These two forms of eating disorders, characterized by a disturbed sense of body image and a paranoid fear of becoming obese, anorexia and bulimia.
More females than males are affected by anorexia and bulimia, usually in adolescence but now forms of eating disorders have been seen in children as young as 5 years. Current studies to understand the reason why it affects some people, are looking at a possible genetic link as well as the social, psychological and economic factors.
Thin and Desirable are often linked by the media, but does a starved wasted body of a young third world victim have the same desirable impact? It is not surprising to know that Anorexia is virtually unknown in places where there is a food shortage. It is also important to understand that millions of people will be on a permanent diet, only a few will develop Anorexia.
An Anorexic will not lose their appetite, quite the reverse ; they often become totally preoccupied with the subject of food. They will study elaborate diets, some go through rituals at meal times, hiding food, playing with food, cooking always for others and some unfortunately will go on to become Bulimic, which involves binge eating followed by inducing vomiting.
The use of laxatives and diuretics to prevent the body absorbing vital calories and nutrition is also quite common but dangerous.This will lead inevitably to illness as some or all of the main vital organs are affected by mineral and fluid loss. The acid concentration found in vomit will destroy dental enamel and badly damage the linings of the gullet. If treatment is not sought early, death will normally result from cardiac or kidney failure.
Treatment for both disorders varies on the individual, but in severe cases hospitalization is necessary, in other cases psychiatric help and, or counseling have been found to benefit those cases treated early enough.
Additional medical conditions: