The question is how many different types of eating are there? It’s probably more than one, but for the purposes of this article we’ll stick with the big three. These are anorexia nervosa, binge eating and bulimia nervosa. All are treatable, although in some cases they may be fatal.
Anorexia nervosa is an extreme case, a condition that is commonly found in women of middle age and older. It is characterized by a distorted body image and severe restrictions on food intake. Some people with anorexia use laxatives, purge themselves or undergo excessive exercise to compensate for their poor eating habits.
Eating disorders are not limited to women; they affect men and children of all ages. One study suggests that up to 5% of the population has an eating disorder at some point in their lives. For most, they appear to be harmless in the early stages, but over time they can damage a person’s physical and psychological well being. As for identifying a potential problem, a health care professional can use a combination of a patient’s symptoms and family history to assess whether or not an eating disorder is on the horizon.
Although the names of the different types of eating may be a bit fuzzy, there are a number of factors that are thought to contribute to an individual’s risk of developing an eating disorder. Among these are genes, personality traits, and social circumstances. Aside from the obvious genetic predisposition, there is also an increased risk of developing an eating disorder if the person is introverted, anxious, impulsive, or neurotic.
In addition to genetics, eating behaviors may be learned or reinforced by a traumatic experience, such as losing a loved one, or experiencing an emotional crisis. In some cases, an eating disorder can be traced to a person’s adolescent years, although there are also many instances of adults who developed the condition later in life. Whether or not a disorder is present, individuals should avoid eating when they are tired or when they are in an emotionally fraught state.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s possible to treat an eating disorder successfully. Most insurance companies will cover treatment if it’s determined that the person has an eating disorder, though some will cite the absence of a diagnosis as a barrier. Fortunately, there is a wide array of treatments for all types of eating disorders. Ultimately, the key to a successful recovery is to have the proper education and self-awareness. Knowing that there are options out there for those who suffer from anorexia nervosa or any other type of eating disorder will empower the person to make an informed decision on what course of action they should take.