Anorexia and Bulimia

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Anorexia: Afraid of Food and Weight Gain

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Distortion in Perception of Weight

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Bulimia and Binging

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Fear of Weight Gain and Purging

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Anorexia Nervosa & Bulimia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder associated with the fear of food due to an intense dependence on body image. Patients suffering from this disorder have a distorted or perceived body image that they become obsessed with leading to the fear of food to avoid weight gain. Patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa indulge in obsessive habits over what they eat and also strictly restrict their food intake in order to maintain or acquire the body shape or weight they desire. The reason why Anorexia Nervosa is classified both as a mental and eating disorder is the symptoms and diagnosis it generates. This disorder is generated by psychological impressions that make the person feel less attractive or desirable and the condition is mainly a means to solving the impression created.

Anorexia Nervosa patients are not necessarily overweight, however the drive and the desperate need to achieve the perceived body image lead them to avoiding food that are essential for their general development. This disorder starts from teenage years where teenagers are easily influenced by peers and media on how to look and how much to weigh. Once the disorder starts from teenage years, it can proceed to adulthood if there are no medical interventions putting the patient’s general health at risk. Most of the patients obsess with calorie counting, weight check, take up supplements or medications with the intention of reducing weight. The obsessive nature with one’s body image may lead to self-esteem issues when one feels like they are not what they should be or do not look as good as they should.

Bulimia Nervosa is also an eating disorder characterized by a dangerous cycle of binge eating as well as compensatory eating. The patients often feel guilty after eating as much and result to self-induced vomiting. The trigger for binge eating and induced vomiting is the distortion of the body image that further influences a deep need to lose weight. The symptoms to Bulimia Nervosa include intense eating periods that are usually out of control and self- esteem issues associated with negative body image.

People suffering from Bulimia Nervosa usually experience conflicts of lifestyle because it becomes difficult to enjoy life without thinking or indulging in food. The patients can also engage in intense work out routines that may lead to chronic physical injuries and further negative self-esteem.

The treatment for Bulimia Nervosa involves psychological counseling that includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT and a combination of drugs depending on the physician’s diagnosis. Anorexia Nervosa can also be treated the same way with the emphasis of maintaining a balanced diet that is healthy and essential for maintain a normal weight. Patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa also get treatment for assisted and supervised weight gain. Dieticians can also be involved in the process of treating both Bulimia and anorexia in order to help the patient identify a diet that is good for maintain healthy weights.  Early diagnosis is important in both cases to prevent internal damage of the body and also to prevent chronic serious complications.

Sources

"About Anorexia: Signs, Symptoms, Causes & Articles For Treatment Help." Eating Disorder Hope. N.p., 2016. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.

Ekern, Jacquelyn, MS, LPC. "About Bulimia: The Symptoms, Signs, Causes & Articles For Treatment Help." Eating Disorder Hope. N.p., 2016. Web. 12 Jan. 2017.

Fairburn, Christopher G., and Paul J. Harrison. "Eating disorders." The Lancet 361.9355 (2003): 407-416.

Giordano, Simona. Understanding eating disorders: conceptual and ethical issues in the treatment of anorexia and bulimia nervosa disorders. Clarendon Press, 2007.

 

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