Anorexia And Bulimia: 5 Differences To Detect These Eating Disorders

What are anorexia and bulimia? What is the difference between anorexia and bulimia? Discover the main behaviors of these two eating disorders and how to detect them.

The difference between anorexia and bulimia

Two of the best-known eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia When a person is affected by an eating disorder, they begin to acquire unhealthy habits and attitudes in order to lose a lot of weight. In many cases, this type of behavior is closely linked to wanting to look like certain unrealistic beauty references. Although they have some symptoms in common, the difference between anorexia and bulimia lies in the fact that very different behaviors are manifested to achieve weight loss. Knowing about these differences can help us detect a case of anorexia or bulimia.

Difference between anorexia and bulimia

To understand and detect anorexia and bulimia psychologists highlight the following differences between these two eating disorders.

  1. Restriction or purge: The main difference between bulimia and anorexia is that the latter is characterized by severe food restriction. That is, anorexic people limit the amount of food they eat on a daily basis. In fact, in some cases anorexia can cause severe malnutrition and even death.
  2. Performing exercises or purges to compensate: This is precisely what defines bulimia and separates it from anorexia, where limitation of intake is used above all. One of the common symptoms that anorexia with bulimia is that people who suffer from it can also exercise or play sports excessively to lose weight.
  3. Compensatory behaviors: When you suffer from this eating disorder After eating large amounts of food, people with bulimia try to compensate by purging. In them we can find behaviors such as forced vomiting, the use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise or a combination of all these behaviors.
  4. ‘Normal’ or below-healthy weight: Another of the differences between bulimia and anorexia is that people with bulimia can maintain a normal weight or even overweight.
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The main differences between anorexia and bulimia

Causes of anorexia and bulimia

The different types of eating disorders that exist can affect people of all ages. Currently, it is still unclear what causes the development of anorexia and bulimia, but studies and research around eating disorders suggest that they could appear due to certain environmental, biological and psychological factors. Risk factors that can trigger anorexia or bulimia include the following.

  • Genetics: There is evidence that shows that both bulimia like anorexia like other eating disorders, are more likely to arise when a close family member has suffered from it.
  • Perfectionism: This trait of our personality can influence developing anorexic and bulimic behaviors In fact, people who have perfectionistic behavior that is overly demanding of themselves, that is, those who set very high and unrealistic expectations, may be more likely to suffer from both anorexia and bulimia.
  • Bullying or being teased: People who have a higher than average body weight may have experienced bullying or teasing growing up. In fact, in many cases people who suffered from anorexia or bulimia They often indicate that bullying or teasing from others may have contributed to the development of their eating disorder.
  • Anxiety: There are cases of bulimia and anorexia in which these disorders appear due to the presence of personal or family problems that lead to experiencing episodes of great anxiety. People often use these behaviors to channel these emotions and try to control their weight as a way to also control their environment.

Bulimia and anorexia: How to identify them?

There are many consequences behind anorexia and bulimia Therefore, it is important to recognize these two eating disorders. Among the questions that can help us detect them, we highlight the following.

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What is anorexia? Definition

A person with anorexy sees their own body image distorted, often as a result of having suffered emotional trauma or a depression or anxiety disorder. Normally, when someone suffers from anorexia they usually see behaviors characterized by extreme diets or weight loss as a method to regain control in their lives.

What is anorexia?

The anorexic people They usually perform a series of behaviors that allow them to restrict their daily calories. Among them we find the following.

  • Skipping meals
  • Lying about the amount of food they have eaten
  • Eat only certain foods that are low in calories
  • Adopt unusual eating habits, such as sorting food on your plate or cutting it into small pieces
  • Trying to hide your body with baggy clothing
  • Avoid situations that could involve eating in front of other people, which can result in social isolation.
  • Avoid situations where your body would be revealed, such as the beach
  • Extreme exercise, which can take the form of exercising for too long or with too much intensity

How to detect anorexia and its symptoms?

To detect anorexia it is important to look at the following signs:

  • Severe weight loss
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Constipation
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Hair thinning and breakage
  • Bluish tint on fingers
  • Dry and yellow skin
  • Inability to tolerate cold
  • Absence of menstruation
  • Soft hair on the body, arms and face

Consequences of anorexia

A person with anorexia You may suffer the following consequences on your mental and physical health.

  • Low self-esteem and body image
  • Irritability, agitation, and other mood changes
  • Social isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nutritional deficiencies
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Consequences of anorexia and bulimia

What is bulimia? Definition

The people that suffer from bulimia They develop a very unhealthy relationship with food. In fact, they become trapped in harmful cycles of binge eating and purgatory behaviors.

What is bulimia?

Two exists different types of bulimia depending on the type of behaviors they perform to try to compensate for binge eating. The first of them is bulimia with purging. In this, people use a purge such as vomiting or the use of diuretics and laxatives after meals. On the other hand, bulimia without purging consists of other behaviors such as extreme exercise or fasting to avoid weight gain.

How to detect bulimia and its symptoms?

Typically, people who have a bulimic behavior They usually present the following symptoms.

  • Your weight increasing and decreasing in large amounts
  • Chapped or cracked lips due to dehydration
  • Eyes with broken blood vessels (redder)
  • Calluses, sores, or scars on the knuckles from inducing vomiting
  • Mouth sensitivity, probably due to erosion of tooth enamel and receding gums
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Consequences of bulimia

Mainly the bulimia and its consequences Psychological and physical symptoms translate into the following effects.

  • Low self-esteem and body image
  • Irritability, agitation, or other mood changes
  • Social isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Physical problems due to laxative use or vomiting

If you detect any of these symptoms of both anorexia like bulimia In a family member, friend or partner, it is vital that you refer them to a professional psychologist. On many occasions, both your mental and physical health can be in danger.