Some of the Most Common Eating Disorders & Their Symptoms

Friday, Aug 28  •  


Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders that are nuanced with deeper psychological issues that need to be addressed to find recovery. Although the term “eating disorder” seems to focus on the immediate issue of food, eating disorders are about more than food. Many who suffer from eating disorders tend to focus on their need for control, which they feel their eating disorders provides them with.

There are several different kinds of eating disorders. Below are some of the most common eating disorders along with the common symptoms associated with them. If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help immediately. 

  1. Anorexia nervosa: This is likely the most well-known eating disorder. Those who suffer from anorexia nervosa typically view themselves as overweight, even when they are underweight or at a healthy weight. The common symptoms include consistent monitoring of weight, food intake, avoid certain foods, and severely restrict their calorie intake. 
  2. Bulimia nervosa: Those who experience this eating disorder typically binge and purge. During a binge, the person suffering will eat a large amount of food until they are ill. They often feel like they don’t have control over how much they eat or cannot stop. After a binge, they purge to control their weight/relieve the pain they’re experiencing. Those who are affected by bulimia nervosa are intensely afraid of gaining weight despite maintaining a typically healthy weight.
  3. Binge eating disorder: This disorder is believed to be one of the most common eating disorders, especially in the United States. People who experience this eating disorder are typically overweight or obese and common symptoms include eating large amounts of food rapidly, feeling lack of control during binge episodes, and feelings such as shame or disgust associated with these behaviors. Purging behaviors such as excessive exercise or calorie restriction are not associated with binge eating disorder. 
  4. Pica: This is an eating disorder that involves eating things that are not considered food. Some of the non-food substances that those with pica crave can include things such as ice, dirt, soil, chalk, soap, paper, hair, cloth, wool, pebbles, laundry detergent, or cornstarch. This disorder most commonly affects children, pregnant women, and individuals with mental disabilities. Those who experience this eating disorder are at risk of poisoning, infection, and nutritional deficiencies. 

Our team at Avalon Hills is prepared and has experience in treating a wide range of eating disorders. There is help available. If you would like to speak to one of our admissions specialists, please call 435-938-6060.