Eating Disorders: Their Dark Sides Essay, Research Paper
“Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder on an overwhelming dread of becoming fat. The result of this unfounded fear is self-starvation and major weight loss. In addition, the undernourishment may cause hormonal disturbances, anemia, heart problems, brittle bones and many other problems, some of which are life-threatening (”Anorexia Nervosa,” 1). Bulimia is an eating disorder that is psychological in origin and can have dire physical consequences. While anorexics starve themselves, bulimics binge on food and then purge by self-induced vomiting. Bulimics also frequently use diet pills, laxatives, and diuretics to reduce their weight. The purging may serve two purposes: preventing weight gain and also temporarily relieving depression and other negative feelings (”Bulimia,” 1).” These eating disorders are a major issue in society today due to society?s stereotypical view of women and young teenage girls, in, but many cases? men are affected too.
First, an eating disorder is an illness that affects several of the United States population because society has driven many people to be self-conscience about their appearance. For example, eight million people in the United States suffer from eating disorders (”The Secret Language of Eating Disorders,” 1). Furthermore, 3% of all young women suffer from anorexia and 3-4% suffer from bulimia (”The Secret
Language of Eating Disorders,” 1). This proves that many women and teenage girls are affected because many are afraid of becoming fat and “unacceptable” to society?s view on women in general. In addition, 1% of boys and young men suffer from eating disorders, and their cases are becoming more common (”The Secret Language of Eating Disorders,” 1). Also, it is a disorder that crosses racial and economical lines, those who succumb to compulsive starving or binge eating are males (Lang, 1). This shows that today?s society has also affected men?s stereo-typical view of their appearance and weight. Thus, eating disorders not only affect women, they also affect men, in which we are seeing more cases of every day.
Second, victims of eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia have many warning signs which help people notice the signs of these eating disorders. For instance, anorexia nervosa has the following symptoms: significant weight loss, excessive dieting and exercising, and constipation (”Anorexia Nervosa”, 2). Also, bulimia nervosa has the following symptoms: makes excuses to go to the bathroom after meals, and eats large amounts of food on the spur of the moment (”Bulimia Nervosa”, 2). This illustrates that anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can both have similar and obvious symptoms to help other people detect them and
prevent the illness from becoming life-threatening. In addition, other eating anorexia nervosa symptoms are: fear of becoming fat, distorted body image, and hyper activity (”Anorexia Nervosa”, 2). Also, bulimia nervosa ?s emotional symptoms are: mood swings ans makes excuses to go to the bathroom after meals (”Bulimia Nervosa”, 2). This reveals that these eating disorders can affect a person not only physically, but emotionally too. Therefore, a bulimic or anorexic person can be hurting themselves physically and emotionally as well.
Most importantly, when a person has a disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, they are affected in many ways and sometimes don?t realize the effects of the disorder. For example, if a persons hands and feet are cold at a normal room temperature and if they have dry, sallow skin, this person could be experiencing the consequences of anorexia nervosa (”Anorexia Nervosa”, 2). Furthermore, if a person has tooth enamel erosion, gum infections, cavities and tooth discoloration caused byt stomach acids rom frequent vomiting, the person is experiencing the consequences of purging due to bulimia nervosa (”Bulimia”, 2). This proves that anorexia and bulimia nervosa can both have different consequences and effect than weight loss. In addition, anorexia nervosa also has many medical effects such as hormonal disturbances, anemia, heart problems, and brittle bones which can be life-threatening (Roan, 2-3). Also, bulimia nervosa has such medical effects as self-induced vomiting can result in irritation and tears in the lining of the throat, esophagus and stomach (Waltz, C12). This reveals that the medical effects and consequences can be sever and life-threatening if the eating disorder is not caught at an early stage. So, anorexia and bulimia nervosa can have several effect those which are physical and others that are medical consequences.
In conclusion, the most important thing that one can do for a person who is suffering from any kind of eating disorder is help them through it and help them seek medical attention. The medical attention that is required for this kind of treatment is normalization of eating patterns, enhancement of self-esteem, development of solid self-concept, and improvement of problem-solving and decision-making skills. Support from family members and friends is helpful for the victim?s recovery.
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Lang, John. “Eating disorders afflicting men, too. No one?s sure how many, but the problem crosses racial, economic lines.” Detroit News 15 March 2000, sec. 1: 12.
Roan, Shari. “Teens: They?re Often the Patients the Health-Care System Forgot.” Los Angeles Times 3 April 2000: A8.
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Waltz, David. “Eating disorders know no borders.” Laredo Morning Times 13 June 1999: C12.