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Anorexia and Bulimia Anorexia and Bulimia are serious, functional eating disorders. There are many similarities with the two diseases, but the few differences differentiate the two. Mostly occurring in women, these disorders cause a person to look in the mirror and see themselves as 73.6-80.6 percent larger than they really are. These are terrible diseases that are almost purely mental and they need immediate treatment. Anorexia is an eating disorder in which a person has an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming obese. This person will eat very little, like an apple, or nothing at all for the whole day. 1 percent of all American women are anorexic, and the ratio of anorexic men to anorexic women is 9 to 1. This disease occurs in more women than men because women feel the pressure from our society to be thin. This disease can cause a lot of damage to the body such as slowed heart rate, lowered body temperature and blood pressure, premature bone loss, loss of menstruation or irregular periods, changed in body hair, grayish or yellowish skin, and mood changes. The body gets run down by having no fuel to run on and goes through many changes. Anorexia is often linked with a similar disease called bulimia. Bulimia is a disorder where a person binged after constant exercising and purges afterwards(self-induced vomiting or use of laxatives or diuretics). This person usually suffers from damaged and discolored teeth, lung irritation, muscle spasms, salivary-gland enlargement, puffy eyelids, and sores on the back of the hand used for purging from where the teeth scrape against the skin. Up to 5 percent of all American women are bulimic, and about half of those suffering from anorexia have been or are bulimic. Cures for these diseases are mostly just getting help from counselors or therapists. Being mostly mental, admitting to others that you have a problem is the first step. Recent studies have shown that some people with eating disorders have reduced levels of certain brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, that seem to play a key role in influencing mood. Although nothing has been 100 percent proven, doctors have found that there is success in treating anorexics and bulimics with antidepressant and antianxiety drugs. Many stories about anorexia and bulimia can be found in books and magazines, and the tales that people tell of living with these disorders are horrifying. Many people go on 500 calories per day while putting in hours of exercise and school work. These many people see themselves as very fat and over weight when in reality people are envious of their bodies. Sometimes they don't realize how bad things are getting and even if they do they won't seek help. Even after being cured of anorexia or bulimia, sometimes obesity comes in to play, and the person has to suffer from yet another eating disorder. Anorexia and Bulimia are very serious eating disorders that, contrary to popular belief, are actually diseases. If you are or suspect that someone you know is either anorexic or bulimic, tell someone and get help! These disorders can cause major problems in the body and should not be taken lightly. No matter what the question is, anorexia and bulimia are never the answer.

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