Millions of teenage girls and women all around the world are recorded to have eating disorders. As defined in medical terminology, an eating disorder is a disturbing drive or obsession to eat or not eat that greatly affects one’s mental as well as physical health and condition.
Today, eating disorders, particularly anorexia and bulimia, are commonly associated to Hollywood female celebrities, for it has somehow became a trend among stars that a thin physique is sexier and more attractive. Famous female celebrities who are rumored to have eating disorders are Nicole Richie, Mary Kate Olsen, and Britney Spears.
There are different types of eating disorders, and anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two of the most common cases. These two types of eating problems can result to serious and grave effects to one’s health.
Anorexia and bulimia are two different cases of eating disorder. In order to identify them properly, the following are the characteristics of anorexia and bulimia:
Anorexia is characterized as a psychological eating problem, wherein one possesses a very thin physique because she refuses to eat or drink anything, thus, causing the lack of nutrients absorbed in her body. A teenage girl or a woman refuses to eat anything because of an extreme fear and anxiety of becoming fat. Another cause of this type of eating disorder is a woman’s wrong perception of her body weight and shape, thinking that she is still fat and big even though she is not consuming any food at all.
Common symptoms of anorexia are:
1. Extreme of excessive consciousness on one’s body or figure.
2. Irregular menstrual cycle.
3. Selective eating habit; preferring meals that are low in calories and fat.
4. Prefers to wear baggy clothes to hide thin physique.
5. Regularly skips or avoids meals.
6. Maintains a strict and strong exercise routine.
Physical and emotional effects of anorexia:
1. Exhaustion and fatigue
2. Less immunity to other diseases
3. Always irritable
5. Isolates self from friends and family members
Bulimia is different from anorexia in the sense that a bulimic person eats too much food, then eventually gets rid of extra calories by means of vomiting, extreme fasting, or too much exercise. The known cause of this type of eating disorder is binge eating. Bulimia is basically attributed to the binge-and-purging cycle.
Common Symptoms of bulimia are:
1. Irregular eating patterns
2. Too much or abnormal consumption of food
3. Over-conscious of body weight and physical appearance
4. Constant vomiting
Physical and emotional effects of Bulimia:
1. Malnourished physical appearance
2. Brittle nails and dry skin
3. Self-esteem issues
4. Always stressed out and depressed
Although anorexia and bulimia are generally treatable, these types of eating disorders require support and help from family and friends in order for one to effectively break the habit of zero food consumption, binge eating, as well as the purging cycles. However, if the anorexic or bulimic condition is already beyond serious, treatment becomes more difficult and may even be useless.
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