Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa The most common eating disorders In the world are anorexia nervosa and bullmla nervosa. They are serious eating disorders that can cause extreme harm to an individual, including death. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two different types of eating disorders, but share many commonalities and differences when it comes to causes, signs and symptoms, and treatment options that are available. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their height and age.

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The patient has an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat even though they are underweight (“What is Anorexia Nervosa? ” par. 1). The patient Is In denial about the seriousness of their low body weight. People with anorexia nervosa may have also had an anxiety disorder as a child and may also have the desire to be perfect. Anorexia nervosa is found mostly in females, but can also be seen in males as well. According to A. D. A. M Medical Encyclopedia, “anorexia nervosa is seen mainly in white women who are high achievers In school and who have a goal-oriented family or personality” (“Anorexia

Nervosa” par. 6). Anorexia nervosa often occurs In the pre-teen and teenage years and is the third most common chronic illness in teenagers (“What is Anorexia Nervosa? ” par. 8). About forty percent of people with anorexia nervosa will later develop bulimia nervosa. As with anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia nervosa often use their eating behaviors and habits as a means of coping with emotional stress and typically have an Irrational fear of becoming fat (“What Is Bulimia Nervosa? ‘ par. 9). Some people with bullrnla nervosa have low self-esteem and see the disorder as a way of enhancing their self-worth.

Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder in which the person binge-eats and then feels the need to compensate for the behavior by over- exercising or purging (“What is Bulimia Nervosa? ” par. 1). People who are dealing with bulimia nervosa engage in recurring episodes of binge eating where they eat large amounts of high

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calorie foods In short periods of time. People who binge-eat can consume up to 3,000 calories In one single episode (“What Is Bullmla Nervosa? ‘ par. 4-5). According to Boston children’s Hospital, “1 . % to 5% of adolescents and 1 to 4. 2% of females in the united States are believed to have bulimia nervosa” (“What is Bulimia Nervosa? ” par. 7). Young women who are exposed to Western media pertaining to slim and beautiful women are more susceptible to develop an eating disorder such as bulimia nervosa (“What is Bulimia Nervosa? ” par. 17). Although the true causes are unknown, both disorders are believed to have biological, sociocultural and psychological connotations that can Influence the development of eating disorders.

It is believed that eating disorders are caused by a lack of confidence and satisfaction with their self-image, the desire to fit in with the modern-day perception that we all need to obtain the perfect body size and shape. There is also belief that genes and hormones also play a role in the development of eating disorders as well. It Is believed that people with anorexia nervosa tend to be highly Intelligent traits are perfectionism and obsessionality. Anorexics biggest fear is becoming overweight. They have a distorted body image that they are overweight when they are extremely thin, severely ill, or even near death.

The person develops strange eating habits such as refusing to eat in front of other people or in a public place, or preparing a big, elegant meal for others and refusing to eat any of the food that they made. The main goal, for people who are dealing with anorexia nervosa, is to find ways to avoid eating foods and exercise for long periods of time to keep the weight off (“What is Anorexia Nervosa? ” par. 23). Bulimia nervosa is seen in people who have been sexually or physically abused or that have been through stressful, life-changing events (“What is Bulimia Nervosa? ” par. 14-15).

Binging and purging are a way of dealing with stressful situations and unpleasant emotions. A bulimic that is about to binge has a sense of anxiety and tension and once they start the binge they are overcome with a sense of freedom and he negative feelings and thoughts disappear. During the binging process, the person may feel a loss of control and choose to induce vomiting, which helps reduce tension. At the end of the binging process, most binge-eaters may feel less anxious and tense, but may not like themselves because of what they Just did to their bodies (“What is Bulimia Nervosa? par. 27). Feelings of guilt about the purging process can cause more tension and anxiety and lead to an intense, vicious binge-purge cycle. Feelings of guilt can also lead to over-exercising, not eating at all, and the overuse of axatives, diuretics and enemas Just to prevent weight gain (“What is Bulimia Nervosa? ” par. 28). The physical symptoms of anorexia nervosa result from trying to achieve weight loss quickly. People with anorexia nervosa may also binge and purge like bulimics just to achieve the results they want much faster.

Anorexia nervosa can cause dehydration and malnutrition due to the vicious cycle of binging and purging. This cycle can also cause seizures and dangerous heart rhythms due to the low potassium levels in the body. Bone weakening and decreased white blood cells are also other ymptoms of anorexia nervosa that can lead to severe infections (“What is Anorexia Nervosa? ” par. 23). Bulimic patients show similar symptoms with anorexia nervosa as well as different symptoms. Physical symptoms of bulimia nervosa are also the result of trying to maintain their weight or lose weight rapidly.

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