Eating disorders are unfortunately common in today's world, and many times these serious disorders do not receive the attention they deserve. Many people, particularly women, tend to have problems with eating disorders known as anorexia and bulimia, but often they do not know the difference between the two. While they may seem to share some similarities, these disorders are very different from one another. Both of them are serious and both of them require the attention of professionals.
What is Anorexia?
An anorexic eats only small portions, and they tend to eat less and less as the disorder progresses. They tell themselves that the food they are eating is still too much, and they can't bear the thought of ingesting calories and adding weight. They will often purge what little they do eat. No matter how little they eat, they will still view themselves as overweight, and their psyche can't take that image. They continue the cycle, essentially starving themselves to death. Anorexics often have weakened hearts and other muscles because the body is cannibalizing itself to stay alive. The anorexic will have a frail and small appearance, and they will often have poor skin and hair because they are not getting the nutrients they need.
What is Bulimia?
Someone who is a bulimic is going to go through cycles of binging and purging. They will overindulge in foods that they enjoy, commonly sweet foods and foods that they find comforting. They will eat large amounts in one sitting, and then they will purge the food by vomiting. They want the comfort and the taste that the food offers, but they fear the calories that the food contains. This constant cycle of binging and purging can wreak havoc on the body. The esophageal lining in the throat can wear away, and it can rot the teeth and cause many other health issues. A bulimic often appears normal, and they will focus on hiding the purging and binging habit that they have.
What Causes Eating Disorders?
Many different things can trigger eating disorders in people, but it usually comes down to the internal feelings that a person has. Stress can be a factor, substance abuse can cause problems of this nature and even the way others view and treat the person can be a cause of both of these disorders.
Instead of struggling with the disorder on your own, you need to have the help of a professional who knows the best way to treat your condition. Even more than just the physical implications that will arise, you have to factor in the psychological problems that can be aggravating the problem and that can cause you to have trouble when you are in recovery. If you know someone, a friend or a family member, who has signs of an eating disorder, you need to take the steps to get them the help they need. Their health and even their life may depend on it. The road to recovery is long, but it starts with a single step.