Eating disorders are a serious mental illness that needs attention, it mostly involves a disordered eating behavior. The person suffering from any types of eating disorder might limit their food intake, eat a large amount of food at one sitting, get rid of the food eaten through unhealthy means, or a combination of this behavior. This disorder can cause harm and may be fatal.

An Eating disorder can develop to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, ethnic or cultural background, click here to learn more.

According to studies, there are three main types of eating disorders, these are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorders. Let us elaborate these three main types of eating disorder to understand.

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by having an intense fear of being obese and has a relentless pursuit to become thin. The symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • At least 15 percent of body weight is lost, of which the person refuses to eat enough food despite extreme hunger.
  • The person has an intense fear of becoming fat and losing control with food.
  • The person has a disturbance of perception of his or her body image, the person thinks that people may see themselves fat.
  • They have the tendency to exercise obsessively.
  • They are preoccupied with preparing the food, and determining which is good and bad.
  • Females who are suffering from anorexia nervosa have an absence of menstrual period.

People who are suffering from anorexia nervosa losses more weight as a result of dieting or physical illness. When they receive positive comments regarding weight loss, they seem to be encouraged and believes that as they become thinner, they become better.

Most people who are suffering from anorexia nervosa develops bulimia.

Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by bingeing and purging. The symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Binge eating that involves a large quantity of consumption of high-calorie foods, through which the person feels a loss of personal control and self-disgust.
  • The person attempts to purge to compensate for the binge eating and to avoid weight gain by self-induced vomiting, and/or misuse of laxatives and fluid tablets.
  • Bulimia is a combination of restricted eating and compulsive exercise, thus control of weight dominates the life of the person.

A person who is suffering from bulimia nervosa is usually close to their normal body weight. When they vomit after binge eating, it gives them a sense of relief. People with bulimia may experience chemical imbalances in their body.

Binge eating disorder is characterized by an episode of binge eating in which the person consumes an extreme quantity of food within a short period of time. However, people who are suffering from this disorder do not make attempts to purge their food after binge eating. This disorder can lead to serious health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.

To diagnose these mental health issues(1), there are two main systems being used, these are the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder and International Classification of Diseases.

You might also like this: Psychological Treatment for Eating Disorders


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