Anorexics Are Unlike Bulimics in That They __________

Anorexics Are Unlike Bulimics in That They __________

Eating Disorders: About More Than Food

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are serious, biologically influenced medical illnesses marked past astringent disturbances to one’due south eating behaviors. Although many people may be concerned about their health, weight, or appearance from time to time, some people become fixated or obsessed with weight loss, body weight or shape, and decision-making their food intake. These may exist signs of an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are not a choice. These disorders can touch a person’due south concrete and mental health. In some cases, they tin be life-threatening. With handling, however, people can recover completely from eating disorders.

Who is at risk for eating disorders?

Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, body weights, and genders. Although eating disorders often announced during the teen years or young machismo, they may too develop during childhood or subsequently in life (40 years and older).

People with eating disorders may announced good for you, yet be extremely ill.

The verbal cause of eating disorders is not fully understood, but research suggests a combination of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors tin can raise a person’s risk.

What are the common types of eating disorders?

Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. Each of these disorders is associated with different but sometimes overlapping symptoms. People exhibiting any combination of these symptoms may have an eating disorder and should be evaluated by a health care provider.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a status where people avoid food, severely restrict nutrient, or consume very pocket-sized quantities of just sure foods. They likewise may weigh themselves repeatedly. Even when dangerously underweight, they may see themselves as overweight.

There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa: a
subtype and a

Restrictive: People with the restrictive subtype of anorexia nervosa severely limit the corporeality and blazon of nutrient they consume.

Rampage-Purge: People with the binge-purge subtype of anorexia nervosa besides greatly restrict the amount and type of food they consume. In addition, they may accept rampage-eating and purging episodes—eating large amounts of food in a brusque time followed past vomiting or using laxatives or diuretics to get rid of what was consumed.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Extremely restricted eating and/or intensive and excessive exercise
  • Extreme thinness (emaciation)
  • A relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body or self-epitome that is heavily influenced by perceptions of torso weight and shape
  • Deprival of the seriousness of low body weight
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Over time, anorexia nervosa tin atomic number 82 to numerous serious wellness consequences, including:

  • Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
  • Mild anemia
  • Muscle wasting and weakness
  • Brittle hair and nails
  • Dry and yellowish pare
  • Growth of fine hair all over the body (lanugo)
  • Severe constipation
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slowed breathing and pulse
  • Impairment to the structure and role of the eye
  • Drop in internal body temperature, causing a person to feel cold all the fourth dimension
  • Lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the fourth dimension
  • Infertility
  • Brain damage
  • Multiple organ failure

Anorexia nervosa tin can be fatal.
It has an extremely high death (mortality) charge per unit compared with other mental disorders. People with anorexia are at risk of dying from medical complications associated with starvation. Suicide is the second leading crusade of death for people diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.

If yous or someone you lot know is in firsthand distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You also tin text the
Crisis Text Line
(Hullo to 741741) or use the Lifeline Chat on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. If y’all suspect a medical emergency, seek medical attention or phone call 911 immediately.

What is bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is a condition where people have recurrent episodes of eating unusually big amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over their eating. This binge eating is followed by behaviors that compensate for the overeating to prevent weight gain, such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors. Unlike those with anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia nervosa may maintain a normal weight or be overweight.

Symptoms and wellness consequences of bulimia nervosa include:

  • Chronically inflamed and sore throat
  • Bloated salivary glands in the neck and jaw surface area
  • Worn tooth enamel and increasingly sensitive and decaying teeth from exposure to breadbasket acrid when vomiting
  • Acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative corruption
  • Severe dehydration from purging
  • Electrolyte imbalance (too low or also high levels of sodium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals), which can lead to stroke or heart attack
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What is rampage-eating disorder?

Rampage-eating disorder is a condition where people lose command of their eating and have reoccurring episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge eating are not followed by purging, excessive practise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder are oft overweight or obese.

Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a short amount of time, for example, within two hours
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes
  • Eating fifty-fifty when full or not hungry
  • Eating until uncomfortably total
  • Eating alone or in undercover to avoid embarrassment
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about eating
  • Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss

What is avoidant restrictive food intake disorder?

Avoidant restrictive nutrient intake disorder (ARFID), previously known as selective eating disorder, is a condition where people limit the corporeality or type of nutrient eaten. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with ARFID do non have a distorted body paradigm or extreme fright of gaining weight. ARFID is most common in middle childhood and commonly has an before onset than other eating disorders. Many children go through phases of picky eating, but a child with ARFID does not eat plenty calories to grow and develop properly, and an adult with ARFID does not eat plenty calories to maintain basic torso function.

Symptoms of ARFID include:

  • Dramatic brake of types or amount of food eaten
  • Lack of appetite or involvement in nutrient
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Upset stomach, intestinal pain, or other gastrointestinal issues with no other known crusade
  • Limited range of preferred foods that becomes even more limited (“picky eating” that gets progressively worse)

How are eating disorders treated?

Eating disorders can be treated successfully. Early detection and handling are important for a full recovery. People with eating disorders are at higher take chances for suicide and medical complications.

A person’s family can play a crucial role in treatment. Family members can encourage the person with eating or trunk image issues to seek help. They also tin can provide support during treatment and tin exist a great ally to both the individual and the health care provider. Research suggests that incorporating the family into treatment for eating disorders can improve treatment outcomes, particularly for adolescents.

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Handling plans for eating disorders include psychotherapy, medical care and monitoring, nutritional counseling, medications, or a combination of these approaches. Typical treatment goals include:

  • Restoring acceptable diet
  • Bringing weight to a healthy level
  • Reducing excessive exercise
  • Stopping binge-purge and binge-eating behaviors

People with eating disorders besides may have other mental disorders (such as depression or anxiety) or problems with substance employ. Information technology’s disquisitional to treat whatever co-occurring weather condition every bit part of the treatment plan.

Specific forms of psychotherapy (“talk therapy”) and cognitive-behavioral approaches can treat certain eating disorders effectively. For general information about psychotherapies, visit the National Constitute of Mental Health (NIMH) psychotherapies webpage.

Research also suggests that medications may help treat some eating disorders and co-occurring anxiety or depression related to eating disorders. Data nearly medications changes frequently, so talk to your health care provider. Visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website for the latest warnings, patient medication guides, and FDA-approved medications.

Are there clinical trials studying eating disorders?

NIMH supports a wide range of research, including clinical trials that expect at new means to foreclose, detect, or treat diseases and atmospheric condition, including eating disorders. Although individuals may do good from being part of a clinical trial, participants should exist aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to proceeds new scientific noesis then that others may be better helped in the future.

Researchers at NIMH and around the country acquit clinical trials with patients and salubrious volunteers. Talk to your health intendance provider nearly clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is correct for y’all. For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials beingness conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.


This publication is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from NIMH. Citation of NIMH as a source is appreciated. To learn more than almost using NIMH publications, please contact the NIMH Information Resources Center at 1-866 615 6464, email [email protected], or refer to NIMH’s reprint guidelines.

For More Information

MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine) (en español) (en español)

National Institutes of Health
NIH Publication No. 21-MH-4901
Revised 2021

Anorexics Are Unlike Bulimics in That They __________