Term Paper: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia

Pages: 2 (664 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Disease  ·  Buy for $19.77

¶ … anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two of the most prevalent eating disorders in America today. Both affect individuals, but they can affect family members too as sufferers struggle to conquer the diseases.

Anorexia nervosa is not a new disease, it has been written about in medieval times, but today, it is prevalent in society because of the considerable pressure on young people, especially women, to be thin. Anorexia, simply, is the denial of food in order to grow thin. Anorexics typically eat little or next to nothing to maintain a body weight that is at least 85% under what is considered normal body weight. In addition, anorexics do not see themselves as too thin, and they obsess about gaining even a pound. They see themselves as fat, even when they are underweight. In older girls, it can also affect monthly menstrual cycles, causing them to disappear

Smolak, Levine, and Striegel-Moore xvi). For a diagnosis, all of these items must be present, and the menstrual cycles must have ceased for at least three months.

In contrast, bulimia is a far different eating disorder, where the sufferer binges on high-calorie foods, often thousands of calories at a time, and then purges to rid themselves of the food and thereby avoid weight gain. Bulimia can also involve purging by taking laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and other medications to reduce weight. Binging involves also involves a feeling of lack of control during the eating episodes, and often includes fasting or excessive exercise after the event (Smolak, Levine, and Striegel-Moore xvi). For a diagnosis, all of these items must be present, and the bulimic must purge at least two times per week.

There are certain indicators and characteristics for each of these diseases, including personal and familial characteristics. Anorexics tend to be young, white females, who begin dieting in their adolescent years. They also tend to be from higher socioeconomic levels. Many studies have also shown that initially, young women… [END OF PREVIEW]

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