Eating Disorders

A person’s eating disorder may not be clear-cut

Disordered eating may be exhibited in different ways for different people. Chronic dieting, tendencies to overeat, denying yourself foods that you enjoy, or feeling guilty with your food choices, can all be considered forms of disordered eating.

When we speak of eating disorders, we are usually referring to Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Compulsive Overeating. Often a person’s type of eating disorder may not be clear-cut, but more a combination of two or more of these. The term used for diagnosis — if it is not clear cut — would be Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is a diagnostic eating disorder with general manifestations of refusal to maintain body weight within appropriate ranges for height and age; intense fear of gaining weight or becoming “fat”, although underweight; distorted body image; and amenorrhea (the loss of three consecutive menstrual cycles).

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa is a diagnostic eating disorder with general manifestations of recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating large amounts of food in a discrete time period), feelings of lack of control over eating behaviors during binges, purging behaviors (self-induced vomiting, laxative and diuretic abuse, strict dieting or fasting, and vigorous exercise), and body image issues.

Compulsive Overeating/Binge Eating Disorder

Compulsive overeating, or binge eating disorder, is a diagnostic eating disorder with general manifestations of recurrent episodes of binge eating (eating large amounts of food in a discrete time period), feelings of lack of control over eating behaviors during binges, repeated attempts to lose weight, preoccupation with weight and dieting, and consuming “diet foods” when accompanied and “forbidden foods” in secrecy.

Potential Signs of an Eating Disorder

If you think you might have an eating disorder, take the EAT-26 Eating Attitudes Test or contact your doctor or nutrition therapist.

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