We all have to eat to survive, but did you know that there are an array of factors contributing to our eating habits? This includes: how we were raised, our genes, images we come across whether online, on TV, or elsewhere, our mental health, biological changes, and even injuries. It’s no wonder there are multiple types of eating disorders.
However, only five of all the different eating disorders are listed as official medical diagnoses in the two manuals (DSM and ICD) used by physicians and psychologists to record valid diagnoses.
Eating disorders are behavioral conditions characterized by persistent and severe disturbance of eating patterns and behaviors. These disorders are usually associated with distressful thoughts and emotions and can be extremely dangerous as they can affect physical, social, and psychological functions. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of race, gender, or age but are more prevalent in women.
Up to five percent of the population have eating disorders, which can be associated with behaviors like binge or excessive eating, restrictive eating, laxative misuse, purging by vomiting, or compulsive exercise. These behaviors are very similar to addiction but can be just as dangerous, with a risk of harmful physical effects that can even lead to death. If you suspect that you or a loved one has an eating disorder, contact us right away for help.
Eating disorders often occur with other types of psychiatric disorders, such as mood or anxiety disorders, drug or alcohol abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other mental disorders. Eating disorders should be taken very seriously as they can have detrimental effects on your physical health, emotional state and are potentially life-threatening. This is because these disorder types can have negative impacts on every organ system in your body. Therefore, if you, a friend, or a family member have symptoms associated with these conditions, seek help immediately. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be to reach a full recovery.
Symptoms of eating disorders may include:
Those listed in the DSM and ICD manuals include these listed below.
According to experts, anorexia nervosa is considered the most deadly of all mental illnesses and the most severe eating disorder since its highest mortality rate. This condition involves several purging behaviors, such as severe food restriction and sometimes extreme exercising.
Bulimia nervosa occurs after someone repeatedly binges large amounts of food, then purges it by either forcing themself to throw it up, use laxatives or diet pills, or over-exercise. Both purging and binging behaviors are dangerous by themselves. Put together. They can rapidly lead to harmful physical symptoms.
Unlike most eating disorders, muscle dysmorphia seems to affect men more than women and is characterized by a disturbing obsession with physique and musculature. The person fixates on acquiring the perfect musculature form.
BED is like bulimia in that the person has frequent episodes of binge eating large amounts of food. However, unlike bulimia, binge eating disorders rarely include purging behaviors. Typically, individuals affected by this eating disorder are obese or overweight.
OSFED is a “catch-all” term for other eating disorders that do not fit into the categories above. Physicians and psychologists often use unofficial diagnoses with OFSED for bulimia, atypical anorexia, or any other types of eating disorders not listed in diagnostic manuals.
OSFEDs may include:
COE is like BED in that the person binges on large amounts of food. The only difference is with BED; the person binge eats in spurts, where they binge eat all day long with COE.
Prader Willi Syndrome is an inherited genetic disease that causes insatiable hunger during childhood. It starts with slow development, poor feeding, and weak muscles in babies and eventually leads to compulsive eating, resulting in obesity. Children who struggle with this syndrome will often develop diabetes and find it hard to live a normal lifestyle.
Diabulimia occurs when someone with diabetes tries to induce weight loss using their prescription insulin.
This term was coined by the medical doctor and writer Steven Bratman to characterize someone who obsesses over planning the perfect diet so much that it disrupts their life.
Selective eating disorder describes someone who is an extremely picky eater to a debilitating level. Individuals with a selective eating disorder are so selective about what they eat that they skip meals and become sick.
This is an eating disorder associated with alcohol. A drunkorexia resists food or purges to save calories and drink alcohol on an empty stomach. When this disorder goes untreated, the person can develop severe malnutrition.
Some women want to control their weight during pregnancy but take extreme measures to endanger themself and their baby. Pregorexia can lead to coronary heart disease, low birth weight, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, hypertension, and more.
The problem with eating disorders is not the lack of treatment, as there are many treatment options available to help those with eating disorders reach a full recovery fast. Most people with eating disorders deny they have a problem with weight and eating and find it hard to change their eating patterns.
Because each patient and disorder is different, an individualized treatment plan is required to combat this illness. This may involve getting a full staff of medical professionals on board, including eating disorder registered dietitians, a medical doctor, eating disorder therapists, and knowledgeable support staff who will work together with the patient to reach a positive outcome.
If you or someone you love struggles with an eating disorder in Orange County, CA, contact us for help right away. Here at Enhance Health Group, we use proven treatment plans to help people with eating disorders resume healthy eating habits, recover their psychological and emotional health, and improve their lifestyle.