Is It Hard To Gain Weight After An Eating Disorder Differences Between Bulimia and Anorexia

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Differences Between Bulimia and Anorexia

The two most common eating disorders (usually attributed to women more than men) are anorexia and bulimia. And although both are very similar, anorexia has more to do with inadequate eating, which in turn results in poor caloric intake for the sufferer, and bulimia is where the sufferer burps shortly after eating, which affects both digestion and prevents absorption of the food.

Bulimia – (bulimia nervosa) is where the sufferer eats large amounts of food (often too quickly) followed by self-induced vomiting, the ingestion of laxatives, stimulants or diuretics, and exercise (before the food can be digested) as a way to of their intake.

Although the condition has been around for many years now (the first recorded case was by a British psychiatrist in 1979), bulimia is still considered a relatively new disease. And because of this, a lot of data on the prevalence of the disease is still missing, mainly due to the difficulty of detecting it in a sufferer.

The little that is known about the disease, however, indicates that it is more likely to be found in women who come from low-income families, athletes, dancers and gymnasts. With the last three being put down to the sufferer trying to achieve the perfect body.

Anorexia – (anorexia nervosa) is where the sufferer has an abnormal perception of body image, obsessed with having a super slim figure – resulting in the fear of weight gain. This is usually with an unreasonable/unhealthy restriction of food, often resulting in a rapid weight loss for the sufferer.

The chance of a female being affected by anorexia is estimated to be around 1%, with it being lower for a male at just 0.1%, however this is when the age range for both is between 15 and 20 years is old.

It is strange that anorexia actually means a loss of appetite, however, anorexia sufferers do not have this loss, and only seem to have it. If the intake of food is usually limited by self-inflicted.

Similarities between the two –

1. More common in women than in men.

2. Bad breath.

3. Cold hands and feet due to fat loss, low blood pressure, and poor circulation.

4. Irregular menstruation.

5. Poor hair growth (telogen effluivium).

6. Bad growth of nail, tender and painful (paronychia).

7. Severe depression.

8. Skin complaints such as: fungal infections on the hands (inter-digital intertrigo), itching all over the body (pruritus), rashes, acne, dermatitis, color changes on the hands, toes and face (acrocyanosis), stretch marks (striea distensea), blotchy skin (livedo reticularis), and mouth sores (angular stomatitis).

Differences between the two –

1. Anorexia sufferers do not eat, while bulimia sufferers do, although the bulimia sufferers try to purge immediately afterwards (mostly through vomiting). The latter is not the case with anorexia sufferers.

2. Anorexia sufferers have a perception that their body is grossly overweight, where bulimia sufferers do not; however, they DO use extreme methods to achieve the super-slim body that they desire.

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