Anorexia and Bulimia are equal opportunity eating disorders. There is no certain race, gender, sexual or religious background in which these eating disorders are more predominant. Anorexia and Bulimia are psychological problems that just happen to deal with food. There are some similarities in the two eating disorders, but they are not necessarily two sides of the same nervosa coin.
Anorexia and Bulimia – The Similarities
Both Anorexia and Bulimia have the same underlying cause – low self-esteem. With today’s society putting so much emphasis on what is perceived as the “perfect” body and weight, those people with eating disorders see themselves as imperfect.
However, that is not the only underlying cause. Depression and abuse – emotional, verbal, sexual and physical – are also common factors that contribute to the eating disorders of Anorexia and Bulimia.
It is important to note that depression and abuse are not always a factor but that it is prevalent in many cases. In addition, in both disorders, eating is out of their power and self-control. Both of their focus is on food, although there are different ramifications.
Anorexia and Bulimia – The Differences
The result of Anorexia and Bulimia on a person’s health is very similar, but the steps leading up to the conditions are not. With Anorexia, a person consciously does not eat in order to achieve what they perceive as the “perfect” body When they look in the mirror, they do not see how gaunt and skeletal they appear. Rather, they see themselves as needing to lose “just a few more pounds.” With Bulimia, a person consumes large quantities of food to numb their feelings.
However, shame and guilt creep in and kick off the urge to purge. They purge via vomiting, excessive exercising, and the use of laxatives or diuretics. Anorexia becomes readily visible once a person drops way below a normal weight.
Yet, with Bulimics, they could appear to have a normal body weight or even appear slightly overweight. Unless you caught them in the act of bingeing or purging, you would most likely never guess there were any problems.
Medical issues are yet another area where Anorexia and Bulimia differ. For instance, with the constant bingeing and purging, Bulimics can suffer from decaying teeth and even stomach and esophagus problems, all stemming from the regurgitation of stomach acids.
People who suffer from Anorexia deal with a variety of health issues like the lack of a menstruation cycle and a lower body temperature. In both eating disorders, they do share some of the same medical problems not listed above like malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances and interruption of body eliminations.
Some of these medical issues lead to stroke or heart attack, which is the leading cause of death in people with eating disorders. So while there are some similarities in these two eating disorders, they are also vastly different.