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What Are the Different Types of Eating Disorders That Exist Today?

Eating disorders are among the most dangerous and deadly diseases that one can have. Unlike depression or anxiety, there’s very little room for error about an eating disorder and how it can threaten your person and your health.

Overeating is undoubtedly unhealthy, but it isn’t anywhere near as dangerous as the converse happening — freezing your body and mind in a state of waiting for the chance to have your next meal.

There are many different types of eating disorders that people suffer from, some mild and some severe. Here, we’ll break down the main ones and some of the warning signs.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by severe weight loss. Individuals with anorexia nervosa may have an intense fear of gaining weight and may be critical of their bodies.

Anorexia nervosa can lead to serious health complications, including death. Read about eating disorder treatment stages if you believe you know someone suffering from this disorder. Help them overcome it before it gets worse.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging. You can do the purging through the following:

  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Use of laxatives or diuretics
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fasting

Bulimia nervosa typically begins in adolescence or young adulthood and affects more women than men. People with bulimia nervosa often have a distorted body image and are obsessed with being thin.

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They may go through cycles of binging and purging several times a week. Bulimia nervosa can lead to serious health problems, including:

  • electrolyte imbalance
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • tooth decay

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a severe and life-threatening eating disorder characterized by frequent occurrences of spree eating. Binge eating episodes are characterized by feeling out of control while eating, quickly consuming large amounts of food, and feeling disgusted, ashamed, or guilty after the binge.

Binge eating disorder is a severe psychiatric illness that can lead to long-term health complications such as:

  • Obesity
  • type-2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • fatty liver
  • Cardiovascular Disease

If you do know someone who may have a binge eating disorder, it’s essential to seek professional help.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

ARFID is characterized by avoiding foods for fear of choking, vomiting, or having an adverse reaction. ARFID can lead to malnutrition and weight loss.

People with ARFID often have a history of picky eating. They may avoid specific textures or food colors and limit themselves to only a few types of food.

Orthorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with healthy eating. People with orthorexia nervosa often are preoccupied with the quality and purity of the food they eat. They may spend excessive time planning and preparing meals.

People with this disorder may also avoid eating certain foods because they believe them to be unhealthy. Orthorexia nervosa is not currently recognized as a diagnosable condition. However, some experts classify it as an eating disorder.

Understanding the Types of Eating Disorders

It is essential to recognize and understand the types of eating disorders. Proper knowledge about these mental health issues can help individuals in need find the proper help and resources to overcome them. 

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If you or someone you know suffers from an eating disorder, please seek help.

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