Hard Facts About the EDNOS Eating Disorder

EDNOS stands for “eating disorder not otherwise specified”

It doesn’t meet the criteria for bulimia nervosa, binge eating or anorexia nervosa. While its “non-specified” status may make it seem like less of a threat to good health and psychological well-being than the “specified” eating disorders, EDNOS is the most common form of eating disorder and it’s actually the most dangerous, although there are treatments available.

Today, we’d like to share more important information about EDNOS.

Discover the Three Main Categories

People who are diagnosed with EDNOS will typically be categorized in one of three ways. Sub-threshold symptoms of anorexia and bulimia will affect one group of EDNOS sufferers, while another will have features of the two disorders which are mixed. The third group will have eating behaviors which are atypical and which don’t fit the other EDNOS groups or established disorders.

Those with EDNOS do tend to experience behaviors and symptoms which are similar to bulimia and anorexia and therefore must deal with the same risk factors.

This eating disorder afflicts sixty percent of adults who seek out treatment for eating problems. It is not a gender-specific eating disorder.

This Eating Disorder Can Kill

Sadly, 5.3 percent of those who have EDNOS die to their eating disorders. This means that it has the highest mortality rate of all of the eating disorders. In terms of other important statistics, 53 percent of all people who suffer from eating disorders fall into the EDNOS category. These figures come from the National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

Common misconceptions that EDNOS is not that serious should be debunked as widely as possible. One expert, Carolyn Costin, who is the executive director of a treatment center called Monte Nido and Affiliates, which focuses on helping those with eating disorders, feels that the eating disorder is rather “lethal”, as it is under-treated and under-diagnosed.

Typical behaviors of those with EDNOS include fasting and purging which leads to malnutrition problems. Some may have the same symptoms as anorexics, but fail to fit neatly into the category of “anorexia” because their Body Mass Index numbers are too high. Since symptoms do vary from person to person, physicians may have difficulty arriving at formal diagnoses.

Do You Have EDNOS?

There are some red flags that a person may be suffering from EDNOS. One of them is rigidity with regard to diet. For example, if you set strict hours and only eat at specific times, or tend to eat only particular foods day in and day out, you may want to talk to a doctor.

As well, if you find that diet is interfering with your lifestyle, you may be at risk. For example, if you avoid group dinners because you won’t be able to eat according to your rules at these social events, this is another signal that something may be wrong.

Another red flag is a diet that gets a bit of negative attention from others. If those close to you find that you’re dropping weight too rapidly or you’re getting too think or overexercising, or indulging in strange disordered eating habits, then you may want to take their concern into account and seek out help.

Also, a lot of thought about diet is a signal that you may be developing EDNOS or have it already. Most people with eating disorders spend a lot of their days considering what they will eat, how much food they will permit themselves, etc. There is typically an obsessive-compulsive quality to it.

How to Get Help

Help begins at the family doctor. So, please talk to your doctor to learn about the types of treatment centers today.