What is Anorexia and Bulimia?

Anorexia and bulimia are two eating disorders that can be treated with help.  Anorexia and bulimia are related to overeating due to tension, poor nutritional habits and food fads.  Anorexia and bulimia are on the increase among teenage girls and boys. Parents should be on the lookout for various symptoms and warning signs of anorexia and bulimia.  Some people are able to hide their eating disorder for months or years.

 

A teenager with anorexia nervosa is typically a perfectionist and a high achiever in school.  At the same time, she or he may suffer from low self-esteem, irrationally believing that they are fat, regardless of how thin he or she becomes.  Desperately needing to feel mastery over his or her life, the teenager with anorexia nervosa experiences a sense of control only when they say “no” to the normal food demands of their body.  In a relentless pursuit to be thin the person starves them self.  This often reaches the point of serious damage to the body, and in small cases may lead to death.

 

The symptoms of bulimia are different from those of anorexia nervosa.  The person binges on huge quantities of high calorie food and then purges their body of the dreaded calories by self-induced vomiting and often by using laxatives.  These binges may alternate with severe diets, resulting in dramatic weight fluctuations.  Teenagers may try to hide the signs of vomiting by running water while spending long periods of time in the bathroom.  The purging of bulimia presents a serious threat to the person’s physical health, including dehydration, hormonal imbalance, the depletion of important minerals, and damage to vital organs.

 

With proper treatment, teenagers can be relieved of the symptoms and can be helped to control these disorders.  Parents who notice symptoms of anorexia or bulimia in their teenager should immediately ask their family physician or pediatrician for a referral to a child and adolescent psychiatrist who works comprehensively in the treatment of these disorders.

 

For more information please contact The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders at 847-831-3438, or visit them online at www.anad.org.

 

Phone code: 1726

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