Different Types of Eating Disorders

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Published on February 27, 2019

Different Types of Eating Disorders

Photo of post-it note with eating disorders written on it

Photo of post-it note with eating disorders written on itEating disorders are more common than people think and are not to be taken lightly. According to the Mayo Clinic, “eating disorders are serious conditions related to persistent eating behaviors that negatively impact a person’s health, emotional wellbeing and ability to function in life.”

Different types of eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa – Persons with this disorder have constant limitations of calories and a distorted view of their self-image; they also exercise often. They feel fat when they are really skinny with a very low body weight.
  • Bulimia nervosa – An episodic period for individuals where eating is out of control, often followed by vomiting or taking laxatives to purge what was eaten. Exercise may or may not follow each episode.
  • Binge-eating disorder – This is the constant intake of eating too much food quickly, to where a person might feel uncomfortable afterward. Exercising typically does not follow this behavior.
  • Rumination disorder – The regurgitation of food after it’s eaten that may result in malnutrition. It can affect children and adults (most commonly seen in infants, children and adolescents). It is frequently misdiagnosed as heart burn or vomiting, causing delay in diagnosis and treatment. This behavior requires a doctor’s diagnosis and medical treatment to help correct the disorder.
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder – An individual with this disorder is simply not concerned about eating or just doesn’t have an appetite. This disorder may cause a nutrition deficiency that could be harmful to a person’s health.

All disorders can be life threatening. It’s important to be aware of the different types and not be in denial. Seeking help can save a life or prevent a lifetime of health-related problems.

According to PIH Health Physicians Family Medicine Doctor, Grace Jae MD, “Excessive eating and exercising, skipping meals, leaving during meal time to use the bathroom, depression – may be symptoms of something more serious. Seeking help is very important.”

If you have a problem, consult with your doctor right away. Visit PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doc for a primary care physician near you.

If you have a crisis, contact the National Eating Disorder Association at 800.931.2237 or text “NEDA” to 741741 for help.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.