Types of Eating Disorders 

Wednesday, Nov 09  •  


Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions. According to a report, 28.8 million Americans have had an eating disorder during their lifetime. These disorders can cause a person to exhibit certain behaviors that impact their physiological and mental well-being. If left unchecked, certain types of eating disorders can cause severe harm. They require appropriate medical and psychological intervention for sustained treatment.

This article highlights the most common types of eating disorders and their symptoms. 

Types of Eating Disorders & Their Symptoms

Here are some of the most common eating disorders and their symptoms:

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by dramatic weight loss and difficulty maintaining an appropriate body weight for your age, height, and stature. It’s a severe mental health condition and has the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric diseases. People suffering from anorexia restrict their calorie intake and the type of foods they consume. Some people might experience distorted body image issues.

Common Symptoms:

  • Drastic weight loss
  • Layered dressing to hide weight loss
  • Excessive preoccupation with calorie intake, weight, dieting, etc.
  • Inability to maintain an appropriate weight
  • Excessive exercising despite exhaustion, illness, or injury
  • Issues with fertility and hormonal health
  • Dental issues, including teeth discoloration, enamel erosion, cavities, etc. 

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa involves repeatedly binging on large quantities of food while feeling a loss of control and the inability to stop eating. The binging is followed by compulsive purging. People with bulimia might purge their food via self-induced vomiting, laxatives, diet pills, and excessive exercise. The binging and purging acts can cause severe physical symptoms. Bulimia typically develops during adolescence and early adulthood. 

Common Symptoms:

  • Recurrent binge eating till the stomach hurts
  • Recurrent purging episodes to avoid weight gain
  • Low self-esteem impacted by body weight
  • A deep-seated fear of weight gain 
  • An inflamed throat from self-induced vomiting
  • Worn tooth enamel, acid reflux, and gut irritation
  • Severe dehydration

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

OSFED is a life-threatening yet treatable eating disorder. This category of eating disorders was created to include people who do not meet the strict diagnostic criteria for bulimia or anorexia but still suffer from an eating disorder. OSFED can present symptoms of other eating disorders simultaneously. 

Common Symptoms:

  • Frequent binge eating and purging
  • Self-esteem tied to body image
  • Excessive dieting
  • Emphasis on losing weight and reducing calorie intake 
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom after eating
  • Excessive use of diuretics or laxatives

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Binge eating disorder is another treatable yet severe type of eating disorder. It involves recurrent episodes of quickly consuming food in large quantities resulting in pain. BED causes the person to experience a loss of control while binging. People suffering from BED will experience shame, guilt, and distress that stem from their behaviors.

Common Symptoms:

  • Recurring binge-eating episodes
  • Inability to stop eating
  • Feelings of guilt and disgust
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hoarding food in strange places
  • Creating life schedules around binging sessions

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

ARFID, previously known as Selective Eating Disorder, is similar to anorexia as both conditions involve the person limiting food consumption. A person suffering from ARFID does not consume enough calories to develop appropriately or maintain essential body functions. This condition causes stalled weight gain and vertical growth in children and weight loss in adults.

Common Symptoms

  • Fear of vomiting
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Fear of choking
  • Limited food preferences that continue to narrow down with time

Get Treatment for Your Eating Disorder

Let Avalon Hills provide you with comprehensive, empathetic eating disorder treatment. We have a dynamic “Treat to Outcome” process that focuses on ensuring our clients get the treatment designed for sustained success. So, if you’re struggling with an eating disorder, get in touch with us today!