Anorexia and Bulimia: What are they?

Anorexia and Bulimia are two eating disorders frequently visited upon fashion models and people aspiring to look like fashion models.

No doubt you've heard of people who have died or suffered heart attacks due to anorexia or bulimia. Their tiny malnourished heart goes into a cardiac arrest and even if they live they often have permanent damage to their heart.

This is a serious topic and I know you are just dying to go back to reading our regular fashion tips and rants about so-called "business casual", but just follow along a bit longer.

With this blog post we want to get into what Anorexia and Bulimia actually are, just so we can dispel some of the myths and misinformation.

Anorexia literally means "without appetite", but in reality the discomfort caused by this disease is something much more serious, something that goes beyond a simple lack of appetite, as it can cause a revulsion obsessive about food. Rather like a phobia.

In many cases Anorexia produces a state of malnutrition that will eventually lead to death if not treated. Anorexia may result from metabolic changes produced by mental diseases of various kinds, can also manifest in the form of neurosis, and in this case we speak of "anorexia nervousness", also known as "anorexia nervosa".

Today Anorexia occurs mainly in younger women (12 to 55 years), mostly in unmarried girls who develop a fear of fat.

Long ago Anorexia was seen as a disease caused by depression, or as something that came from a behavioral disorder linked to food intake. This is certainly true, but it is now also understood that Anorexia is a real mental disease and it has to be cured with very complex therapies involving psychologists, dietitians, neurologists and even the help of family members and friends.

The disease generally develops from a distorted image of their body that is perceived as inadequate and in constant conditions of overweight. They 'see' fat even when there isn't any fat there.

Anorexia is not easy to prevent as there are many causes that can trigger it, including genetic predisposition or parental conditioning. (ie. a parent keeps telling them not to eat so much or they'll get fat)

Anorexia starts typically with a slimming diet urged on by a problem, maybe real or imaginary, to deal with the feeling of being overweight.

This first attempt to lose weight is then followed by a real obsession with weight control and a fear of obesity, even when it is evident that the victim is progressively starving themselves.

People who suffer from anorexia are never satisfied with their physical appearance, never reach the desired shape and despite all the sacrifices and deprivations, the end result is always the same: disappointment, dissatisfaction and escalating depression.

Bulimia: Literally means "ox hunger".

Bulimia is a pathology which leads to binge eating, the uncontrollable need to ingest large quantities of food, and is then followed by the need to neutralize through behavior directed at preventing weight gain.

There are two commons ways neutralization can manifest itself:

#1. Eating and then obsessive exercise, perhaps even exercise addiction, to immediately shed the extra calories. Exercise addiction is a bit like heroin addiction because it releases a cocktail of chemicals into the body which is highly addictive.

#2. Eating and then "purging" via self-induced vomiting. Purging is the more dangerous of these two.

Binge eating causes feelings of great guilt and therefore the great need to get rid of the food as soon as possible. Purging / self-induced vomiting is seen as the fastest way to remove everything that was ingested as is the frequent use of enemas.

Bulimia first appeared in the late nineteenth century in the form of neurosis, and was often associated with cases of anorexia nervosa. Unlike anorexia which is easily recognizable Bulimia can often go unnoticed as the outward appearance of people do not show obvious changes in weight, because a sufficient amount of food ingested is assimilated by the body anyway during their normal eating habits. How frequently they purge however makes a huge difference.

An early warning sign of Bulimia is bad teeth because of the stomach acid wearing down on the teeth enamel during vomiting.

The factors that contribute to the occurrence of Bulimia are nearly identical to the causes of anorexia: the obsessive concern of weight gain associated with a distorted perception of their physical appearance. Anorexia and Bulimia can sometimes be observed in the same person.

Hopefully by reading this more people will recognize the best way to be thin and attractive is through BALANCED exercise and appetite. Do yoga, go cycling regularly, eat your veggies and live a balanced lifestyle.

Because if you're not balanced then you are heading to one extreme over the other. Being too thin or too fat will kill you, but being a healthy balanced individual with a degree of self-control will make you happier and give you a longer life.

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