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Signs and Treatment of Anorexia and Bulimia

Updated on July 26, 2013

Anorexia or Bulimia

Anorexia or bulimia, how do you know the difference between the two? How do you know if a person you know suffers from these diseases? Are there treatments for them? Yes! In this hub I have packed the answers to all of those questions, keep reading to find out what they are.

Anorexia and Bulimia are almost complete opposites in their behavior. They are both eating disorders that can ultimately end your life. They both are used to achieve the exact same goal, to be thin. People with one of these disorders are never satisfied with the way they look and push it way to far.

I cant stress enough how detrimental to a persons health and life these disorders can be. Most people with one of these disorders deny that they have a problem. I had a friend that I went to school with, we were in the 7th or 8th grade and she suffered from bulimia and everyone knew it because she didn't hide it very well but when asked she would still deny that she was doing it to lose weight her excuse was always "it must have been some bad food" but nobody, including myself tried to help her. At the time I really didn't understand the dangers of it and I certainly didn't know that some people consider it as a disease. Looking back today and knowing what I know now I wish I would have taken some kind of action or made some type of effort to help her. She was beautiful and everyone liked her so I don't know why she felt she had to do that to herself. Looking at it as a teenager's point of view, I was kind of envious of her in a sense. She never had a problem getting a boyfriend, or even making friends or fitting in. Fortunately she survived it and she didn't lose her life.

I don't know if anybody has ever seen it but it aired on Lifetime I believe. The Tracy Gold story, that is a perfect example of a true story of a person who suffers from anorexia. Some people were surprised, well I know I was when this story hit the TV screen. She's an actress, if it can happen to her it can happen to your daughter, your granddaughter, your sister, your best friend, hey maybe even your mother. These diseases do not discriminate and you have to do something about it if you ever find yourself involved with someone that suffers from these things. Don't just sit around and do nothing. Get them some help, If you don't then they may end up the "exception" and ultimately lose their life.

If you suspect someone has anorexia here are some symptoms to look for:

  1. drastic or unhealthy amounts of weight loss
  2. Obsessively afraid that they will get fat
  3. Rarely eating but insisting that they are not hungry
  4. Constantly exercising more than the typical person
  5. no regular menstrual cycle
  6. constantly sensitive to the cold
  7. the loss of hair
  8. decaying teeth
  9. always tired

These are just some of the symptoms. If you know someone that could possibly be having these symptoms please seek help for them immediately.

Anorexia is when a person slowly starves themselves. Instead of eating a plate of food, they basically eat like a piece of bread or something that isn't big enough to satisfy a small bird. Over a certain period of time of doing this regularly you end up malnourished and so thin you can literally count every bone in your body. This is considered a serious disease, and can result in death if not treated correctly. What could cause a person to take such drastic measures in their life as this?

According to WebMD nobody really knows the exact cause of anorexia, but I believe that peer pressure, and the sense of trying to fit in or belong in a certain group has a lot to do with it. Self image, bullying and ridicule are also some things that I believe take part in these people's life decisions. The great news is that there is treatments to cure this eating disorder.

Healthcare professionals state that people with this disorder need a mental health therapist, nutritionalist and a main doctor to start treatment. The treatment they must undergo must last a long period of time for it to be successful it is not short term care. Medication can be used but not to many healthcare professionals recommend it because it rarely works in this particular situation.

A mental health therapist is a key part of the treatment for the simple fact that they can talk to you and probe you for details of your past and perhaps find the root cause for the path that you have chosen and advise you on how you can start looking into a different light of things about yourself and try to convert the negatives into the positives.

A nutritionalist can show you how you can eat good size portions of things without gaining weight with proper diet and exercise. Showing you proper foods to eat is instrumental in weight gain. Healthy foods give your body the proper nutrition needed to be healthy and not deathly underweight. because lets face it everyone is different. Everyone's body absorbs foods in different ways. They can honestly show you that there is an alternative to stay at a safe and healthy weight without starving yourself and if you are willing to listen and work with them they can help you fight this disease.

The doctor is used for constant check ups and regular medical care.

People who suffer from bulimia are people that can fit into the correct weight category for their age and shape. The word bulimia means "binge eating". They eat abnormally large amounts of food and cant control their eating habits. Afterwards they feel so guilty and ashamed of what they just did so they make themselves throw up. They do this on a regular basis.

Signs a person is suffering from bulimia:

  1. They are distracted by food
  2. "binge eating"
  3. throwing up after eating
  4. usually an abuser of diet pills, and enemas
  5. swollen saliva glands
  6. signs of broken blood vessels around their eyes.

Even though anorexia and bulimia usually show different behaviors the treatment is the same. I hope that in reading this hub you discovered some useful information, and maybe gained some knowledge about this subject that you perhaps didn't know. If you suffer from any of these diseases I hope that I have touched your heart and persuaded you to get help right now before it is to late.

To learn more about these disorders check these products out.

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    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 4 years ago from the Ether

      Great hub! And welcome to Hubpages. If I could just give you a piece of advice, add some photos and that would really jazz up your views, etc. to this article. Nice to meet you! :)