Describing the eating disorders, it is necessary to note that all these lead to serious disturbances in weight regulation and eating behaviour. Bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and their variations are associated with a great variety of physical, psychological and social consequences.
People who have eating disorders may start eating larger or smaller amounts of food, but at the same time they want to eat less, but come out of control. This condition may be the sign of severe distress caused by tough concerns about body shape or weight. An eating disorder can be also characterized by obsessive efforts to manage food intake or weight.
If not being treated, an eating disorder may become a life-threatening disease. Eating disorders usually develop during the teen years and young adult, but may appear earlier or later in life.
Let's look through the main types of eating disorders.
- Anorexia nervosa
People with anorexia nervosa usually see themselves overweight, while they are underweight. The main obsessions are food, eating and weight control. Having this disorder, people constantly weigh themselves, eat very small quantities of only certain foods and sometimes may engage in binge eating that is followed by excessive exercising, dieting, misuse of laxatives, self-induced vomiting, etc.
- Bulimia nervosa
It is a condition when an individual frequently eats very big amounts of different food and almost can't control these episodes. As a result, this disorder is followed by behaviour that minimizes the overeating: excessive use of diuretics and laxatives, forced vomiting, or a combination of both behaviours.
Unlike people who suffer from anorexia nervosa, individuals with bulimia nervosa usually have normal/healthy weight, and can be rarely overweight. However, like people with anorexia nervosa, these people are also aware of gaining weight, are obsessive about losing weight and are constantly unhappy with their body size and shape. Bulimia nervosa is commonly accompanied by the feeling of shame/ disgust. The binge eating can happen anytime and anywhere from a couple of times a week to numerous times a day.
- Binge-eating disorder
People who suffer from binge-eating disorder get used to lose control every time they eat. But unlike bulimia nervosa, the moments of binge eating are not followed by specific behaviours like excessive exercise, purging, or fasting. This is the reason why these people are often overweight or obese. This category of patients has higher risks of having high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Shame, guilt and distress are common feelings that come with this disorder. As a result, they can lead to more binge eating.