A look at the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia

Lethargy Thin bones Anorexia is a life-threatening condition. If the person starts eating again, some of that damage can be undone. But without proper treatment and adequate nutrition the end result is death. Bulimia Nervosa Bulimia nervosa is another eating disorder characterized by the need to be thin and in control.

A look at the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia

Signs of Binge Eating Disorder Eating disorders are a group of conditions marked by an unhealthy relationship with food.

There are three main types of eating disorders: This is characterized by weight loss often due to excessive dieting and exercisesometimes to the point of starvation. The condition is marked by cycles of extreme overeating, known as bingeing, followed by purging or other behaviors to compensate for the overeating.

It is also associated with feelings of loss of control about eating. This is characterized by regular episodes of extreme overeating and feelings of loss of control about eating. Eating disorders tend to develop during the teenage and young adult years, and they are much more common in girls and women.

No one knows the precise cause of eating disorders, but they seem to coexist with psychological and medical issues such as low self-esteem, depressionanxietytrouble coping with emotions, and substance abuse. For some people, a preoccupation with food becomes a way to gain control over one aspect of their lives.

Eating disorders are a serious medical problem that can have long-term health consequences if left untreated. Signs of Anorexia Nervosa People with anorexia nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight. They often diet and exercise relentlessly, sometimes to the point of starvation.

About one-third to one-half of anorexics also binge and purge by vomiting or misusing laxatives. People with anorexia have a distorted body imagethinking they are overweight when in fact they are underweight.

They may count calories obsessively and only allow themselves tiny portions of certain specific foods. Continued The signs of anorexia can be subtle at first, because it develops gradually. It may begin as an interest in dieting before an event like a school dance or a beach vacation.

But as the disorder takes hold, preoccupation with weight intensifies. It creates a vicious cycle: The more weight the person loses, the more that person worries and obsesses about weight.

The following symptoms and behaviors are common in people with anorexia: Dramatic weight loss Wearing loose, bulky clothes to hide weight loss Preoccupation with food, dieting, counting caloriesetc. If left untreated, anorexia can lead to serious complications such as malnutrition and organ failure.

However, with treatment, most people with anorexia will gain back the weight they lost, and the physical problems they developed as a result of the anorexia will get better. Signs of Bulimia Nervosa People with bulimia nervosa have episodes of eating large amounts of food called bingeing followed by purging vomiting or using laxativesfastingor exercising excessively to compensate for the overeating.

Unlike anorexia, people with bulimia are often a normal weight. But they have the same intense fear of gaining weight and distorted body image. Because they often feel ashamed and disgusted with themselves, people with bulimia become very good at hiding the bulimic behaviors.

The following are common signs of bulimia: However, bulimia can be treated successfully through cognitive-behavioral therapy, certain anticonvulsant medicines, antidepressantsor combinations of these therapies.

Continued Signs of Binge Eating Disorder Rather than simply eating too much all the time, people with binge eating disorder have frequent episodes where they binge on large quantities of food.

Like people with bulimia, they often feel out of control during these episodes and later feel guilt and shame about it. The behavior becomes a vicious cycle, because the more distressed they feel about bingeing, the more they seem to do it.

Because people with binge eating disorder do not purge, fast, or exercise after they binge, they are usually overweight or obese. Unlike other eating disorders, binge eating disorder is almost as common in men as it is in women. According to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Healththe average age at onset for binge eating disorder is 25, and it is more common in people under age Common signs of binge eating disorder include: Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in a short time, or finding lots of empty food wrappers or containers Hoarding food, or hiding large quantities of food in strange places Wearing baggy clothes to hide the body Skipping meals or avoiding eating in front of others Constantly dieting, but rarely losing weight Because binge eating leads to obesity, it can have serious health consequences if left untreated.

Behavioral weight reduction programs can be helpful both with weight loss and with controlling the urge to binge eat.

A look at the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia

The stimulant drug Vyvanse is FDA-approved for the treatment of binge eating disorder. Also, because depression often goes hand in hand with binge eating disorder, antidepressants and psychotherapy may also help. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder is the first step toward getting help for it.

Eating disorders are treatable, and with the right treatment and support, most people with an eating disorder can learn healthy eating habits and get their lives back on track.But large amounts of food put us at risk for the three major eating disorders: obesity, bulimia, and anorexia nervosa.

This fact sheet will discuss the role of behavior therapy in the treatment of these disorders. May 30,  · Eating Disorders: About More Than Food: A brochure about the common eating disorders anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, and various approaches to treatment.

Order a free copy. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Binge Eating, Bulimia, Anorexia: 3 Simple Steps to Recover from Eating Disorders and Get Your Life Back (Binge Eating, Bulimia, Anorexia, Eating Disorder, Author: Sofia Santos.

Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating, are among the most frustrating and difficult-to-treat conditions anyone can face.

Research efforts at several NIH institutes are helping health care professionals and their patients better understand what can be done to deal with these conditions. Unfortunately, eating disorders can change the way a person perceives different words.

Because a person with anorexia (or bulimia) may need to gain weight as a part of treatment, the eating disorder will cause any comment noting a change in appearance to be confirmation of the weight gain. Here’s a more detailed look at the symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.

Signs of Anorexia Nervosa People with anorexia nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight.

Eating Disorders - Connecticut Children's Medical Center