Most people are probably familiar with at least one eating disorder, but what many don’t know is that there are actually several different types of eating disorders. Some examples include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and orthorexia.
All of these conditions involve poor body image and/or excessive dieting or food preoccupation. However, it is important to remember that nutritional needs are crucial for overall health and wellness!
There is some debate about whether or not individuals with any type of eating disorder suffer from enough weight gain. This argument comes down to whether or not individuals who have an eating disorder suffer from “enough” weight gain. Many professionals believe that those with eating disorders do not achieve adequate weight gain.
This can cause additional worries like if someone has an eating disorder then they must be trying hard to lose weight. It also raises questions such as why would someone try to lose weight when they clearly aren’t?
Overall, most doctors agree that people with eating disorders suffer from low levels of self-esteem and body acceptance. They may also feel uncomfortable in their own skin and strive to avoid things that make them feel bad about themselves.
People with eating disorders often go through life feeling insecure about their bodies. Fortunately, there are ways to help yourself feel happier about your appearance and learn to accept yourself just the way you are.
Bulimia is characterized by repeated instances of binge eating, typically followed by compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or exercise to counteract weight gain.
The term bulimoic comes from the Ancient Greek word for balloon, boulimos, which describes someone who eats too much.
In fact, some researchers believe that binging in people with bulimia is actually an attempt to make themselves feel better about their own body size.
They reason that because they eat enough food to satisfy their appetite, then they must like how their bodies look.
This theory is called the “ingestion” model of bulimia. It suggests that individuals with this disorder are trying to neutralize their negative feelings about themselves via overeating.
However, most experts agree that hunger plays a bigger role than mood in fueling compulsive eating habits in those with bulimia.
Binge eating disorder symptoms
Another name for compulsive over-eating is binge eating, which has received a great deal of attention in recent years. People with this type of eating behavior eat far more than normal during a limited time frame – usually hours – and then they feel sick and disgusted after doing so.
They may also feel guilty or ashamed of what they have done. It’s as if a powerful force inside them makes it impossible to stop eating once you start.
Because you will be hungry again soon, people who suffer from binge eating often try to distract themselves by thinking about food or buying food.
This can make their problem worse, because they are adding more sugar to their already excessive intake!
Some people develop bad body image habits like self-starvation or frequent dieting that only increase their hunger and urge to eat, making the situation get even worse.
Experts believe that genetics play a big role in whether someone develops binge eating or not. But environmental factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression can contribute and sometimes trigger an episode.
Bulimia nervosa symptoms
Another term for people who suffer from binge eating disorder is “bulimic,” which comes from the Greek word búlimos, meaning “gourmand.” This term was used to describe people in ancient Greece and Rome who would overindulge during feasts or celebrations by eating as much as possible because they were hungry later.
However, these individuals would also frequently purge — take laxatives or vomit — to rid their bodies of all the food they had consumed. Because this behavior goes against what we know about healthy weight loss, it is not considered an appropriate way to treat obesity.
But for someone with bulimia, dieting too tightly or skipping meals is exactly how they get into trouble. Because you are trying to lose weight, you do not want your body to use stored energy to survive by ingesting foods instead of using glucose (sugar) and fat to fuel growth and function. So, it becomes difficult to eat enough to satisfy your appetite while at the same time attempting to empty your stomach.
Some people may find it hard to recognize that some of these behaviors occur in someone who has binge-eating disorder. But if you are worried about their changes in mood, activity level, or general appearance, it might be helpful to ask whether they have been engaging in such behaviors.
What is and isn’t a eating disorder
Not all comments or behaviors about food are symptoms of an eating disorder. It is important to know what definitions for binge eating, compulsive over-eating, and dieting exist so that you can determine if there is cause for concern with someone you love.
Binge eating is not considered an eating disorder unless it becomes excessive and/or frequent. This includes having trouble controlling your appetite, but not to the extent that it affects other parts of your life (job, school, relationships).
Compulsory exercise is also not considered an eating disorder as long as people feel physically comfortable and do not go beyond their normal limits.
Dieting is normally defined as going without foods for extended periods of time to lose weight. However, when this happens along with talk about how much money one spends on groceries, how many meals they eat at restaurants, or how quickly they taper off diets, then it may be concerning.
Examples of eating disorders
There are many types of eating disorders, all involving excessive concern about your weight. Some examples include:
Thin-body syndrome (thinness as a sign of depression)
Osteoporosis caused by too much stress due to fear of being overweight
For example, someone with binge eating disorder will eat very quickly and heavily before feeling full and conscious of how much they ate. This can easily turn into eating more than what is needed to feel happy or comfortable.
Some people develop eating disorders at a young age. For instance, some children get worried when their parents talk about how thin their child is looking. This sometimes leads to kids developing fears of food and/paying attention in school because they do not want to be noticed or have their friends know that they do not enjoy eating certain foods.
If you notice signs of an eating disorder in a friend or family member, it is important to be supportive. Do not make assumptions about why these behaviors occur but rather ask if anyone wants help finding treatment.
Who has an eating disorder?
Most people probably have subconscious beliefs about how much they like their own body, but may not be aware that these beliefs can influence your diet or desire to maintain a healthy weight.
People with eating disorders are often preoccupied with how their body looks and does not feel comfortable in it. They may also try hard to lose weight by limiting what they eat and exercise more frequently.
Some types of eating disorders are clearly linked to obesity (or overweight), such as bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.
Other conditions include orthorexia nervosa — where someone is very conscious about what foods belong in the food group and fear eating anything other than “clean” products — and pica, which is when individuals ingest nonfoods for emotional reasons.
Identifying an eating disorder
The term “eating disorders” can be confusing. Sometimes, people use the word “dieting” instead of “binge-eating” or “compulsive eating.” While this is not incorrect, it may not clearly describe what symptoms you are looking for.
Binge-eating is characterized by feeling hungry and starting to eat rapidly (more than usual) more food than normal. You may also feel tired after eating due to your body wasting energy in digestion. Then, without conscious effort, you stop eating as soon as you have enough food. This can last hours or days depending on how much food you consume!
Compulsive eating means you keep trying to eat even though you are full. It can make you feel sick because you need to eat constantly or get very little sleep. Many people with compulsive eating suffer from insomnia which makes their hunger worse.
Treatment for eating disorders
Finding the right help is the first step to recovering from an eating disorder. Unfortunately, not all treatments are effective for everyone! For this reason, there is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to finding the best treatment for your child.
Some treatments work immediately, while others may require more time before they begin to see results. This can be very frustrating for parents as you want your children to get better fast, but knowing that some things take longer is important to feel confident in the process.
It is totally normal to feel nervous or stressed out about how to pay for treatment. It takes a lot of resources to find good care so having money saved up to make sure your child gets the best possible services is smart.
There are many types of therapies and treatments for eating disorders. Some focus on nutritional counseling, weight loss strategies, and mindfulness practices. Others teach specific skills like relaxation or stress management, problem solving, or goal setting.
A few treatments involve doing something called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, you learn ways to think about yourself and your habits that contribute to your eating disorder. Then you practice these lessons in the here and now to change what happens inside your body due to thoughts.
This article will talk more about the different types of treatments and why they might not work for you and your child. But first, let us look at the three most common eating disorders and their appropriate treatments.