Eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening disorders. They vary in intensity and there is no “look” that indicates you have an eating problem.
Treatment for all eating disorders is best achieved with a multidisciplinary team approach that includes the client, dietitian, therapist and physician. Nutrition therapy will explore your relationship with weight and food and partner together set gradual and attainable goals to improve your health and eating as well as learn to stop using disordered eating symptoms. Goals may include:
Below are some of the common characteristics of different eating problems.
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by weight loss and self-starvation.
Medical symptoms that occur in time:
Bulimia Nervose is described by secretive cycles of eating followed by purging.
Medical symptoms that develop over time include:
For more information and visuals about Bulimia visit here.
EDNOS is basically a combination of anorexia without significant weight loss or low weight compared to height.
Can have any or all symptoms of anorexia as well as compensatory behaviors from bulimia.
Recurrent episodes of binge eating.
An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
Emotional and behavioral
A 2007 study asked 9,282 English-speaking Americans about a variety of mental health conditions, including eating disorders. The results, published in Biological Psychiatry, found that 3.5% of women and 2.0% of men had binge eating disorder during their life.
Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG Jr, and Kessler RC. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3):348-58. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.03.040. Combining information from several sources, Eric Stice and Cara Bohon found that:
For further reading:
Westerberg, D. P., & Waitz, M. (2013). Binge-eating disorder. Osteopathic Family Physician, 5(6), 230-233.
All information compiled from: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/bed
Citation: De Coverley Veal, DMW: “Exercise Dependence”, British Journal of Addiction
Volume 82, Issue 7, pages 735–740, July 1987
Do not allow anyone (professional or not) to judge the intensity of your eating problem based on “if you look like you have an eating disorder”. Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. Please remember, the beliefs and feelings you have about food, weight and how much or little you are flourishing in your life say so much more about how well you are. No matter how long you have been struggling, it is not too early or late to begin the process of healing your relationship with food and body image issues.
Take the first step to feeling more comfortable in your skin and eating "normally".