Common Types of Eating Disorders
An eating disorder can lead to serious health problems, but treatment is available. This article will discuss eating disorders and how you can get help.
What are Eating Disorders?
An eating disorder is a mental disorder that occurs when eating, exercise and body image become unhealthy preoccupations.
Nutrition and exercise are things all of us should keep in mind to stay healthy and active. But placing a disproportionate emphasis on food and/or fitness could create the necessary conditions for an eating disorder to develop. This article will discuss types of eating disorders and possible treatments.
How are Eating Disorders Diagnosed?
An eating disorder diagnosis is obtained through physical and psychological evaluations. Doctors will measure a patient’s symptoms and characteristics against guidelines outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).1
How Common are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are fairly common, with about 9% of the U.S, and at least 9% of the international population, suffers with an eating disorder.2
Who Suffers the Most from Eating Disorders?
Teenage girls are the most likely population to be affected by an eating disorder. However, anyone is susceptible, especially as images of distorted bodies become more prevalent in mass media.
Emotional and Behavioral Eating Disorder Symptoms
There are many eating disorder symptoms to look out for. These include:
Types of Eating Disorders
There are many types of eating disorders that exist. They will be detailed below.
Symptoms for anorexia nervosa include depriving oneself of food to reach an unhealthy weight. This is often coupled with an unrealistic body image and an intense fear of gaining weight.
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by consuming large amounts of food in a short timespan, and then engaging in purging behaviors (e.g. self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, excessive exercise) to avoid gaining weight.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
BED is an eating disorder in which sufferers consume large amounts of food at one time. These binging episodes are oftentimes described by sufferers as uncontrollable, or as if they were on “auto-pilot.”
Rumination disorder is a rare eating disorder that involves bringing food back up from the stomach which food may then be rechewed and then redigested, or spat out.
Avoidant /Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
ARFID is a newly recognized type of eating disorder that is similar to anorexia but does not involve a distorted body image.5
What Causes Eating Disorders?
There are several potential factors which may lead to the development of an eating disorder. Factors may generally be categorized into three types:
Risks of Eating Disorders
People will be at high risk for developing eating disorder behaviors in the following situations.
Complications of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can lead to very serious conditions including:
Health Problems Associated with Anorexia
People with anorexia may develop:
Health Problems Associated with Binge Eating Disorder
People with Binge Eating Disorder may be prone to:
Depression and Anxiety
Many people develop eating disorders in efforts to relieve feelings of depression and anxiety, but the negative effects of disordered eating tend to exacerbate these feelings over time.
Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors
Depression and anxiety can become so severe in eating disordered patients that they may result in suicidal thoughts and/or self-harm.
Problems with Growth and Development
People who develop eating disorders at an early age may experience delayed physiological development. This effect can usually be reversed through restoration to an appropriate weight. In rare and severe cases, problems with growth and development may persist even after the individual has been restored to a healthy weight.
Social and Relationship Problems
An obsession with food and body image can lead to social and relationship problems.
Substance Use Disorders:
Substance use disorders can develop if a person abuses drugs to control their weight. Drugs may also be abused as a method to help cope with the symptoms and effects of mental illness.
Eating Disorder Treatment
An eating disorder can greatly reduce quality of life and interfere with a person’s overall wellness, but eating disorder treatment is available. Eating disorder treatment typically involves a combination of mental health interventions, but may also require nutritional supplements to ensure you are adequately nourished and hydrated. Medications, such as antidepressants, or anti-anxiety medications, may also be potentially integrated into your treatment.
If you are looking for help to overcome your eating disorder, A New Treatment Center is here for you. We take a customized approach to create treatment plans best suited to our clients’ needs. We use a combination of therapeutic approaches to ensure you achieve the ultimate in wellness.
Eating disorders are hard to fight but Anew Treatment Center will give you the tools you need to move forward from this difficult time. Contact us today to find out how you can achieve a happier, healthier way of living.
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Our team is ready to discuss your treatment options with you. Your call is confidential with no obligation is required.