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Eating on the Extremes - Types of Eating Disorders

June 12, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 199

There are many different kinds of eating disorders. They include; anorexia, nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. In addition to these, there are also people who do not exactly fit into any particular category, but who nevertheless exhibit eating disturbances.

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by the refusal to eat. The sufferer can belong to any age group and either gender but the disorder disproportionately affects young women in their late teens and early twenties.

According to the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) there are four criteria that must be present to achieve a diagnosis. First, a person must refuse to maintain body weight over a minimal normal weight for age and height or have a failure to make expected weight gain during a defined period of growth, resulting in a body weight which is 15% lower than expected. Second, the person must experience intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though they are underweight. Third, the person must be concerned about how others perceive their body weight, size, or shape. They might also be in denial of the seriousness of their current body weight. Finally, amenorrhea must be present, which is the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles when otherwise expected to occur.

Another eating disorder is the bulimia nervosa. It is characterized by recurring, frequent episodes of eating unusually a lot of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes. This binge-eating is followed by a behavior that makes up for the overeating such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, excessive exercise, or a combination of these behaviors.

Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia nervosa usually maintain what is considered a healthy or normal weight, while some are slightly overweight. People with anorexia nervosa, they often fear gaining weight and want desperately to lose weight. They are extremely unhappy with their body size and shape. Usually, bulimic behavior is done secretly because it is accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame. The binge-eating and purging cycle takes place anywhere from several times a week to many times a day. There are some other symptoms present too like chronically inflamed and sore throat, severe dehydration from purging of fluids, Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse etc.

With the third kind of disorder which is the binge-eating disorder, a person loses control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge-eating is not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder are overweight, or obese. Hence, people with binge-eating disorder who are obese are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. They also experience guilt, shame, and distress about their binge-eating, which can lead to more binge-eating.

Apart from all the aforementioned disorders there are few other eating disorders also present which fall under a different category. These include night eating, overeating, anorexia and partial syndrome. All these in turn pose a real threat to a healthy lifestyle and social life, and so require prompt medical attention.

James Johnson is an expert online author and internet marketing specialist from the UK.

Source: EzineArticles
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