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Eating Disorders
What is difference between Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa?
I have Bulimia Nervosa. Where should I have help?
My sister has been diagnosed Anorexia Nervosa. Is there any medication to treat Anorexia Nervosa?
What is BMI?
Is Anorexia Nervosa a physical or mental illness?
Is AN a dangerous illness?




What is difference between Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa?

In Anorexia Nervosa BMI is below 17.5 Kg/m2. Low weight results in hormonal disturbances resulting in amenorrhoea (cessation of menstrual period). In Bulimia Nervosa patient is not under weight and she indulges in binge eating followed by intentional vomiting. The features common to both Bulimia and Anorexia are strong belief that one is overweight and strong wish to reduce weight. Patients of both illnesses engage in activities to reduce weight.

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I have Bulimia Nervosa. Where should I have help?

Mild to moderate Bulimia often gets better by education and advice from General Practitioner. Some times an appointment with dietician is helpful. Your need to speak to your GP about it. If Bulimia is resistant , too severe or result in complications then your GP may refer to the psychiatrist for assessment.

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My sister has been diagnosed Anorexia Nervosa. Is there any medication to treat Anorexia Nervosa?

There is no particular drug treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. Antidepressants such as SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) can some patients . The main treatment however is behavioural/psychological treatment. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is effective form of psychotherapy in Anorexia Nervosa. In some patients psychodynamic psychotherapy is indicated. Family therapy is helpful particularly in patients under the age 18 years.

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What is BMI?

BMI is abbreviation of Basal Metabolic Rate. It is calculated by dividing weight in Kg. by square of height in meters. In Anorexia Nervosa BMI is below 17.5 Kg/m2. Which patients need nasogasteric tube feeding? When weight decreases dangerously low in AN then occasionally feed is given by a thin tube passed through nose to stomach. Food is given in calculated way under the supervision of doctors and dietician.

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Is Anorexia Nervosa a physical or mental illness?

Although AN has physical symptoms patient does not eat and tries to lose weight due to strong abnormal belief that she is overweight thus it is a mental illness. It can be treated under the mental health act.

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Is AN a dangerous illness?

AN is one of the mental illness which has high mortality rate. Patients die because of starvation and complications due to it? Some studies show that 15-20% patients suffering from AN die.

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