About Eating Disorders
What are the main types of Eating Disorders?
The three most common Eating Disorders in the United States are Binge Eating Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that is categorized by a cycle of bingeing and the use of compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting (purging) or excessive exercise to compensate for and/or attempt to avoid the effects of binge eating, such as feelings of guilt or shame, body discomfort or weight gain. Go to the NEDA website for specific diagnostic criteria for bulimia.
What are the Warning Signs and Symptoms of Bulimia?
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that is categorized by a cycle of bingeing and the use ofcompensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting (purging) or excessive exercise to compensatefor and/or attempt to avoid the effects of binge eating, such as feelings of guilt or shame, bodydiscomfort or weight gain. Go to the NEDA website for specific diagnostic criteria for bulimia.
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological and potentially life-threatening eating disorder that typically
involves a fixation on thinness and losing weight, along with a fear of gaining weight. Those who live
with anorexia severely restrict their eating and may have a lack of appetite. Although people of any body
size can have anorexia, those who suffer from this eating disorder are usually at an extremely low body
weight for their height and body type. Click on the following link to read more about the different types
What are the warning signs and symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa?
There are physical, emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms of bulimia.
Physical symptoms include:
Extreme weight loss
Dizziness and fainting
Bluish discoloration of the finger
Thinning, brittle hair that falls out
Fine hair covering the body
Loss of menstruation
Irregular heart rhythms
Eroded teeth from induced vomiting
Emotional and behavioral symptoms include:
Severely restricting food intake through dieting or fasting
Preoccupation with food
Skipping meals or refusal to eat
Eating “safe” foods that are low in fat/calories
Fear of eating in public
Spitting food out after chewing
Wearing many layers of clothes
Visit the Mayo Clinic website for the complete list of signs and symptoms for Anorexia Nervosa.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Who is at risk? (Source: Mayo Clinic & NEDA)
Bulimia can affect anyone of any age, race or gender, although is typically develops during adolescence
or early adulthood. The risk factors include:
Biology: People with immediate family members (siblings, parents, children) with an eating disorder
have a higher risk of developing an eating disorder, which indicates there may a genetic link.
Psychological and emotional issues: Those who live with mental illness such as depression, anxiety or
substance use disorder have an increased risk of having an eating disorder. Traumatic events or
environmental stress may also be risk factors.
Social: Weight stigma, or discrimination based on a persons weight can increase risk in developing an
eating disorder. Additionally, limited social media and peer pressure sends negative messaging that
increases body dissatisfaction.
Dieting: People who diet are more likely to develop eating disorders than those who do not. Usually,
people with bulimia start with a diet that encourages extreme restriction, which triggers the need to
binge, purge and then restrict again, starting a vicious cycle.
*Please note that much of this information was written based on the information from the following
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