Eating disorders are serious mental health disorders. They involve severe problems with your thoughts about food and your eating behaviors. You may eat much less or much more than you need.
Eating disorders are medical conditions; they are not a lifestyle choice. They affect your body's ability to get proper nutrition. This can lead to health issues, such as heart and kidney problems, or sometimes even death. But there are treatments that can help.What are the types of eating disorders?
Common types of eating disorders include
The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown. Researchers believe that eating disorders are caused by a complex interaction of factors. These include genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors.Who is at risk for eating disorders?
Anyone can develop an eating disorder, but they are more common in women. Eating disorders frequently appear during the teen years or young adulthood. But people can also develop them during childhood or later in life.What are the symptoms of eating disorders?
The symptoms of eating disorders vary, depending on the disorder:
The symptoms of binge-eating include
The symptoms of bulimia nervosa include the same symptoms as binge-eating, plus trying to get rid of the food or weight after binging by
Over time, bulimia nervosa can cause health problems such as
The symptoms of anorexia nervosa include
Over time, anorexia nervosa can cause health problems such as
Anorexia nervosa can be fatal. Some people with this disorder die of complications from starvation, and others die of suicide.
Some people with eating disorders may also have other mental disorders (such as depression or Anxiety disorders) or problems with substance use.How is eating disorders diagnosed?
Because eating disorders can be so serious, it is important to seek help if you or a loved one thinks that you might have a problem. To make a diagnosis, your health care provider
Treatment plans for eating disorders are tailored to individual needs. You will likely have a team of providers helping you, including doctors, nutritionists, nurses, and therapists. The treatments may include
Some people with serious eating disorders may need to be in a hospital or in a residential treatment program. Residential treatment programs combine housing and treatment services.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
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