Eating Disorder: Understanding, Types, and Road to Recovery


The eating habits of all of us are quite different. Many people prefer to eat healthy, while many people are so conscious about the increasing obesity or weight that they adopt some different eating habits to reduce them. Now due to these, weight and obesity are reduced, but it has a bad effect on health. These habits are called eating disorders. The following things come under these-

Eating too much

Eat very little

Adopting harmful methods to reduce calories.

Teenage girls and women are ten times more likely to have anorexia or bulimia than boys and men. However, now it is commonly found in men as well. Those who suffer from obesity in childhood are more likely to have eating disorders.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of eating disorders, their types, and the underlying factors contributing to their development.

In this article we are discussing 3 eating disorders-

Binge Eating Disorder

Anorexia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa

Binge Eating Disorder

Recently it has been known that this is also a type of eating disorder. This includes dieting and bingeing but not vomiting. It is sad but less harmful than bulimia. People suffering from this are more likely to be obese.

To pacify your compulsion to eat more, you eat quickly by taking out the things kept in the fridge or by buying oily or high-calorie food from the market, hiding from others. For this, biscuits, packets of chocolates and cakes are all eaten in no time. Due to this habit, you can eat other people’s food or you can pick it up from the shop and eat it.

Afterwards, you feel full and bloated—and possibly feel guilty and sad. Then to get rid of it you make yourself sick by using purgatives or vomiting. It is very annoying and tiring. But you can’t get yourself out of this vicious cycle of overeating, then vomiting, and stick to this routine.

Anorexia Nervosa

A person with anorexia nervosa always worries about putting on weight. He starts eating less during this connection. As a result, over time, its mass and weight diminish. Bones start to show, the victim starts to feel weak, and he frequently loses his balance. It is also important to recognize that individuals who acquire obese as children are more likely to experience anorexia nervosa.

What happens during Anorexia Nervosa?

1. You take in fewer calories per day. Although you take healthy food like fruits, vegetables, salads but your body does not get enough energy from it.

2. You’re constantly hungry and have constant thoughts of food.

3. To lose weight, you overwork out, use diet pills, or smoke.

4. You exaggerate your weight and terrible eating habits to others.

5. The first people to notice your weight loss and leanness can be your family.

6. You prepare meals and buy food for others but refuse to eat any of it.

7. You can also suffer some bulimia symptoms. Your weight stays quite low, in contrast to other bulimics.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

1. Menstrual irregularity or cessation in young girls or women.

2. Constipation problem.

3. Feeling tired.

4. There is no desire to engage in sexual activity.

5. Smokes or chews gum to lose weight.

6. Exercise excessively to reduce calories.

7. Dizziness.

8. Insomnia.

Bulimia Nervosa

Beginning in the middle of adolescence, bulimia nervosa. People frequently wait until they are 20 to 25 years old to get help for this since they may conceal it until then. Bulimia Nervosa sufferers frequently have a severe fear of gaining weight and are obsessed with their appearance and weight.. However, it negatively impacts their daily work and social lives. They only get assistance for this when something in their lives changes, like when they begin new relationships or move in with strangers.

At some point in their lives, 5 out of every 100 women experience bulimia nervosa. Less males exist in comparison to this.

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa

1. Repeated instances of binge eating, marked by consuming large quantities of food within a specific timeframe.

2. A feeling of lost control during binges, unable to halt or regulate the amount of food ingested.

3. Participation in compensatory actions to avoid weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or the use of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

4. Regular cycles of bingeing and purging, typically done secretly.

5. Experiencing shame, guilt, or distress following binge-purge occurrences.

6. Fixation on body shape, weight, and self-perception.

How do Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa affect you?

How do Bulimia and Nervosa affect you?
Credit: Wikipedia

Medical and Physical Repercussions due to Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa

1. Electrolyte imbalances causing heart irregularities, muscle weakness, and fatigue.

2. Dehydration and fluid imbalances in the body.

3. Gastrointestinal damage including acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and tooth decay from frequent vomiting.

4. Swelling of salivary glands (parotid glands) in the cheeks.

5. Imbalances in electrolyte and mineral levels like potassium, sodium, and magnesium, leading to serious health complications.

6. Menstrual irregularities or absence of periods (amenorrhea) in females.

7. Digestive issues such as constipation and bloating.

8. Dental problems including enamel erosion and tooth decay.

Impact on Emotions due to Bulimia and Anorexia

How do Anorexiaand Nervosa affect you?
Credit: Physiopedia

We all know that low self-esteem and self-worth are often linked to body weight and shape. And when it comes to binge-purging, it can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment. Depression, anxiety, and mood swings may also be present in some people. Social withdrawal and isolation may occur, as well as obsessive thoughts about food, weight, and body image.

If you vomit, it could be

1. Enamel on teeth deteriorates. (When vomiting, stomach acid dissolves it.)

2. Enlarged face. (Cheek taste buds swell.)

3. Palpitations (caused by an electrolyte imbalance in the blood brought on by vomiting.)

4. Feeling weak

5. Damage to the kidneys

6. Seizures of epilepsy.

7. Being unable to conceive.

Consistent use of purgative medication may result in

1. Persistent stomachaches.

2. Swelling in fingers.

3. Dependence on the medication for daily bowel movements, which can damage gut muscles with frequent use.

4. Fluctuations in weight due to fluid loss from regular laxative use. Although water intake may compensate for fluid loss, using laxatives does not lead to calorie reduction.

Risk Factors

1. Genetic predisposition and family history of eating disorders or mental health conditions play a role.

2. Sociocultural factors, such as pressure to achieve a specific body shape or weight, also contribute.

3. Psychological factors include low self-esteem, perfectionism, and impulsivity.

4. A history of trauma or abuse can additionally impact one’s susceptibility.

5. Lastly, participation in activities that prioritize weight, like certain sports or professions, can affect the development of eating disorders.


1. Psychotherapy, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), aims to address underlying emotional issues and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

2. Nutritional counseling helps establish regular eating patterns and normalize eating behaviors.

3. Medication, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, may be prescribed if co-occurring mental health conditions are present.

4. Medical monitoring manages physical health complications, while support groups and peer support foster a sense of community and understanding.

Reasons behind Eating Disorders

Reasons behind Eating Disorders
Credit: Chegg

Social Pressure

Our behavior changes according to our social circumstances. Eating disorders are less common in societies where thinness is not given much importance. Being lean is a symbol of beauty in western culture. Newspapers and magazines usually present artificial beauty of artificial and ideal people. At some point of time, we all refrain from eating to become thin and some become victims of anorexia due to excessive dieting.


With anorexia, aging-related changes to the body, like pubic and facial hair in men, breast growth, and menstruation in women, may occur less frequently. Adulthood can contradict expectations, particularly when it comes to sex.


Most people eat more when they are annoyed or bored. Patients with anorexia frequently experience sadness or depression, and they may find themselves constantly eating to cope. Unfortunately, taking laxatives and vomiting frequently result in depressed or hopeless thoughts.

Emotional Distress

When circumstances change or when something negative occurs, we all respond differently. Bulimia and Anorexia are linked to

1. Challenges in life

2. Sexual assault.

3. A bodily ailment.

4. Unsettling occurrences like a death or breakup.

5. Important occasions include getting married or moving out.

Recovery & Support

1. Long-term treatment and support are crucial for maintaining recovery.

2. This includes developing a healthy relationship with food by focusing on balanced nutrition and intuitive eating.

3. It’s important to challenge distorted thoughts and beliefs about body image and self-worth while learning effective coping strategies to manage stress, emotions, and triggers.

4. Building a support network that includes healthcare professionals, therapists, and loved ones is vital, as is consistently monitoring progress.


Seeking help and support for eating disorders is a crucial step toward recovery and fostering a healthy relationship with food, body image, and overall well-being. It takes courage to admit the need for assistance and reach out to healthcare professionals, loved ones, and support networks. Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that necessitate a comprehensive treatment approach involving medical, psychological, and emotional support.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and seeking professional help early on can enhance the likelihood of successful recovery and minimize the physical and psychological consequences. Building a support network with understanding friends, family members, and joining support groups offers invaluable encouragement and a sense of community during the recovery journey.

Increasing awareness about eating disorders among oneself and loved ones can foster understanding and empathy, leading to effective support. Utilizing helplines, hotlines, and specialized treatment programs provides immediate assistance and guidance on the path to recovery. Working with healthcare professionals to develop a tailored treatment plan and adhering to it diligently can result in lasting positive change.

Establishing a relapse prevention plan and maintaining connections with support networks even after recovery is essential to sustain progress and address potential challenges. Recovering from an eating disorder is a lifelong process requiring ongoing commitment, self-care, and support.

Remember, seeking help for an eating disorder is a brave step toward healing and regaining a fulfilling life. With the right support, treatment, and determination, individuals can overcome the challenges posed by eating disorders and embark on a journey toward improved physical health, mental well-being, and self-acceptance.

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