Uncommon Eating Disorders to be Aware Of

Monday, Jul 11  •  


Most people are aware of the most common eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. However, many other uncommon eating disorders can be just as dangerous if left untreated. Regardless of the symptoms of your disordered eating, if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to get help right away!

Bigorexia/Muscle Dysmorphia

Bigorexia, or muscle dysmorphia, is a disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with becoming bigger and more muscular. People with bigorexia often spend hours at the gym working out and may take illegal steroids to gain muscle mass. Symptoms of bigorexia include:

– Constantly comparing oneself to others

– Believing that one is never muscular enough

– Refusing to miss a workout

– Abusing steroids or other muscle-enhancing substances

– Withdrawing from friends and family

-Obsessing over foods they consider healthy

Orthorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsession with healthy eating. People with orthorexia often become fixated on the nutritional content of food and may only eat foods that they consider to be healthy. Orthorexia can lead to severe malnutrition as well as social isolation. Symptoms of orthorexia include:

– Only eating certain “safe” foods

– Cutting out entire food groups

– Becoming anxious or depressed if you can’t eat “properly”

– Spending hours researching healthy recipes

– Isolating yourself from family and friends


Pica is an eating disorder characterized by the persistent eating of non-food items. People with pica often eat things like dirt, clay, paint chips, hair, or paper. Pica can lead to serious health problems, such as intestinal blockages, infection, and toxicity. Symptoms of pica include:

– Eating non-food items regularly

– Having cravings for non-food items

– Eating more non-food items when stressed or anxious

Night Eating Syndrome

Night Eating Syndrome is an eating disorder characterized by late-night binge eating and sleep disorders. People with Night Eating Syndrome often eat most of their calories at night and may have trouble falling or staying asleep. Night Eating Syndrome can lead to obesity, type II diabetes, and high blood pressure. Symptoms of Night Eating Syndrome include:

– Binge eating at night

– Waking up to eat in the middle of the night

– Eating more than 50% of your daily calories at night

– Feeling depressed, anxious, or guilty about your eating habits

Compulsive Over Eating 

Compulsive over eating (COE) is similar to binge-eating disorder, however, rather than binging in spurts, individuals with COE eat large amounts of food all day. Symptoms of Compulsive Over Eating include: 

  • Eating large amounts of food
  • Eating quickly (often to the point of discomfort)
  • Eating when no longer hungry

Many people have a food binge now and then. But a compulsive overeater averages binging 2 times a week for at least 6 months.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, it is important to get help right away! There are many resources available to help you on your road to recovery, including Avalon Hills!