An eating disorder is an illness that causes serious disturbances to everyday diet, such as eating extremely small amounts of food or severely over-eating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spiraled out of control. Severe distress or concern about body weight or shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Most eating disorders involve focusing too much on weight, body shape and food, leading to dangerous eating behaviors. These behaviors can significantly impact body's ability to get adequate nutrition. Eating disorders can harm the heart, digestive system, bones, and teeth and mouth, and lead to other diseases.
Inadequate food intake leading to a weight that is clearly too low. Intense fear of weight gain, obsession with weight and persistent behavior to prevent weight gain. Self-esteem overly related to body image. Inability to appreciate the severity of the situation. Binge-Eating/Purging Type involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors during the last three months. Restricting Type does not involve binge eating or purging.
Physical exam Psychological evaluation Additional tests may be done to check for any complications related to eating disorder. Evaluation and testing may also be done to determine nutritional requirements
Treatment usually involves monitoring a person's physical health while helping them deal with the underlying psychological causes. This may involve:
using self-help manuals and books, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) –that focuses on changing how a person thinks about a situation, which in turn will affect how they act interpersonal psychotherapy – a talking therapy that focuses on relationship-based issues dietary counseling – a talking therapy to help a person maintain a healthy diet psychodynamic therapy or cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) – therapy that focuses on how a person's personality and life experiences influence their current thoughts, feelings, relationships and behaviour family therapy – therapy involving the family discussing how the eating disorder has affected them and their relationships medication – for example, a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be used to treat bulimia nervosa or binge eating