Table of contents:
Anorexia and bulimia are eating, psychological and image disorders in which people have a complicated relationship with food, which can bring several complications to the person's he alth if not identified and treated.
While in anorexia the person does not eat for fear of gaining weight, despite the fact that most of the time the person is under the ideal weight for their age and height, in bulimia the person eats everything they want, but then causes vomiting due to guilt or remorse he feels, afraid of gaining weight.
Although they are similar in some aspects, anorexia and bulimia are different disorders, and must be properly differentiated so that the treatment is the most appropriate.
Anorexia is an eating, psychological and image disorder in which the person sees himself as fat, despite being underweight or at the ideal weight and, because of this, the person starts to have very restrictive behaviors in food, for example:
- Refusing to eat or expressing a constant fear of gaining weight;
- Eat very little and always have little or no appetite;
- Always be on a diet or count all the calories in food;
- Practice regular physical activity with the sole intention of losing weight.
Those who suffer from this disease tend to try to hide the problem, and therefore will try to hide that they don't eat, sometimes faking eating or avoiding family lunches or dinners with friends, for example.
In addition, in a more advanced stage of the disease, there may also be an impact on the person's body and metabolism, resulting, in most cases, in malnutrition, which leads to the appearance of other signs and symptoms such as absence of menstruation, constipation, abdominal pain, difficulty tolerating the cold, lack of energy or tiredness, swelling and heart changes.
It is important that the signs and symptoms of anorexia are identified so that treatment can be started soon afterwards, preventing complications. Understand how anorexia is treated.
Bulimia is also an eating disorder, however in this case the person is almost always of normal weight for age and height or is slightly overweight and wants to lose weight.
Usually a person with bulimia eats what they want, however later they end up feeling guilty and, therefore, they practice intense physical activities, vomit right after meals or use laxatives to avoid weight gain. The main characteristics of bulimia are:
- Desire to lose weight, even when I don't need to;
- Exaggerated desire to eat some foods;
- Exaggerated practice of physical exercise with the intention of losing weight;
- Exaggerated food intake;
- Constant need to always go to the bathroom after eating;
- Regular use of laxatives and diuretics;
- Weight loss despite appearing to eat a lot;
- Feelings of anguish, guilt, regret, fear and shame after overeating.
Whoever has this disease always tends to try to hide the problem and that is why they often eat everything they remember hidden, often not being able to control themselves.
In addition, due to the frequent use of laxatives and stimulation of vomiting, there may also be some other signs and symptoms, such as changes in teeth, feeling of weakness or dizziness, frequent inflammation in the throat, abdominal pain and swelling of the cheeks, as that the salivary glands can become swollen or atrophied. See more about bulimia.
How to differentiate anorexia and bulimia
To distinguish between these two diseases, it is necessary to focus on their main differences, as although they may look quite different they can be easily confused. Thus, the main differences between these diseases include:
|Anorexia nervosa||Bulimia nervosa|
|Stop eating and refuses to eat||Continues to eat, most of the time compulsively and in excess|
|Severe weight loss||Weight loss just above normal or normal|
|Big distortion of your own body image, seeing something that is not in line with reality||Makes your body image less distorted, seeing it very similar to reality|
|Starts often in adolescence||It often starts in adulthood, around age 20|
|Constant denial of hunger||There is hunger and it is referred to|
|Usually affects more introverted people||Usually affects more outgoing people|
|You don't see that you have a problem and think your weight and behavior are normal||Your behavior causes shame, fear and guilt|
|Absence of sexual activity||There is sexual activity, although it may be reduced|
|Absence of menstruation||Irregular menstruation|
|Personality often obsessive, depressive and anxious||Often displays excessive and exaggerated emotions, mood swings, fear of abandonment and impulsive behaviors|
Both anorexia and bulimia, as they are eating and psychological disorders, require specialized medical follow-up, requiring therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist and regular consultations with a nutritionist to check for nutritional deficiencies and a he althier relationship with food can be established.