2 Most Common Types Of Eating Disorder Can Start In Our Teens

2 Most common types of eating disorder can start as early as in our teen years. Young women and teenagers are most vulnerable, as their condition often remains undiagnosed.

Eating disorders are serious mental health disorders. They involve severe problems with your thoughts about food and eating patterns, and there are various types of eating disorder that we may face. You may eat much less or much more food than you need.

One needs to understand that the multiple types of eating disorder are medical conditions and not lifestyle choices. They affect our body’s ability to get proper nutrition. This can lead to severe health problems like heart and kidney problems, but fortunately eating disorders are curable.

Those with eating disorders can have a myriad of symptoms. The common symptoms include restricted intake of food, food binges, purging behaviours like vomiting and over exercising.

Although eating disorders can be found in any gender and at any stage of life, they are more commonly found in teenagers and younger women. In fact, 13% of youth may have experienced at least 1 eating disorder by the age of 20.

What are the types of eating disorders?

Common types of eating disorders include

  • Binge-eating: Which means, out-of-control eating. People with binge-eating disorder keep eating even after they are full. They often eat until they feel very uncomfortable. Later, they usually have feelings of guilt, shame, and distress. Eating too much too often can lead to weight gain and obesity.

Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
Bulimia nervosa- People with bulimia nervosa also have periods of binge-eating. But afterwards, they purge, by making themselves throw up or using laxatives.

They may also over-exercise or fast. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight.

Anorexia nervosa: People with anorexia nervosa avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight.

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Anorexia nervosa is the least common of the three eating disorders, but it is often the most serious. It has the highest death rate of any mental disorder.

What causes eating disorders?

The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown. Researchers believe that eating disorders are caused by a complex interaction of factors.

These include genetic, biological, behavioural, psychological, and social factors.

Who is at risk for eating disorders?

Anyone can develop an eating disorder, but they are more common in women. Eating disorders frequently appear during the teen years or young adulthood. But people can also develop them during childhood or later in life.

What are the symptoms of eating disorders?

The symptoms of eating disorders vary, depending on the types of eating disorder an individual suppers from.

The symptoms of binge-eating include:

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time, such as a 2-hour period.
  • Eating even when you’re full or not hungry.
  • Eating fast during binge episodes.
  • Eating until you’re uncomfortably full.
  • Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment.
  • Feeling distressed, ashamed, or guilty about your eating.
  • Frequently dieting, possibly without weight loss.

The symptoms of bulimia nervosa include the same symptoms as binge-eating, plus trying to get rid of the food or weight after binging.

The symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Eating very little, to the point of starving yourself
  • Intensive and excessive exercise
  • Extreme thinness
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted body image: seeing yourself as overweight even when you are severely underweight

Over time, anorexia nervosa can cause health problems such as

    • Thinning of the bones (osteopenia or osteoporosis)
    • Mild anaemia
    • Muscle wasting and weakness
    • Thin, brittle hair and nails
    • Dry, blotchy, or yellowish skin
    • Growth of fine hair all over the body
    • Severe constipation
    • Low blood pressure
    • Slowed breathing and pulse

Some people with eating disorders may also have other mental disorders (such as depression or anxiety) or problems with substance use.

How are the types of eating disorders diagnosed?

Because eating disorders can be so serious, it is important to seek help if you or a loved one thinks that you might have a problem. Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis.

The above categories mentioned are to provide you with a better understanding of them and dispel myths around them.

If you have an eating disorder or know someone that might have, seek help from a medical health practitioner that specializes in eating disorders. Remember, help is always available, you just need to ask for it.

Image source: CanvaPro

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About the Author

dietitian Nilofar

I am a dietitian by profession,blogger by passion. I regularly blog on health,fitness and mental and physical wellbeing.For more such interesting articles watch this space. read more...

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