Similarities and differences between anorexia and bulimia
Anorexia and bulimia are serious eating disorders and can be fatal. It is important for those with either of these conditions to seek immediate medical attention. Since patients do not realize that they do have an eating disorder of this nature, it then becomes paramount on friends and family to convince them to get the medical help they need before it is too late.
The fact that anorexia and bulimia are eating disorders is essentially where the similarity ends. The onset of the condition is a result of the patient dieting to lose weight. Even if they have been part of a weight loss program, there is a danger of this developing into a serious disorder when their self-image is never what they want it to be. Some of the symptoms of both are the same, such as drinking excessive amounts of water, abuse of laxatives, poor self-image and poor health.
A person who is anorexic is basically in starvation mode. They eat only foods that are low in calories or have no calories at all. They also eat very small portions and as a result the body is not getting the nutrition it needs to stay healthy. A person with bulimia does eat a lot of food – probably junk food. Then this person either vomits the food or takes laxatives to get rid of the food and the calories.
An anorexic person is constantly on a diet and the weight is always uppermost in the mind of this person. It could be the fear of gaining weight that causes the person to impose strict food guidelines on himself/herself. It could also be because the person has to be in control at all times. The emotions become numb in this condition. They eat only minute amounts of food and only feel safe if they are starving.
A person who is bulimic wants to gain weight and gorges on food. Then guilt sets in and the person needs to rid the body of what was eaten. The bulimic person forces vomiting to occur. Bulimics also exercise to excess to force the body to burn fat. They are prone to eating large amounts of food at one time.
If you have a friend or family member who exhibits any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to a doctor as soon as possible. Both disorders can be reversed if medical help is given in time.