Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are eating disorders that cause serious medical problems. Anorexia and bulimia frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but can occur during childhood or later in adulthood. An estimated 8 million Americans – 7 million women and 1 million men – have an eating disorder.
Malnutrition due to anorexia and bulimia can lead to damage to the organs, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, cardiac irregularities, muscle depletion, bone loss and increased risk for fractures. Although eating disorders also have the highest mortality associated with any mental illness, only one in 10 receive treatment. Approximately 20% of people with anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.
Learn more about the signs and symptoms of these two eating disorders, so you can recognize them in your patients.