The Two Types of Anorexia and Its Characteristics

Two exists Types of anorexia With different symptoms: restrictive type anorexia and purgative type anorexia. "Anorexia"literally means lack of appetite, and it is a symptom that can occur along with other diseases, such as a cold.

However, when the person, far from presenting a lack of appetite, controls the intake to be thinner, is when we talk about anorexia nervous.

Types of anorexia

Many people think that the difference between Anorexia nervosa and the Bulimia nervosa Is that in the first case, people simply restrict their Feeding, while the latter have constant binge and vomiting.

This is a misconception of the types of eating disorders, since there are two types of anorexia Nervously clearly differentiated.

As you will see later, a person with anorexia nervosa may also experience vomiting, binge eating and other behaviors more related to the prototype Of bulimia nervosa.

Different types of eating disorders

Thin Girl Back

The most representative eating disorders - anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa - have in common the extreme preoccupation with image and weight bodily.

People with these disorders - mostly girls - try to control their eating behavior in order to be thinner.

However, between the two mental diseases Important differences also occur:

The main difference is the body weight of the person in question. If you are underweight (a weight lower than recommended according to your Height and weight) and meets the criteria Amenorrhea , Phobia to gain weight and alteration of the body image, it is a person who has anorexia nervous.

If, on the contrary, it is a person who is normal or has some type of overweight, they will be classified as other disorders of the Eating behavior -bulimia nervosa, Binge eating disorder , Unspecified eating disorder, etc.-.

In the case of bulimia nervosa, some studies show that this disorder usually occurs more commonly among girls who have been Adopted.

On the other hand, with regard to people who present anorexia nervosa, it is found that they are more likely to develop this disease girls that have ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - as well as some types of Posttraumatic stress , Especially those Caused by having been sexually abused.

All maladaptive behaviors - such as binge eating, food restriction, vomiting, etc. - are carried out because of the presence of feelings and Overwhelming emotions, as well as to deal with situations that are very painful.

As you can see, these are diseases closely related to emotions, so it is not only about the prototypes of Beauty present in today's society.

Types of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa restrictive type

It is the prototype that many people have in mind when talking about anorexia nervosa, in which girls lower their weight only through Physical exercise and excessive restriction of food.

These people have enough self-control not to be carried away by their desire to eat too much food.

In this way, it is not common for this type of anorexia to present binge and posterior compensatory behaviors.

The characteristics that usually present are:

  • They are perfectionists

These are girls who stand out in many ways: they are beautiful, successful, with abundant social relations, popular and that get everything that is Propose

They are very meticulous and use a lot of time and effort in doing everything in the best way possible.

  • They are hyperresponsible

Those who present this type of anorexia nervosa, as we have commented, have an extreme self-control, which allows them to deprive themselves of food even though they have a great Desire to ingest it.

This same self-control manifests itself in other areas of his life, such as studies or work.

Anorexic girls of restrictive type usually have an impeccable academic record, which leads to a high job and in Which is given a lot of responsibility.

However, this occurs in those cases in which the disease has not evolved much or is in the early stages of the disorder, Girls tend to present an academic or labor deterioration, since the disease deteriorates practically all the lifetime.

  • Behavioral rigidity

Lack of spontaneity is another common feature of this subtype of anorexia nervosa.

As we discussed earlier, girls have excessive control over themselves, which they carry out at the expense of enjoyment and fun.

Thus, these people are more concerned with showing proper behavior to others than enjoying and having fun at parties or other events social.

  • Feelings of ineffectiveness

Despite all that we have discussed above about perfectionism, hyperresponsibility, etc., these girls feel that they should strive harder To achieve perfection.

When they make a mistake or mistake, they are classified as excessively unpleasant and unbearable, negatively affecting their self-esteem.

They are never considered good enough because of their high self-criticism.

These feelings of personal ineffectiveness also occur because they are often compared to the people around them, as if they were competing constantly.

Anorexia nervosa of the purgative type

People with this subtype of anorexia nervosa also have a weight below the ideal in terms of their body characteristics.

However, unlike the subtype discussed above, people who present purgative-type anorexia nervosa carry on binge eating Are often followed by compensatory behaviors-self-induced vomiting, laxative intake, diuretics, etc.-.

This is why it has also been called bulimic type anorexia nervosa.

Recall that the difference between this disease and bulimia is that people do not suffer a weight below the indicated.

Moreover, this subtype of bulimia has many similarities with bulimia nervosa (especially with regard to the characteristics of Personality of the people who suffer it).

The specific characteristics of this purgative subtype are the following, mainly:

  • Cases of obesity in the family

In the subtype of anorexia nervosa we are describing, it is common for people who suffer from it to have relatives who have had or are obese.

  • Premorbid overweight

It is also frequently found that girls who present purgative anorexia nervosa have been overweight in the past, which has Influenced by the fact that the person presents an eating disorder today.

  • Frequent dysthymic reactions

This characteristic refers to the fact that people usually have a depressed, apathetic or discouraged mood.

It can also occur, in some people, in the form of irritability.

On numerous occasions, they say they find it difficult to enjoy the small pleasures of everyday life.

  • Emotional Ability

This particularity refers to the fact that people who present this type of anorexia nervosa are usually very emotionally unstable.

They often experience feelings of sadness and emptiness that alternate with feelings of euphoria.

The lability or sudden changes in the emotional aspect are reflected in the alimentary conducts that they carry out, reason why they lose control On themselves frequently, just as they can not control their emotions.

Here we find, therefore, a fundamental difference with respect to the type of restrictive anorexia, in which they had a high self-control.

  • Comorbidity with other addictive behaviors

In the purgative subtype, there are frequently cases in which Addiction to food Is accompanied by other addictions, such as alcohol, tobacco, other Substances, etc.

As you can see, the subtypes of anorexia nervosa share some characteristics - such as causes, low weight, etc. - although they also have numerous Differences.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Very thin girl

The main characteristic of anorexia nervosa is the interest in continuing to lose weight, even though they are below their ideal weight.

Other criteria already mentioned, such as amenorrhea in women - absence of at least 3 cycles of menstruation - or Menarche In prepubescent girls.

The intense fear to gain weight and a severe alteration of the body image are also characteristics that must be present to diagnose a Anorexia nervosa disorder

It is, therefore, a serious mental illness that often causes havoc in the body, due to the starvation suffered by these people.

Among the physical symptoms that can occur between people with anorexia nervosa, the most striking are:

  • Bradycardia. That is, heart rate decreases, which can be below 60 beats per minute.

  • Hypotension , Or excessive drop in blood pressure.

  • Growth of lanugo hair . It refers to very fine hair that appears on unusual body parts, such as the back, when there is no fat. Fetuses present this Type of hair, whose function is to isolate the body and protect it.

  • Edemas. Fluid retention may occur in some part of the body.

  • Alterations in the skin. As dry skin.

Why is the appearance of anorexia nervosa?

It is a multifactorial disease, caused by various factors: psychological, biological, socio-cultural, etc.

Here are some of the main causes of the onset of anorexia nervosa:

1. Family characteristics

To belong to a controlling family, perfectionist, in which the mother takes the reins of the life of the daughter, are triggers of this disorder.

Likewise, this disorder of eating behavior has always been more closely related to the relevance of a middle-upper class family, although in the An increase in all social classes.

2. Influence of genetics

According to the latest studies, it seems that anorexia nervosa may present more genetic factors than previously thought.

It has been found, for example, that the concordance rate between monozygotic twins is 70% (70% of identical twin siblings coincide in the Presence or absence of the disorder), whereas only a concordance rate is given in 20% dicygotic twin siblings.

According to some studies, several genes, in addition to other factors, could be implicated that would influence the occurrence of this Disease, especially chromosome 1.

3. Psychological factors

Some of the psychological triggers that most often influence the onset and progression of this disease are:

  • Low self-esteem.

  • Feelings of personal inefficiency and social maladjustment.

  • Emotional problems: depression, anxiety, loneliness, etc.

  • Fear of growing up.

  • Desire for maternal independence.

4. Socio-cultural factors

Today's society attaches great importance to the physical, especially in the case of women, who are perceived as more successful people and with Greater positive qualities when they have a slender figure.

This social pressure is very present in the onset of foodborne diseases, since the girls are assimilating this idea and begin to grant a Excessive importance to the physical.

Thus, it is found that girls are the ones with the most problems in relation to food present, especially in ages between 10-30 years -These ages vary according to specific eating disorders.

Course and prognosis of anorexia

Both the course of this disease and the prognosis of it are very variable, since it depends on multiple factors, as has already been seen.

Thorough follow-up of the patient and an early onset age of the disorder are considered favorable elements for recovery.

On the other hand, some of the factors that worsen the prognosis are:

  • Presence of vomiting.

  • Use of laxatives, enemas or other substances that compensate for overeating.

  • Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder .

  • Chronicity of the disease.

In addition, we find that, unfortunately, between 5 and 25% of cases in which they present anorexia nervosa end up in death - the majority due to the Malnutrition or its consequences, although in other cases they are caused by suicidal behavior.

We hope this article has been interesting to you and that has given you a lot of information about this complex disease and the subtypes that the Compose

You may also like these Real cases of anorexia .

" Beauty has nothing to do with the size you wear. It has to do with what's in your heart."

("Beauty has nothing to do with the size you wear. It has to do with what is in your heart.").- Sophia Bush.


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  5. Image source 1.
  6. Image source 2.

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