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People with anorexia have an extreme fear of weight gain and a distorted view of their body size and shape. As a result, they can't maintain a normal body weight. Some people with anorexia restrict their food intake by dieting, fasting, or excessive exercise. They hardly eat at all — and the small amount of food they do eat becomes an obsession.
Other people with anorexia do somethingcalled binge eating and purging, where they eat a lot of food and then try to get rid of the calories by forcing themselves to vomit, using laxatives, or exercising excessiveContinueListenBulimia
Bulimia is similar to anorexia. With bulimia, a person binge eats (eats a lot of food) and then tries to compensate in extreme ways, such as forced vomiting or excessive exercise, to prevent weight gain.Over time, these steps can be dangerous.
To be diagnosed with bulimia, a person must be binging and purging regularly, at least twice a week for a couple of months. Binge eating is different from going to a party and "pigging out" on pizza, then deciding to go to the gym the next day and eat more healthfully. People with bulimia eat a large amount of food (often junk food) at once, usually insecret. The person typically feels powerless to stop the eating and can only stop once he or she is too full to eat any more. Most people with bulimia then purge by vomiting, but may also use laxatives or excessive exercise.
Although anorexia and bulimia are very similar, people with anorexia are usually very thin and underweight but those with bulimia may be a normal weight or even overweight.Binge Eating Disorder
This eating disorder is similar to anorexia and bulimia because a person binges regularly on food (more than three times a week). But, unlike the other eating disorders, a person with binge eating disorder does not try to "compensate" by purging the food.
Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder all involve unhealthy eating patterns that begin gradually and build to thepoint where a person feels unable to control them.
BackCoListenAnorexia and Bulimia: What to Look For
Sometimes a person with anorexia or bulimia starts out just trying to lose some weight or hoping to get in shape. But the urge to eat less or to purge spirals out of control.

People with anorexia or bulimia frequently have an intense fear of being fat or think that they are fat when they arenot. A person with anorexia may weigh food before eating it or compulsively count the calories of everything. When it seems "normal" or "cool" to do things like restrict food intake to an unhealthy level, it's a sign that a person has a problem.
So how do you know if a person is struggling with anorexia or bulimia? You can't tell just by looking at someone. A person who loses a lot of weight mayhave another health condition or may be losing weight through healthy eating and exercise.
Here are some signs that a person may have anorexia or bulimia:
* becomes very thin, frail, or emaciated
* obsessed with eating, food, and weight control
* weighs herself or himself repeatedly
* counts or portions food carefully
* only eats certain foods, avoiding foodslike dairy, meat, wheat, etc. (of course, lots of people who are allergic to a particular food or are vegetarians avoid certain foods)
* exercises excessively
* feels fat
* withdraws from social activities, especially meals and celebrations involving food
* may be depressed, lethargic (lacking in energy), and feel cold a lot
* fears weight gain
* intensely unhappy with bodysize, shape, and weight
* makes excuses to go to the bathroom immediately after meals
* may only eat diet or low-fat foods (except during binges)
* regularly buys laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
* spends most of his or her time working out or trying to work off calories
* withdraws from social activities, especially meals and celebrations involving food
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