Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia & Compulsive Overeating

Each year, more than 5 million Americans are affected by serious and often life-threatening eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, binge-eating, bulimia nervosa, compulsive eating, obesity, and pica. Eating Disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nevrosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.

  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape
  • Intense fear of weight gain or being "fat"
  • Feeling "fat" or overweight despite dramatic weight loss
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity level

Symptoms of bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nevrosa is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Bulimia includes eating large amounts of food–more than most people would eat in one meal–in short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising.

  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape
  • Frequent dieting
  • Repeated episodes of bingeing and purging
  • Purging after a binge, (typically by self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills and/or diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting)
  • Feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond the point of comfortable fullness

Symtoms of binge eating disosder

Binge eating disorder is characterized primarily by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. While there is no purging, there may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets and often feelings of shame or self-hatred after a binge.

People who overeat compulsively may struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can contribute to their unhealthy episodes of binge eating. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.