eating disorders

11-20-00

Women’s Health

I wrote this essay to a friend of mine who I think falls under the category
of either Anorexia or Bulimia. I felt that this was my way of helping her cure
her problem and educate her on problems that can arise while under this
condition. This was my way of giving back what I have read while doing this
paper and the information I have taken in during Women’s Health.

Anorexia and Bulimia

Anorexia and Bulimia are serious, functional eating disorders. There are many
similarities with the two diseases, but the few differences differentiate the
two. Mostly occurring in women, these disorders cause a person to look in the
mirror and see themselves as 73.6-80.6 percent larger than they really are.
These are terrible diseases that are almost purely mental and they need
immediate treatment.

Anorexia is an eating disorder in which a person has an intense fear of
gaining weight or becoming obese. This person will eat very little, like an
apple, or nothing at all for the whole day. One percent of all American women
are anorexic, and the ratio of anorexic men to anorexic women is 9 to 1. This
disease occurs in more women than men because women feel the pressure from our
society to be thin. This disease can cause a lot of damage to the body such as
slowed heart rate, lowered body temperature and blood pressure, premature bone
loss, loss of menstruation or irregular periods, changed in body hair, grayish
or yellowish skin, and mood changes. The body gets run down by having no fuel to
run on and goes through many changes. Anorexia is often linked with a similar
disease called bulimia.

Bulimia is a disorder where a person binged after constant exercising and
purges afterwards (self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives or diuretics). This
person usually suffers from damaged and discolored teeth, lung irritation,
muscle spasms, salivary-gland enlargement, puffy eyelids, and sores on the back
of the hand used for purging from where the teeth scrape against the skin. Up to
5 percent of all American women are bulimic, and about half of those suffering
from anorexia have been or are bulimic.

Cures for these diseases are mostly just getting help from counselors or
therapists. Being mostly mental, admitting to others that you have a problem is
the first step. Recent studies have shown that some people with eating disorders
have reduced levels of certain brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that seem
to play a key role in influencing mood. Although nothing has been 100 percent
proven, doctors have found that there is success in treating anorexics and
bulimics with antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs.

Many stories about anorexia and bulimia can be found in books and magazines,
and the tales that people tell of living with these disorders are horrifying.
Many people go on 500 calories per day while putting in hours of exercise and
schoolwork. These many people see themselves as very fat and over weight when in
reality people are envious of their bodies. Sometimes they don\'t realize how bad
things are getting and even if they do they won\'t seek help. Even after being
cured of anorexia or bulimia, sometimes obesity comes in to play, and the person
has to suffer from yet another eating disorder.

Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that, contrary to
popular belief, are actually diseases. If you are or suspect that someone you
know is either anorexic or bulimic, tell someone and get help! These disorders
can cause major problems in the body and should not be taken lightly. No matter
what the question is, anorexia and bulimia are never the answer.

Category: Science