Anorexia and bulimia: an overview of the disorder

Essay by seicheCollege, Undergraduate September 2002

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Anorexia and bulimia are really complex disorders that stems from much

more than just weight preoccupation. There are usually under lying issues that

need to be resolved. The food is often just how the problem manifests itself

(Levenkron, 164). People will develop eating disorders when they feel they need

control. Controlling the body can seem like the ultimate control to the anorexic

(Robbins, 33). Families with eating disorders often have dependency patterns

that are unhealthy (Robbins, 33). It isn't uncommon for a eating disorder victim to

have suffered from sexual assault, perfectionism, identity conflicts, or trouble

communicating (Robbins, 34). A young girl might become anorexic when she hits

puberty, while trying to keep her body child like. Fear of womanhood, and

maturation are common. The loss of periods and breast often fuel the obsession

(Levenkron, 174).

Anorexia Nervosa is a eating disorder primarily characterized by a persons

refusal to eat.

To be diagnosed with anorexia a victim will have lost 15% of his or

her body weight. They will refuse to eat enough to adequately nourish their body.

There is usually a distorted body image, so that even when severely underweight,

a person will believe that they are overweight, or normal (Smith, 11-16). A

person with anorexia will sometimes limit their caloric intake to under 300 calories

a day (Levenkron, 6). physical symptoms include slowed digestion, constipation,

coldness, lanugo, ammenohea, weakness, kidney and liver damage, loss of

muscle, infertility, osteoporosis, and irregular heart beats (Smith, 13-14).

Bulimia is when a person eats and then uses some method to get the food

out of there body. Vomiting being the most common. Emetic, laxatives, and

diuretics are methods that are also used (Levenkron, 7). A person with bulimia

will often binge, which is consuming large quantities of food, that are high in...