Eating disorders - What are the different types of eating disorders?
What are the different types of eating disorders?
There are many different eating disorders. This section covers Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. It also looks at some other eating disorders and eating problems.
Anorexia Nervosa usually starts when you are a teenager. Women are more likely than men to develop anorexia. About 1 in 250 teenage girls and young women have anorexia. 1 in 2000 teenage boys and young men have the condition. If you have anorexia, you try to keep your weight as low as possible. You can do this by dieting, vomiting after eating, using a lot of laxatives or exercising too much. You may think you are overweight even if when people around you say you are dangerously thin.
Click here for the full document including behaviours and physical signs of Anorexia.
- Stay away from food, pretend you’re not hungry when you are Lose a lot of weight
- Think you are fat when everyone is saying you are underweight Feel weak and have less muscle strength
- Weigh and measure food, check calories, keep a food diary Get dizzy spells, constipation and stomach pain
- Find it hard to concentrate, be in a bad mood Grow soft, fine hair on your body and face
- Check your weight over and over Have poor circulation , feel cold
- Hide food and pretend you’ve eaten it Have dry, rough or discoloured skin, hair falling out
- Do a lot of exercise and get upset if something stops you from exercising Sleeping problems, no interest in sex when you were interested before
- Vomit, use laxatives or diuretics after you eat In girls and women- periods stop or do not start
- Become socially isolated Being dehydrated
Bulimia Nervosa mainly affects women aged 16 to 40. Studies have shown that around 8% of women have bulimia during their lives. Men can also have bulimia but it is less common than in women.
If you have bulimia you get into a cycle of eating. You eat a lot of food and then vomit, take laxatives or diuretics. The eating is called binging and what you do after is called purging. This stops you from gaining weight. You will usually have an average body weight. This may mean other people do not notice you are having these problems. You will usually purge when you are alone and have some privacy.
Click here for the full document including behaviours and physical signs of Bulimia.
- Eat a lot of food (binge)
- Sore throat
- Make yourself vomit after you eat (purge)
- Calluses on the backs of your hand (from forcing yourself to vomit)
- Exercise more than usual
- Are obsessed with food
- Not able to control your eating
- Believe you are fat when everyone says you aren’t
- Use laxatives, diuretics or enemas
- Avoid food
- Secretive, not wanting to socialise Bad skin
- Stomach pain, bloating and constipation
- Bad breath
- Gastric problems
- Being tired and not having energy
- Have mood swings, anxiety and depression
- In girls and women- periods stop or do not start
- Frequent weight changes
- Face and fingers swelling
Binge eating disorder (BED)
People with binge eating disorder may eat a lot of food in a short period of time. You may have the same binge eating symptoms as bulimia. The main difference is that you do not try to get rid of the food afterwards. This can mean you may be overweight for your age and height. If you have BED you may eat a lot of food when not physically hungry. Eating is generally done in secret.
Click here for the full document including behaviours and physical signs of BED.
- Lose control of eating
- Put yourself down after eating
- Blame failures on your weight
- Have mood swings and depression
- Use lots of diet plans
- Hide food to eat later
- Secret eating patterns
- Other eating disorders and eating problems
- Weight gain
- Getting out of breath easily
- Sweating a lot
- High blood pressure and/ or cholesterol
- Leg and joint pain
- Poor sleeping patterns, tiredness
- Loss of sexual desire or promiscuous sexual activity
Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (ENDOS)
You may have symptoms of an eating disorder. You could have symptoms that do not fit the diagnosis of one of the main eating disorders. If so, a doctor may diagnose you with an ‘atypical eating disorder’. This can be called an ‘eating disorder not otherwise specified’ (EDNOS). Some people are diagnosed with atypical anorexia, for example. This is where someone meets some of the criteria for having anorexia, but not all of them.
This is a fixation on eating food that you feel is healthy and pure. It may begin as a healthy diet but becomes rigorous and obsessive. You may start following special diets like Gluten Free, Dairy Free or Carbohydrate Free diet. Over time you can become obsessed with these diets and it can become a disorder.
If you emotionally overeat you may eat a lot of food when you experience negative emotions. These can be feelings like anxiety or sadness. When you first eat you may feel you are having a reward or a treat. However, it can leave you feeling guilt and shame, rather than improving your mood.
This is when you eat things you shouldn’t. These are often things like chalk, paint, stones, cigarette ashes or butts and coins. They don’t have any nutrients. People with pica have been known to eat many other things including clothing, rubber and metal. Some of these will pass through the body without harm. However pica can be very dangerous. It can lead to the following problems.
- Lead poisoning
- Abdominal issues
- Low or high levels of potassium
- Blockages in the intestines
- Mercury poisoning
- Dental problems
We still don’t understand what causes pica. There is a link to a lack of certain minerals such as iron or social deprivation. Between 4 and 26% people with learning disabilities are estimated to have pica.
Rumination disorder or ‘chew and spit’
This is where someone regurgitates food over and over. You might chew and spit out food without swallowing it. It usually affects young children. Rumination disorder causes weight loss, bad breath, tooth decay and indigestion.
Night Eating Syndrome
This condition involves eating most of your food late in the day. You may wake up during the night and eat. People with night eating syndrome often do not eat at the start of the day.
Selective Eating Disorder (SED)
SED is associated with a fear of food. People with this condition only eat some foods and can refuse to try other foods.
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