  Over time your body will weaken.  You wont be able to bounce back as easily from illness.  Most people who die from low bmi's dont die from being underweight in and of itself, but because their bodies can no longer fight off simple infections that most of us take for granted.  It might happen in another twenty years of being underweight, or tommorow. 

It still makes me so mad that society perpetuates the myth that thin or even slightly underweight = healthy and fit.  The dangers of being underweight are as bad as overweight, perhaps worse. 

7 Replies