Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa Essay

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Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa


Today, both anorexia and bulimia are the most common eating disorders and affect almost 15 percent of American teenagers. Eating disorders are fifteen times more likely to occur in adolescent girls than adolescent boys. They can be fatal and thousands die from every year but this is one mental illness that can be beaten. Anorexia is increasing more rapidly in developed countries than in underdeveloped countries. Bulimia is becoming the more common type of eating disorder among teens. It is difficult to diagnose because many bulimics are deeply ashamed of their rituals and few share their problems with close friends (4). If these two eating disorders are becoming more and more widespread around the world and
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Losing the insulated layer has consequences such as sensitivity to temperature, dry skin, brittle hair, vitamin deficiency, heart rate slows, and blood pressure falling due to the fact that the body maybe adjusting to the loss of energy intake (1).

This behavior has biochemical disturbances as well, which have more serious implications. The main disturbances are dehydration and changes in the levels of some electrolytes in the blood. Potassium and chloride fall causing the blood to become alkaline producing a metabolic alkalosis. Low levels of potassium and dehydration cause weakness and fatigue. Low body potassium and alkalosis can cause irregular heartbeat and alterations in the electro-cardiogram. (1)

An anorexics biggest fear is becoming overweight and continue to think they are overweight even after they become extremely thin, are very ill or near death. Often they will develop strange eating habits such as refusing to eat in front of other people. Sometimes the individuals will prepare big meals for others while refusing to eat any of it (5). The goal for an anorexic is to find ways to avoid eating food and exercising for long hours in order to keep the pounds off.

Bulimia is known as the "binge-purge syndrome" and was once considered to be in the same category of anorexia until recently. This syndrome mostly occurs in females starting in their late teens and who say that episodes of binge…