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Difference Between Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa vs Anorexia Nervosa

We often read about celebrities and even ordinary people suffering from eating disorders that make them very sick, in fact one of my favorite singers, Karen Carpenter, died of complications from Anorexia Nervosa. It is a disorder that comes from a person’s fear of gaining weight and getting fat. The sufferer usually has a low feeling of self esteem and may have problems with their relationships and social life. They grow very thin as they continue to refuse food intake, sometimes they would make their loved ones believe that they are eating by consuming small amounts of food but forcing it out afterwards.

Bulimia, on the other hand, has only been recognized as a separate disorder from Anorexia Nervosa recently. It is characterized by binge eating then vomiting and using of laxatives to get the food out.  Most people who suffer from Bulimia Nervosa also suffer from personality disorders, although they are more sexually active and are within normal weight. Teenagers and young women are more prone to suffer from Anorexia, while Bulimia can afflict older people.
Those who suffer from these two disorders exercise excessively but the physical signs are very distinct from each other. Anorexics are very thin while bulimics have normal weight. Because of weight loss, the anorexic frequently feels dizzy and cold. She is always depressed and has thinning hair. To hide her thin body, she will tend to wear baggy clothes. Bulimics usually have discolored teeth due to the frequent vomiting.

Serious medical problems can result from these eating disorders.  Anorexics will miss their period for three consecutive months, suffer from anemia and will feel constantly tired and depressed. The bones will become less dense and dehydration might set in which can cause kidney failure. Both anorexics and bulimics are prone to heart failure. Due to vomiting, the esophagus of persons suffering from bulimia might rupture and like anorexics, they are frequently tired and depressed.

Treatment for both disorders requires the use of anti-depressant drugs to help with the psychological symptoms associated with them.  The focus in the treatment of anorexia nervosa is on the gaining of weight by the sufferer, only after she is within the right weight can she be treated with drugs. In bulimics, the focus is on making her follow correct eating habits and treating her psychological problems.
As in all health problems, the key to recovery is in the early detection and immediate treatment of the disorder. It also helps if the family is more attentive and concerned about the person suffering from these disorders.

1. People who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa are very thin while those who suffer from Bulimia Nervosa have normal weight.
2. The anorexic will refuse food intake while bulimics will eat but will force themselves to vomit or take laxatives to get the food out afterwards.
3. Teenagers and young people are the usual sufferers of Anorexia while older women suffer Bulimia.
4. Their physical symptoms are different.
5. Treatment for Anorexia starts with having the sufferer gain weight then addressing the psychological problems while the treatment for Bulimia requires addressing the psychological problems and having the person follow right eating habits.

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