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What does it mean Anorexia & Bulimia?

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosaThe psychiatric illness anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. It is characterized by extremely low body weight and by an obsessive fear of gaining weight. The patients with anorexia nervosa try to to control their body weight through voluntary starvation, excessive physical exercise, diet pills or diuretic drugs. This illness that can lead to death in the most severe cases.

Anorexia nervosa primarily affects adolescent females. Only approximately 10% of people with this diagnosis are male.

Note: Anorexia nervosa is often shortened to anorexia in the popular media, even it is technically incorrect.

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa, first described in 1979, is an eating disorder. It is characterized by recurrent binge eating, followed by compensatory behaviors.

The most common cases are enforced vomiting or use of laxatives, enemas and diuretics (purging type bulimics). Non-purging type bulimics (approximately 7% of cases) exercise or fast excessively to “compensate” the caloric intake after eating.