Do you ever find yourself worrying about your weight or your body image? If so, it could be a sign of an eating disorder. Though most people think of anorexia when they hear the phrase “eating disorder”, there are actually many different types that range from mild to severe.
Today, we’ll explore the various types of eating disorders and how to tell if you might be suffering from one. From binge eating to atypical anorexia nervosa, I will discuss the symptoms, causes and potential treatments for each condition. Keep reading if you want to learn more about what kinds of conditions may qualify as disordered eating.
What is Eating Disorder?
Eating disorder is a broad term that covers a range of psychological and physical conditions. Generally, these conditions involve an uncontrollable urge to consume certain foods or restrict food intake, as well as negative feelings about one’s body image. Eating disorders can be mild or severe, and typically require medical attention in order to be effectively managed.
Common Types of Eating Disorders
The most common types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. These are the three main categories but there are several other lesser known conditions that may be classified as eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by severe restriction of food intake and extreme thinness. People with anorexia may have a distorted body image, obsess over their weight and be terrified of gaining any weight.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by frequent episodes of binge-eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as purging or overexercising. People with bulimia have an intense fear of gaining weight and may struggle to control their food intake.
Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating without the compensatory behaviors associated with bulimia nervosa. People with binge-eating disorder often have a distorted body image and may feel ashamed or guilty about their eating habits.
Other Types Of Eating Disorders:
Other types of disordered eating include atypical anorexia nervosa, night-eating syndrome, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), orthorexia nerovsa, and rumination disorder.
Atypical anorexia nervosa is similar to anorexia in that it involves significant weight loss, however the individual does not meet all of the criteria necessary for a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.
Night-eating syndrome is characterized by late night meals or snacks followed by difficulty falling asleep, waking up throughout the night to eat, and cravings for sweet or starchy foods.
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a condition in which individuals severely restrict their diet due to fear of certain foods, dislike of certain textures or flavors, difficulty chewing or swallowing, nausea associated with eating, and/or worry about choking.
Orthorexia nervosa is an obsession with eating only foods that are considered to be “healthy” or “clean”. People suffering from orthorexia often experience guilt and shame when they stray from their rigorous diet plans.
Rumination disorder is a condition in which individuals regurgitate food and then re-swallow it or spit it out.
Ways to Treat Eating Disorder:
1. Seek professional help: Eating disorders are serious conditions that require medical attention and treatment. The first step to recovery is to seek professional help from a doctor, therapist or nutritionist who specializes in eating disorder treatment.
2. Educate yourself: Learning more about disordered eating and the various types of eating disorders can be helpful in understanding the condition and what treatment options may be available.
3. Make lifestyle changes: Making changes to your diet, exercise habits and lifestyle can help to manage the symptoms of disordered eating. This includes eating regular meals, engaging in regular physical activity and avoiding triggers that cause episodes of binge-eating or over-restricting food intake.
4. Seek social support: Having a strong network of friends and family who are supportive and understanding can be helpful in recovery.
5. Practice self-care: Taking time for yourself to relax, practice mindfulness and engage in activities that bring you joy can help to reduce stress levels and ease symptoms associated with disordered eating.
Eating disorders are serious conditions that require medical attention and treatment. Seek professional help, educate yourself, make lifestyle changes, seek social support and practice self-care to treat eating disorder. With the right help and support, recovery is possible. With awareness around eating disorders increasing, more people are recognizing the signs of disordered eating and seeking treatment. Through understanding, education and support those affected by eating disorders can learn to manage their symptoms and resume a healthy lifestyle. If you know someone who is suffering from an eating disorder, it’s important to offer your love and support as they embark on the journey of recovery.
Overall, becoming aware of the different types of eating disorders is essential in order to seek appropriate help. Understanding the signs and symptoms, as well as treatment options are key for those suffering to get the help they need and move towards recovery. With support from family, friends and medical professionals, anyone suffering from an eating disorder can learn how to manage their symptoms and lead a healthier life.