The Common Types Of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are health problems marked by extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors towards weight and food issues. A person suffering from these disorders experiences emotional and physical problems that can be life-threatening. Though treatable, most people with eating disorders are not able to obtain treatment due to inadequate awareness. To help you identify these conditions early, here are the four common types of eating disorders according to the American Psychiatric Association:
Anorexia nervosa occurs when one tries to lose as much weight as possible by self-starvation or excessive weight loss. The sufferers have an intense fear of weight gain. Consequently, they eat too littleleading to abnormally low body weight. Early warning signs of anorexia you should look out for are dramatic weight loss, anxiety about gaining weight and denial of hunger.
People with this condition eat large quantities of food at a time and then deliberately seek to restrict weight gain through use of laxatives or self-induced vomiting. The victims are not able to control themselves during the binge-eating episodes, so the cycle keeps repeating itself. Typical warning signs of bulimia nervosa are binge eating, frequent visits to the bathroom and compulsive need to exercise.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating involves repetitive eating large quantities of food quickly and to the point of discomfort. However, unlike in Bulimia nervosa, this condition is not characterized by purging behaviors. The sufferers experience a lack of control and eat abnormally fast even when they are not feeling physically hungry. Usually, they suffer embarrassment and depression due to their eating habits and go to extreme lengths to eat in isolation. Telltale signs of binge eating disorder include secretive food behaviors, constant dieting and periods of impulsive eating.
Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)
Individuals suffering from this condition have some but not all the signs and symptoms of other eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. It occurs when a person has anorexia, but the weight is sound, bulimia nervosa with less frequent behaviors, or infrequent binge eating. Purging habits without binge eating as well as excessive nighttime food consumption are also manifestations of this disorder.
Some people with these common types of eating disorders ignore the early warning signs on the pretext of dieting oblivious of how life-threatening these conditions can become. You shouldn’t be one of them. Make an appointment with a psychiatrist if ever you notice any of the above red flags. A qualified therapist will be best placed to determine the psychotherapy, counseling or cognitive behavior therapy you need to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.