Anorexia vs Bulimia: What Are the Differences?

At some point in their lives, an estimated 30 million Americans have suffered from an eating disorder. However, some eating disorders are more common than others.

Two of the most well-known eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia. Many people think that these two conditions are the same, but they’re actually different in a lot of ways.

In this brief guide, we’ll tell you about the differences between anorexia vs bulimia.

What Is Anorexia?

Anorexia is a condition in which a person will avoid gaining weight and may also try their hardest to lose weight as well.

Someone with anorexia might avoid eating certain foods and will undereat. They may also avoid meals altogether, weigh themselves often, exercise excessively, or exhibit other behaviors to keep themselves thin.

Keep in mind that there are variations of anorexia as well, such as atypical anorexia. You may want to read more about atypical anorexia and how it differs from standard anorexia.

What Is Bulimia?

Bulimia is similar to anorexia. However, instead of avoiding eating in the first place, a person with bulimia will binge on food and then will use methods such as vomiting to purge afterward. They may also use laxatives as well.

A person with bulimia won’t avoid eating food altogether but will purge after eating to keep themselves thin.

How Are Eating Disorders Diagnosed?

Diagnosis for either of these disorders will consist of a physical exam as well as a discussion with the patient. A healthcare professional will ask the patient about their eating habits and may also use tests to evaluate their overall health.

As part of a diagnosis of an eating disorder, the person needs to be honest about their eating habits and feelings towards food and their weight. It can also help to have encouragement and support from friends and family members as well. This will help them choose to seek treatment and recognize their issues with food.

How Are These Eating Disorders Treated?

Treatment for eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia will usually involve several types of healthcare professionals. This could include a primary care physician along with a dietitian, a therapist, or a psychiatrist.

Typically, health concerns related to the disorder in question will be discussed with a doctor. A person’s nutritional needs will be discussed at length. In addition to this, the individual may receive counseling from a nutritionist.

The patient may also get therapy to deal with the psychological side of these conditions.

A person may join a support group with others with similar conditions or may have one-on-one therapy. Therapy models such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be used to help an individual change their thinking patterns. This will help them develop a healthier relationship with food.

Understanding the Differences Between Anorexia Vs Bulimia

Individuals with both anorexia vs bulimia may have low self-esteem and prioritize keeping their weight low. However, the methods and behaviors they use to meet their goals vary quite a bit.

While an individual with anorexia may avoid eating entirely, an individual with bulimia is more likely to purge after eating instead.

Looking for more bulimia and anorexia tips? Read through our blog now to find more useful guides.

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