Anorexia and Bulimia

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Anorexia And Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa: a condition characterized by intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese, as well as a distorted body image, leading to an excessive weight loss from restricting food intake and excessive exercise. Bulimia: an eating disorder in which persistent overconcern with the body weight and shape leads to repeat episodes of binging (consuming large amounts of food in a short time) associated with induced vomiting. To support our definitions we interviewed Dr. David Praul of Charter Hospital by fax. 1. Is there a typical sufferer of Anorexia or Bulimia? While anorexics are often members of the middle class or affluent society, recent findings show sufferers come from all backgrounds and many different styles and sizes of families. Also there is a tendency for anorexics to set unreasonably high goals and to aim for perfection in all that they do. Generally speaking, bulimia is likely to begin after the late teens, while anorexia more often starts during adolescence. The incidence of anorexia or bulimia in males is about 5% of all cases, with the onset of the disorders generally mid-teens to early twenties. 2. What are the causes of the eating disorders Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia? There are many theories, but no clear picture. It is an over simplification to blame the mass media's presentation to blame the mass media's presentation of the ideal shape: though western society's increased emphasis on the slim, fit body places pressure on many people. We know there are many factors affecting the development of the disorders- biological, psychological and sociological- so the relationship between parent and child need not to be seen as the dominant cause. However the reluctance to mature physically (sexually) and emotionally, and the issues of personal control between parent and child, could contribute to some cases of anorexia. Low self -esteem and poor body image contributes to both disorders; and it seems life crises- such as changing relationships, childbirth or death- may trigger the eating disorders. 3. What are the side-effects of Anorexia and Bulimia? These are described more fully in Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa Foundation of Victoria's brochures on the disorders. The anorexic experiences physical side-effects similar to malnutritian, with severe sensitivity to the cold, loss of menstral periods and growth of down-like body hair. Bulimic women may also stop mensturating or have irregular periods. Both disorders involve the possible dysfunction of the kidneys, imbalance in the bodily chemicals and damage to colon or urinary tracts. Constant vomiting erodes dental enamel and gives the person a sore throat and gullet. Each disorder places tremendous emotional strain on sufferers, the malnourishment of anorexics actually results in an inability to think clearly or

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