Eating disorders are one of the most common eating problems in the United States, especially in young women and can majorly impact someone’s life. It might be you or a family member who is eating disordered. Let’s discuss the difference between anorexia vs bulimia vs binge eating.
For example, anxious people who eat too much or eat too often may find themselves in a negative feedback loop from which it is impossible to escape.
On the one hand, this makes it more difficult for these individuals with self-destructive behavior to control their eating habits, and on the other, it makes it harder for others to understand how and why they do what they do. That is why you need to be aware of the different types of eating disorders: anorexia vs bulimia vs binge eating.
In this post we will discuss the key differences between anorexia vs bulimia vs binge eating and what you really need to know about eating disordered people.
What is an Anorexia?
Anorexia is a term used to describe an eating problem where a person tries to diet and feel better due to the intense fear of getting fat. This is often done in order to look or feel better to others.
People who have this problem are often self-conscious and upset that they are so self-conscious due to their distorted body image. It can hurt their quality of life to eat what they see as safe food, which can lead to bulimia.
Anorexics often feel exhausted, due to low energy, flabby, and depressed. They also have an increased risk of mood-related disorders like anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Anorexia also interferes with other important activities, such as eating and drinking, as it prevents these individuals from engaging in normal activities like talking to friends or family members and social interaction.
This disorder may cause behavioral effects such as trying to lose weight by severely restricting food intake through dieting or fasting, excessive exercise, binging, and self-induced vomiting to get rid of food, which may include the use of laxatives, enemas, diet aids, or herbal therapies. Anorexia can be found in both young men and women.
The disorder, anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by the fear of gaining weight. It has been around for centuries, but it was not until the 20th century that it was recognized as a mental illness. The condition can be triggered by many factors such as family conflict, culture, and society’s idea of beauty. This condition can lead to severe health problems such as heart disease and osteoporosis which can lead to death.
Anorexia is a mental or behavioral disorder that can be treated with therapy, medication, and/or both. The patient will have to work hard to overcome their fear of gaining weight and work on developing healthier coping skills.
The term “anorexia nervosa” was first used in 1873 by George B. Wood in his paper entitled “A study of anorectic persons”. In the 19th century, this condition was mostly referred to as “nervousness ” or “anxiety” and was thought to be “nervous debility”.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by an intense fear of weight gain and the pursuit of thinness despite a massive degree of physical problems such as extreme fatigue, amenorrhea, electrolyte imbalance, cardiovascular collapse, osteopenia/osteoporosis and self-induced vomiting.
It has been estimated that up to 1% of the population could be diagnosed with a severe form of anorexia nervosa (A rapid weight loss of greater than 10% of body weight in a short period of time.)
Atypical anorexia is a type of anorexia that is characterized by a lack of desire to eat, low weight, and a distorted body image. It can be seen as the most severe form of the disorder. Atypical anorexia is not limited to women and girls.
Men and boys can also suffer from it. The disorder has been seen in people with different ethnicities, ages, and sexual orientations.
Atypical anorexia typically starts with obsessive thoughts about food, weight loss or gaining weight. People suffering from this disorder have a distorted body image that leads them to believe they are fat when they are actually very thin. They also have feelings of shame around their eating habits and often think about food constantly without eating anything at all.
The compulsions created by the disorder can be around food, exercise, and compulsive counting. The person with this disorder often engages in behaviors that he or she thinks will improve their body image such as exercising to extremes or restricting their food intake.
People with this type of eating disorder have a distorted body image and obsessively monitor their weight and shape. They typically engage in compensatory behaviors to make themselves feel better about how they look, including: excessive exercise, extreme dieting or other kinds of body-harming behaviors such as skin picking, hair pulling and chronic skin picking.
There are many reasons why people purge, but the most common one is weight loss. Many people who purge have a distorted perception of their body size and shape.
Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder in which the person has an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though they are dangerously underweight.
It’s estimated that up to 20% of people with anorexia (purge anorexia) have purging disorder as well. Purging can be done through vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, and other types of self-starvation.
It’s not a healthy way to lose weight and it can lead to serious health complications or death for some people.
Symptoms of purging disorder include compulsive and repeated use of behaviors, including:
- Vomiting or taking laxatives with little or no food in the stomach
- Making yourself sick intentionally
- Excessive exercise to rid the body of food
- Self-induced vomiting can cause retching that can lead to serious problems, including choking and aspiration pneumonia
In contrast to bulimia, which is associated with binge-eating episodes followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or laxative misuse, purging disorder involves a pattern of compulsive and repeated inappropriate behaviors that lead to the removal of insufficient food from the body over time. Among other symptoms are frequent trips to the bathroom in order to expel food from the body and loss of weight.
What is a Bulimia?
Bulimia is another eating behavior, also known as bulimia nervosa, bulimia is a binge eating disorder often accompanied by purging and self-induced vomiting. It is characterized by an elevated appetite and a desire to end the eating episode early.
People with bulimia often have a history of diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity(fat body shape), or other diseases that normally cause increased heart rate and breathing.
In addition to having an increased appetite, these individuals also have a higher prevalence of mood disorders, including anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge-eating and purging. People with this disorder are usually afraid of gaining weight and they often use their food to deal with emotional distress. Bulimia nervosa is often treated as a type of anorexia, but it’s actually a different entity.
Bulimia nervosa is more about the way a person deals with food, whereas anorexia is about how much food you consume. There are many different treatments for bulimia nervosa available for people who suffer from this condition. However, most people recover without treatment or only need outpatient care.
The typical pattern includes episodes of “binge” which can last from a few hours to several days, followed by repeated episodes of self-induced vomiting, fasting, or the misuse of laxatives.
People with bulimia nervosa are usually afraid they will gain weight and they often use their food to deal with emotional distress.
Bulimia Nervosa typically includes 3-5 episodes of binge eating followed by a purge:
- Binge on food (usually high calorie/high fat foods that are not nutritious)
- Purge through self-induced vomiting, fasting, and/or misuse of laxatives
- Binge on more food
What is Binge Eating?
Binge-eating disorder is eating in a rush. The individual is so consumed with the act of eating that they fail to slow down the eating process. Instead, they consume large amounts of food in a single sitting (binge episodes).
Binging is a state of over-consuming that impedes normal eating and excessive exercise behaviors. Abdominal spasms and cramps often accompany binge eating of a large amount of food. It is the result of an over-lacing metabolism, either due to an over-emphasis on physical activity or food intake.
Anorexia vs bulimia vs binge eating disorder are different types of self-induced starvation. The main difference between them is the severity of their effects, but they are all mental health issues that often need professional treatment via mental health professionals or support groups.
Other than that, they’re all very similar in that they’re all harmful behavior patterns resulting from low self-esteem, that result in significantly low body weight.
Symptoms of Binge Eating
Binge eating is a common problem that many people face. It can lead to weight gain, depression and other health problems. Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent binge-eating episodes and a sense of loss of control over eating. The symptoms of binge include: anxiety, guilt, shame, irritability and depression.
The cause of binge eating is unknown, but it has been suggested that it may be linked to impulsivity and/or stress. Many people may also have an underlying mental health condition, such as anorexia nervosa, depression or bipolar disorder.
An imbalance in the levels of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitters could also cause binge-eating behavior.
Binge-eating can be caused by a multitude of factors including: dieting failure, excess caloric intake from one day, fasting and an overactive reward system.
Symptoms of Eating Disorders
Anorexia, bulimia, and bing eating is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Awareness and self-compassion. The initial phase of binge eating is marked by an awareness of one’s unhealthiness and a desire to do something about it.
- Anxiousness. Tunnels into depression, appetite loss, and anxiety around any types of food and other daily activities.
- The inability to control one’s behavior and feelings of guilt or shame. Feelings of shame or guilt when one drinks or does something that triggers binge eating (episodes of binge).
- Episodes of excessive worry. Worry about one’s weight gain or loss or about being late for appointments or work deadlines
- Turning to alcohol or other negative foods to moderate one’s thoughts.
- An obsession with food
- A distorted body image
- Excessive exercise
- Repetitive behaviors that avoid eating such as fasting or vomiting
- Frequent thoughts about death
The abuse of laxatives is a growing problem. The most common type of laxative abuse is bulimia in which people will use laxatives to suppress their appetite and prevent weight gain.
Bulimia and anorexia are often seen as mental disorders, but they stem from the physical effects of laxative abuse. Some people will stop eating to prevent weight gain, while others will use laxatives to purge themselves and lose weight.
Laxatives are a form of purgative. They work by stimulating bowel movements, reducing the motility of the intestines and increasing water secretion from the bowel walls. They work by irritating and distending the gut, which makes it easier to pass stool.
Non-prescription medicines include castor oil, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and bisacodyl. These are recommended by some doctors as they can be used without side effects.
Drugs like loperamide are water soluble and quickly pass through the body in urine, preventing the drug from causing a blood level increase. Loperamide works by slowing down the gut motility to reduce bowel movements.
Diagnostic Criteria & Treatment Plans for Anorexia vs Bulimia vs Binge Eating
The first steps to diagnosis is to identify the eating disorder or any other mental illnesses according to the statistical manual of mental disorders and the National Eating Disorders Association.
If the physical symptoms are not apparent right away, it is best to get a physical exam and seek professional help. They can observe and observe for you. Next, they can identify the symptoms that might be related to the eating disorder and offer various treatments and/or a treatment program.
Finally, they can recommend physical and mental activities that can be accomplished in a short period of time and ensure a healthy weight without the need for extreme self-restraint.
Eating Disorder & Eating Habits
You should always be mindful of your relationship with food. It is a vital part of any human living. However, in an eating disorder, the relationship between the individual and food can be tenuous at best and nonexistent at worst.
If you have a restrictive food intake disorder, you will probably feel hungry and vulnerable if you consume too much food. This is because your body has been pre-taxed for the number of calories you have been able to consume.
In contrast, anorexics who consume too little food are usually thin, but they may also have a tough time digesting certain nutrients. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of your food intake.
Which Diet Should You Follow For Anxiety Disorder?
According to the American psychiatric association, everyone should follow a diet that is healthy. Nutritional counseling is recommended before any diet. Extreme weight loss in a short time is not recommended due to possible medical complications.
As I said, seek nutrition counseling before starting any diet to get rid of the excess calories. The key is to make time for social interaction, nutritious eating, and a healthy body-fat percentage.
An effective diet should meet the nutritional needs of both the individual and the family. It should be low in fat but high in protein, fiber, and vitamins. Some people may find that a low-fat diet works better than a blooming gardener’s diet because both are low in calories, resulting in better physical health and normal weight.
Eating Disorder Treatment Options
There are many ways to deal with an eating disorder. As you can imagine, different diets and nutritional programs exist.
Routine monitoring is one of the important compensatory behaviors for people with a most common eating disorder because it allows them to track and gain insight into their progress. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also a treatment option.
You should also ask your doctor for medical advice if you are able to follow a diet. This is because many diets are based on strict rules that are difficult to break. If your doctor doesn’t recommend it, you should also consider following a diet low in fat, sugar, and calories. This will help your body create a proper metabolic rate and help you feel full.
Complications To Eating Disorders
Some people develop metabolic syndrome after eating disorders. This can include high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, increased body temperature, and increased stress level leading to mental health conditions or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
You should talk to your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms. Another potential complication is an eating disorder associated with an inherited condition.
This can happen to anyone who eats too much or doesn’t lose weight. In such cases, you should be monitored closely by a qualified medical professional and have any dietary issues you may have resolved first.
Eating Disorders Risk Factors
People with an eating disorder may also have increased stress hormones that may lead to anxiety disorders and negative emotions. These individuals may also have increased heart rates and breathing rates. This can be dangerous because it can lead to severe health problems like heart attacks due to heart disease or strokes.
In these cases, you may need medical care and should also be monitored closely by a qualified medical professional and have any dietary issues you may have resolved first.
Help for Anxiety and Depression
As you can imagine, anxiety and depression are closely related. It is not unusual for people to experience both during an eating disorder phase.
This is why it’s important to be aware of the risk factors for all mental health medical conditions and eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating). Anxiety disorders respond well to treatment and are less expensive than depression treatments.
How extreme these disorders are in an individual can also determine the type of treatment you receive. If you have an anxiety disorder, seek help immediately. Family therapy is encouraged to help improve the situation. The best way to discover if you have a risk factor for anxiety is to ask your doctor.
Sometimes, when young people cannot be helped at home by their own families, it is recommended to get treatment in camps for teenagers, where they can get the treatment they need.
Final Thought On Anorexia vs Bulimia vs Binge eating
Visit the National association of anorexia nervosa for free peer support if you are struggling with any eating disorder. Anorexia vs bulimia vs binge eating can be treated if you commit yourself to the course.
Exercise is more important than dieting, especially dieting excessively. (View our Fitness Quotes For Women page, that is filled with inspirational quotes to help with a workout.)
Watch your eating patterns and to avoid medical problems, keep your normal body weight. Complete recovery is possible to people with this type of mental illness if they are committed to the change. Make sure to understand and recognice the main disorder symptoms and consider inpatient treatment as well, if absolutely necessary.