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Episode 75: Eating Disorders- Bullemia and Anorexia


Eating Disorders- Bullemia and Anorexia


As my guest today says, “People of any size can have any eating disorder”.

Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar joins me to discuss Bullemia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa, two very dangerous and potentially deadly eating disorders.

She is a Board-Certified physician in Pediatrics, Obesity Medicine, and Pediatric, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry. She is also a a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist. She is the Regional Medical Director for Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Behavioral Health. 

Join me on this podcast episode as we learn about the physiological and psychological effects of two of the eating disorders, namely, Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa, how they are wrongly perceived by society, and how these disorders are being managed together with obesity. Learn what might be some of the early warning signs of these disorders.



Key Highlights: 

Join me and Dr. Wassenaar in this conversation and learn: 

  • The eating disorder classification of Bulimia Nervosa and Anorexia Nervosa 
  • How these eating disorders manifest themselves/some signs a loved one could notice in a person suffering from them
  • Ages that these disorders usually manifest at
  • Society and the different factors that contribute to the development/worsening of these eating disorders 
  • How eating disorders are treated
  • Today’s struggle of seeking help and treatment for patients suffering from eating disorders, especially if they also have obesity
  • Early warning signs that people can look out for that so they can seek help early on
  • What is Orthorexia 
  • How Bulimia and Anorexia are co-managed with obesity


Some of the signs that are recognizable in people who suffer from these eating disorders:


  • If they develop unusual eating habits
  • If they become preoccupied with their body (size or shape) 
  • If they withdraw from relationships 
  • If they don’t perform as well in school or work
  • If they disappear after meals, or spend a large amount of time in the bathroom (purging eating disorder)


  • If they have unusual changes in body size or shape
  • If they have more dental caries/cavities (because of acid from purging)
  • If they have unusual breakdown of area around their lips
  • If they have abrasions on their hands (from teeth while gagging on fingers to induce vomiting)
  • If they have really bad reflux


How People Suffering from Eating Disorders are Treated:

  1. Address the physical concerns – including malnutrition, which often requires the help of an eating disorder specialist/psychiatrist, informed dietitian
  2. Address concurrent psychiatric illnesses – like depression, or anxiety, or OCD, making sure that you’re seeing a psychiatrist, or someone that can help to manage that as well.


Warning Signs You Must Look Out for when Suspecting an Eating Disorder:

  1. Having a lot of pressure on themselves to look a certain way to do very well at things
  2. Struggling with perfectionism, anxiety
  3. Starts to try to diet and change how they look
  4. Expresses a lot of dissatisfaction of how they look
  5. Withdraws from things that are important (school, work)
  6. Family history of eating disorders
  7. Orthorexia in young men: Having a drive for “health” characterized by clean-eating, muscle-building that has become self-defeating


“People of any size can have any eating disorder.” – Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar

“It’s very important for us as providers to remember that malnutrition does not necessarily look a certain way.” – Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar

“Not every body is going to be as thin as you want it to be. There is a tremendous amount of body diversity and health means something different for a lot of people.” – Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar

“It’s very important to understand that how closely mental health and physical health are interlinked.”Dr. Avishkar Sabharwal



Dr. Elizabeth Wassenaar: LinkedIn

Need help for your/your loved one’s eating disorder?

Eating Recovery Center


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