The most commonly known types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, which can occur simultaneously or separately. There’s many misconceptions about what an eating disorder looks like – such as that one must be very skinny, which is not always true. Someone suffering from binge eating disorder may in fact actually be overweight. The most important thing to know about eating disorders is that they are serious illnesses and require medical attention which may include intensive eating disorder treatment.
Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder characterized by either a significantly reduced appetite or complete aversion to eating. It is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects approximately 1% of teenage girls in the US, but can also affect adults and males.
Being underweight and not having a normal diet may have an effect on the brain which reinforces the behaviors and obsessive thoughts related to anorexia nervosa. In other words, under-eating and being underweight can set off a cycle of further weight loss and under-eating.
The following risk factors have been associated with anorexia nervosa:
Psychological signs and symptoms:
Bulimia is a serious psychiatric illness, an eating disorder in which the person regularly binge-eats and then tries to compensate for that behavior by over-exercising and purging (by vomiting and/or using laxatives). People with bulimia may be anywhere from underweight, to normal weight, to overweight. It is estimated that as much as 3% of college-aged women have bulimia.
A person with bulimia nervosa binges on food regularly and feels a loss of control. Binging involves eating large amounts of high-calorie foods over a short period. When the binge starts it is extremely difficult to stop. Some patients say they consume the food so fast that they hardly taste it.
The binge is followed by a feeling of guilt and shame, which leads to compensatory actions, such as self-induced vomiting, over-exercising, not eating, and overusing diuretics, enemas or laxatives.
The following signs and symptoms are also common in patients with bulimia nervosa:
Binge eating disorder is diagnosed when a person:
Binge eating disorder does not include the purging consistent with anorexia and bulimia. It may be the most common eating disorder. About 40% of obese people may have this problem.
If you or someone you care about may be suffering from an eating disorder of any kind, it is vital that you get help as soon as possible. This is a serious and life-threatening disease that cannot go unaddressed. Our expert team for eating disorders treatment in Delray Beach is here to assist you and your loved ones overcome this. Contact us today to set up an initial consultation.