Thursday, May 16, 2024

What Are The Different Eating Disorders

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How Is An Eating Disorder Treated

Eating Disorders: are they different in adults? How? What does this mean for recovery?

Treatment depends on the eating disorder, its cause, and your overall health. Your doctor may evaluate your nutritional intake, refer you to a mental health professional, or hospitalize you if your disorder has become life-threatening.

In some cases, psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or family therapy, can help address the social or emotional issues that may be causing your disorder.

Theres no medication that can fully treat an eating disorder. But some medications can help control symptoms of the anxiety or depressive disorder that may be causing or aggravating your eating disorder. These can include anti-anxiety medicines or antidepressants.

Reducing your stress through yoga, meditation, or other relaxation techniques can also help you control your eating disorder.

Outcomes In Relation With Selected Kinds Of Treatment

Large-scale international reviews of scientific studies have concluded that psychotherapy is effective for numerous conditions.

One line of research consistently finds that supposedly different forms of psychotherapy show similar effectiveness. According to The Handbook of Counseling Psychology: “Meta-analyses of psychotherapy studies have consistently demonstrated that there are no substantial differences in outcomes among treatments”. The handbook states that there is “little evidence to suggest that any one psychological therapy consistently outperforms any other for any specific psychological disorders. This is sometimes called the after a scene/section in Alice in Wonderland where every competitor in a race was called a winner and is given prizes”.

Further analyses seek to identify the factors that the psychotherapies have in common that seem to account for this, known as for example the quality of the therapeutic relationship, interpretation of problem, and the confrontation of painful emotions.

Outcome studies have been critiqued for being too removed from real-world practice in that they use carefully selected therapists who have been extensively trained and monitored, and patients who may be non-representative of typical patients by virtue of strict inclusionary/exclusionary criteria. Such concerns impact the of research results and the ability to generalize from them to practicing therapists.

Do I Have An Eating Disorder

The kind of questions you can ask yourself include:

  • Does food dominate my life?
  • Do I worry that something bad will happen if I lose control of my eating?
  • Do I have episodes where I feel I have lost control of my eating, then feel disgusted with myself afterwards?
  • Have I lost more than a stone in the last three months?
  • Do people tell me I’m thin, even though I think I’m fat?
  • Do I hide myself away to eat large quantities, because I’m embarrassed to let anyone know what I’m eating?
  • Have I taken laxatives or made myself sick because I’m uncomfortably full?

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What Are The Different Kinds Of Eating Disorders

How to recognize the most common ones

Hannah Sheldon-Dean

When most people think of an eating disorder, what comes to mind is a painfully thin young woman who eats almost nothing. But there are actually three common eating disorders. Not everyone with an eating disorder appears underweight, and not all are women.

Three of the most common eating disorders in children and teenagers are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

Other eating issues that kids may be diagnosed with include avoidant restrictive food intake disorder , rumination disorder, and pica. Kids who have serious problems with eating that dont match any of these disorders sometimes get a broad diagnosis called unspecified eating and feeding disorder.

How Are Eating Disorders Diagnosed

Various Eating Disorders

Health care providers and mental health professionals diagnose eating disorders based on history, symptoms, thought patterns, eating behaviors, and an exam.

The doctor will check weight and height and compare these to previous measurements on growth charts. The doctor may order tests to see if there is another reason for the eating problems and to check for problems caused by the eating disorder.

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Signs Of Anorexia Nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight. They often diet and exercise relentlessly, sometimes to the point of starvation. About one-third to one-half of anorexics also binge and purge by vomiting or misusing laxatives. People with anorexia have a distorted body image, thinking they are overweight when in fact they are underweight. They may count calories obsessively and only allow themselves tiny portions of certain specific foods. When confronted, someone with anorexia will often deny that thereâs a problem.

The signs of anorexia can be subtle at first, because it develops gradually. It may begin as an interest in dieting before an event like a school dance or a beach vacation. But as the disorder takes hold, preoccupation with weight intensifies. It creates a vicious cycle: The more weight the person loses, the more that person worries and obsesses about weight.

The following symptoms and behaviors are common in people with anorexia:

If You Are Struggling With Food Where Can You Get Support

“If you are struggling with food, you should contact your GP. They should be the first port of call. Your GP can refer you to your local ED service and also perform appropriate health checks.”

There are, however, long waiting lists for NHS treatment. Therefore, for immediate help, private therapy might be an option.

You can also reach out to eating disorder charity Beat, who offer free guidance and resources, and help in finding support.

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Getting Help For Someone Else

It can be difficult to know what to do if you’re worried that someone has an eating disorder.

They may not realise they have an eating disorder. They may also deny it, or be secretive and defensive about their eating or weight.

Let them know you’re worried about them and encourage them to see a GP. You could offer to go along with them.

What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Eating Disorders

6 Types of Eating Disorders

People who get treatment for eating disorders often recover and go on to lead healthy lives. Its helpful to detect a problem early and start treatment right away.

There are different levels of care, including:

  • Outpatient therapy .
  • Intensive outpatient therapy .
  • Inpatient therapy .

Your primary care doctor will work with you to decide what level of treatment would be right for you.

Left untreated, people with eating disorders can develop life-threatening complications. Some people may need to receive medical and mental health care at a hospital or treatment center.

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What Are Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental illnesses that are characterized by an unhealthy, abnormal relationship with food. There are various types of eating disorders and different mechanisms that support disordered eating behaviors, often poor body image. Individuals with eating disorders might starve themselves of the calories they need in hopes of obtaining an ideal body image. A person suffering from an eating disorder usually has a distorted view of what their body actually looks like and sees themselves as much larger than they actually are. Others may engage in behaviors like binging on thousands of calories of food in a short period of time, or they might attempt to purge the food by way of vomiting or exercising for extended periods of time. Eating disor

ders are pervasive mental illnesses that impact not only the sufferer, but extend outward, impacting their families and social interactions.

I Had An Eating Disorder When I Was Younger Am I In The Clear Now

Although Vazzana says an eating disorder can affect someone at any age, there are certain ages when an eating disorder is more likely to developfor instance, around 13 or 14 and again around 17 or 18 for anorexia nervosa around 18 or 19 for bulimia nervosa and around 21 or 22 for binge eating disorder.

Regardless of when an eating disorder develops, though, the earlier it is diagnosed, the better chance there is for recovery. Still, according to Goodpaster, eating disorders are hard to treat. Sometimes, when someone is treated for one eating disorder, it can develop into a different disorder . “There’s not a timeline for how long it may take a person, but it might present differently over a long period of time,” Goodpaster says.

Thankfully, there are effective treatments to help with in the recovery. The treatment plan usually includes physicians, psychologists, and dietitians who can provide psychiatric medication if needed, cognitive behavioral or interpersonal therapy, and nutrition education, according to Goodpaster.

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How Is Bed Diagnosed

While some people may occasionally overeat, such as at Thanksgiving or a party, it does not mean they have BED, despite having experienced some of the symptoms listed above.

BED typically starts in the late teens to early twenties, although it can occur at any age. People generally need support to help overcome BED and develop a healthy relationship with food. If left untreated, BED can last for many years .

To be diagnosed, a person must have had at least one binge eating episode per week for a minimum of three months .

The severity ranges from mild, which is characterized by one to three binge eating episodes per week, to extreme, which is characterized by 14 or more episodes per week .

Another important characteristic is not taking action to undo a binge. This means that, unlike bulimia, a person with BED does not throw up, take laxatives, or over-exercise to try and counteract a binging episode.

Like other eating disorders, its more common in women than men. However, its more common among men than other types of eating disorders (

Although these health risks are significant, there are a number of effective treatments for BED.


BED is linked to an increased risk of weight gain and obesity, as well as associated diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There are also other health risks, including sleep problems, chronic pain, mental health problems, and reduced quality of life.

What Are The Different Types Of Eating Disorders

Various Eating Disorders

There are many types of eating issues, but the four eating disorders recognized in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are:

Any two people with the same eating disorder can have somewhat different symptoms and experiences. Overall, however, these are the common, most recognizable signs and symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria for each of the four recognized eating disorders:

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Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Asking questions and providing information to your doctor or health care provider can improve your care. Talking with your doctor builds trust and leads to better results, quality, safety, and satisfaction. Visit the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website for tips at

More information about finding a health care provider or treatment for mental disorders is available on our Finding Help for Mental Illness webpage, available at .

Do You Need More Help

Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area.

Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory, CMHA provides advocacy and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive.

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Genetics Of Eating Disorders

Coming from a family with a history of eating disorders can increase a person’s risk of developing an eating disorder. A portion of this increased risk could be due to the modeling of eating disorder-linked behaviors within a family .

However, twin study research, which can isolate the role of genetics, has confirmed that approximately 40% to 60% of the risk for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder arises from genetic influence.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder And What Are The Symptoms

Different Types of Eating Disorders

People with BED may eat a lot of food in a short amount of time, even if they arent hungry. Emotional stress or destress often plays a role and might trigger a period of binge eating.

A person might feel a sense of release or relief during a binge but experience feelings of shame or loss of control afterward .

For a healthcare professional to diagnose BED, three or more of the following symptoms must be present:

  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating until uncomfortably full
  • eating large amounts without feeling hungry
  • eating alone due to feelings of embarrassment and shame
  • feelings of guilt or disgust with oneself

People with BED often experience feelings of extreme unhappiness and distress about their overeating, body shape, and weight (1,

  • 8 ).

An episode of binge eating can be triggered by stress, dieting, negative feelings relating to body weight or body shape, the availability of food, or boredom .


The causes of BED are not fully known. As with other eating disorders, a variety of genetic, environmental, social, and psychological risks are associated with its development.

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Why Do People Develop Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, racial and ethnic backgrounds, body weights, and genders. Although eating disorders often appear during young adulthood, they may also develop during childhood or later in life.

Scientists cant say for sure exactly what causes an eating disorder or predict who will develop an eating disorder. In general, most experts agree that eating disorders are complicated illnesses that stem not from a single cause but a complex interaction of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.

What Are The Treatment Options

The treatment plan for BED depends on the causes and severity of the eating disorder, as well as individual goals.

Treatment may target binge eating behaviors, excess weight, body image, mental health issues, or a combination of these.

Therapy options include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, weight loss therapy, and medication. These may be carried out on a one-to-one basis, in a group setting, or in a self-help format.

In some people, just one type of therapy may be required, while others may need to try different combinations until they find the right fit.

A medical or mental health professional can provide advice on selecting an individual treatment plan.

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What Treatment Should I Be Offered

You can check what treatment and care is recommended for eating disorders on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website. NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. You can download these from their website at But the NHS does not have to follow these recommendations. They should have a good reason for not following them.

Medication should not be offered as the only treatment for any eating disorder.

Physical treatments like acupuncture, weight training and yoga should not be offered as treatment for eating disorders.

There are different types of psychological treatments for eating disorders, and you may be offered a combination of these. All of the treatments will include guided self-help and psycho-education.

Guided self-help programmeThis is a self-help programme. You will look at the thoughts, feelings and actions that you have in relation to your eating. You should also have some short support sessions to help you follow the programme.

Psycho-educationPsycho-education means that you will learn about your symptoms and how to manage them.

What is the treatment for anorexia?

When treating anorexia, a key goal is for you to reach a healthy weight. Your weight will be monitored. Doctors may share your weight with your family members or carers.

The therapy aims to help you to:

The therapy:

FPT looks at:

What is the treatment for bulimia?

What is the treatment for binge eating disorder

How Are Eating Disorders Treated

Understanding Different Types Of Eating Disorders ð? ...

Eating disorders are best treated by a team that includes a doctor, dietitian, and therapist. Treatment includes nutrition counseling, medical care, and talk therapy . The doctor might prescribe medicine to treat binge eating, anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.

The details of the treatment depend on the type of eating disorder and how severe it is. Some people are hospitalized because of extreme weight loss and medical complications.

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Who Is At Risk For Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, body weights, and genders. Although eating disorders often appear during the teen years or young adulthood, they may also develop during childhood or later in life .

Remember: People with eating disorders may appear healthy, yet be extremely ill.

The exact cause of eating disorders is not fully understood, but research suggests a combination of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors can raise a persons risk.

Types Of Eating Disorders: Symptoms Causes And Effects

Eating disorders are about more than just fad diets and vanity they are a serious mental illness that could ultimately cause the end of someones life. Its estimated that as many as 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder. Approximately 4-10% of male and 10-20% of female college students are dealing with an eating disorder.

In spite of heightened awareness of some of the more common types of eating disorders, there are still many misconceptions. Lets take a look at some facts to help dispel the myths of eating disorders.

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How To Treat Eating Disorders

Due to the insidious ways in which eating disorders pervade all aspects of ones body, mind, and life, receiving the appropriate treatment is important. There are various levels of care designed to treat specific stages of eating disorder severitythese range from inpatient at a medical facility down to outpatient. Any eating disorder treatment center can assess a struggling individual to determine the appropriate level of care.

Outside of receiving treatment in general, it is also important to ensure the facility uses evidence-based practices, as these can lead to better long-term outcomes.

There are many evidence-based treatments that can support eating disorder recovery the most well-known and most commonly used is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , Dialectical Behavior Therapy , and Family-Based Treatment .

Do not be afraid to ask any questions that arise if you or a loved one are searching for the treatment that will best support recovery.

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