Anorexia or other wise know as Anorexia Nervosa, is a condition characterized by fear of gaining weight or becoming obese, as well as a distorted body image or in other words, someone who thinks that they are fat when they are probably already too thin. Such a distorted image can lead to an excessive weight loss from stopping food intake and or excessive exercise.
Anorexia nervosa is not associated with any preexisting physical illness. It is found in teens and young adults, but especially young women. Between 5 and 18 percent of known anorexia nervosa victims die of starvation, Such a condition may also lead to abnormalities in the menstrual cycle and increased sensitivity to infection. People with the condition may also be throwing up food whenever they do eat this is known as bulimia. Repeated vomiting can deplete the body of fluids and potassium, and the disturbance can severely affect heart function.
No generally therapy for anorexia nervosa exists. It is often associated with depression and low self-esteem, and patients may benefit from treatment with antidepressant drugs. Psychotherapy, including family therapy, can often helps, and about half of the cases resolve themselves without relapses. But because many persons with anorexia nervosa never go for medical treatment, the exact reason of the condition is unknown. Studies indicate that it may develop in as many as 1 percent of the young women in the United States.
Bulimia is an eating disorder in which overconcern with body weight and shape leads to repeated binging (consuming large amounts of food in a short time) followed by induced vomiting, use of laxatives, fasting, and/or excessive exercise to control weight.
Bulimia in itself does not result in severe weight loss. It can, however, cause gastrointestinal problems and serious potassium depletion, and teeth may be damaged due to the acid of the regurgitated food.
Bulimia usually develops during childhood (most commonly among females) as a result of psychological pressures, the most obvious one being the emphasis on the desire of being slim. Behavioral therapy can be used in treating the disorder. Because patients with bulimia often suffer from depression as well, antidepressant drugs may be effective.