Many people are suffering from eating disorders these days. The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa (anorexia) and Bulimia Nervosa (bulimia). Both are dangerous eating disorders that may even cause death. Eating disorders usually occur in the background of emotional instability, confusion, loneliness, depression, and low-self esteem.

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by unusual behaviors related to food consumption. It is the refusal of keeping a bodyweight appropriate to one’s physical build, age, and sex, the development of obsessions regarding food and weight, and a false perception of one’s body image. People with Anorexia Nervosa are always preoccupied with their physical appearance, carefully weighing their meals and counting the calories they consume. Although people with Anorexia Nervosa sustain constant efforts to lose weight by following drastic diets and exercising excessively, they are never pleased with their accomplishments, always aiming to lose even more weight. Persons with Anorexia Nervosa, despite being underweight, may see themselves as fat.

There are two kinds of Anorexia Nervosa: the restrictive and the compulsive kind. People who suffer from Restrictive Anorexia Nervosa usually have low body weight. They indulge in acts of self-starvation and also tend to burn the little food they eat through physical exercise, to lose weight. Compulsive Anorexia Nervosa, also referred to as Binge and Purge Anorexia, resembles the symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa. Bulimia is characterized by consuming large amounts of food and then getting rid of it by purging it from the system. Just like in the case of Bulimia Nervosa, Compulsive Anorexia Nervosa implies an alternation in eating habits, with people suffering from it fluctuating between periods of scarce eating or abstinence from food and periods of binge-eating and purging.

The persons with this kind of Anorexia Nervosa purge the food out of their bodies by vomiting or by taking laxatives and diuretics. They also tire themselves through long and sustained physical exercise to lose weight. Unlike people with Restrictive Anorexia Nervosa, those confronted with the second type of disorder aren’t always underweight. People with Binge and Purge Anorexia experience changes in their body weight. They resemble bulimics in physical appearance and behavior.
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa have a lot of things in common, and in fact, people who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa may later become bulimic.

Anorexia Nervosa, just like other eating disorders, causes a lot of harm to people affected by it. A disturbing fact is that young people, especially adolescents, are the most exposed to the development of eating disorders. Both sexes are susceptible to the threat of Anorexia Nervosa, but particularly girls and young women develop forms of Anorexia Nervosa due to their constant preoccupation with looks.

The causes of eating disorders haven’t yet been determined. It is considered that Anorexia Nervosa is purely a mental condition. However, studies sustain that there are also physical factors involved in the development of the illness. Also, a disturbing fact reveals the hereditary character of eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.