Essay on Linking Eating Disorders With Genetics

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While Bulimia is known by many names, the term “bulimia” did not enter the English language until the 1970s, “perhaps representing lingering uncertainty about its essence” (Gordon, 2000). Bulimia, as we know it, is a modern disease, however, there is some evidence of binging and purging in ancient times; for example, in ancient Egypt, “physicians would recommend periodical purgation as a health practice” (Gordon, 2000). There has also been documentation of wealthy families in the middle ages vomiting during meals in order to continue eating large amounts of food. At this point, you may be wondering why these examples are not considered Bulimia Nervosa. According to Dr. Richard Allan Gordon, author of Eating Disorders: Anatomy of a Social …show more content…
It is now defined as “Recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under similar circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control.… The person may have feelings of guilt, embarrassment, or disgust and may binge eat alone to hide the behavior”. It is important to note that there is a difference between over-eating and binge-eating, while over-eating is a recognizable problem for many people, “binge-eating is much less common, far more severe, and associated with significant physiological and psychological problems” (DSM 5). Binge Eating Disorder is similar to Bulimia Nervosa in that we see episodes of eating large amounts of food, the difference being that there is no purging after the binging episode. It is seen highly among obese patients, but, perhaps due to a reluctance to relate obesity with an eating disorder, it was not recognized as distinct from Bulimia Nervosa until the early 1990s (Gordon, 2000). Some of the first documented cases of Anorexia Nervosa were religious in origin. As early as the 12th century we saw women, particularly in Western Christianity, known as “Miracle Maidens” who were highly esteemed for their self-control, their “holy anorexia” was thought of as a gift from God. Some scholars have stated “the intense relationship

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