Understanding Eating Disorders

May 22, 2012 Comments Off

Recently, researchers revealed that over 25 million people in the US are affected by eating disorders. Since this condition has become extremely common, it is vital that you know and understand what eating disorders actually are? What are the contributing factors and what are some common myths related to them?

Eating Disorders

There are mainly three main types of eating disorders – bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating. Typically, people who have any of these disorders represent different symptoms. Though bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa can be diagnosed due to their recognizable symptoms, binge eating is difficult to diagnose – due to its consuming symptoms that are common in both the eating disorders.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by overeating. In this condition, a person eats a lot and right after eating they regret it. The most common symptoms of Bulimia nervosa include: Over exercising.

  • Occasional Fasting


  • Self-induced vomiting


  • Irregular eating behavior


  • Extreme consciousness regarding weight

Bulimia increases the risks of heart failure, and irregular eating patterns can seriously damage your digestive system.

Anorexia Nervosa

People with anorexia lose their weight unusually fast. They even go on fasting just because they think they are fat. The most common symptoms associated with this eating disorder are:

  • Fear of being overweight.


  • Irregular menstruation


  • Low self-esteem

Anorexia is a dangerous psychological condition in which the chances of death are almost 18 times more than in any other psychological disorder.

Binge Eating/EDNOS

In this eating disorder, a person eats uncontrollably, and after some time, they feel guilty. They begin to hate themselves for this. Though people with binge eating do not fast regularly, they do it occasionally. A binge eater can either be a normal or obese. The common symptoms of binge eating disorder are close to that of bulimia or anorexia.

Some Common Myths about Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders Are Not Only About Food

Contrary to the popular belief that eating disorders are only related to food, Connie Quinn – site director of a clinic that treats eating disorders says that eating disorders are also caused by genetic, biological, social and psychological conditions. In fact, human feelings can also be managed by treating an eating disorder.

Eating Disorder Is Not Gender-Specific

Many people think that females – especially young ones declare themselves patients with eating disorders just because they want to garner everyone’s attention. This is a wrong perception. In fact, National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) says that this condition is common in both male and female equally. It means anyone can have this disorder irrespective of their age and gender. Moreover, if you or anyone, you know have an eating order, it is vital that you start its treatment immediately. The earlier you consult a doctor, the sooner you can recover as all kinds of eating disorders are treatable.

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