Eating disorders most often occur in
teenage girls and young women. These disorders cause a person to have unhealthy
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to food and body image. Eating disorders
Anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia
nervosa have a distorted perception of their body size and shape and may be very
afraid of gaining weight or getting fat. They eat very little and often become
extremely thin. But even when they become very thin, they may deny how serious their weight loss is or still believe they
are overweight and may continue trying to lose weight. Some people with anorexia
make themselves vomit. Females may stop (or never start) having menstrual
periods. Complications, such as
irregular heartbeats, may also
Binge eating disorder.
This is a disorder in which people have episodes when they feel as if eating
is out of their control. They consume more food than they normally would eat, in a short period of time.
People who have binge eating disorder are often embarrassed or feel guilty
about their behavior. Binge eating disorder may be the most common eating
Bulimia nervosa. People who have bulimia nervosa are overly concerned or worried
about their body shape and weight. They also feel out of control of their
eating and have binge eating episodes. To try to prevent weight gain, people
with bulimia nervosa use "purging"-self-induced vomiting, laxatives or water
pills, or excessive exercise-after a binge eating episode.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Stewart Agras, MD, FRCPC - Psychiatry