Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders -- such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder – include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males.

The following information is a brief summary of the Feeding and Eating Disorders described in the American Psychiatric Association’s Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published in 2013. Click on the links below to learn more about the different types of eating disorders and their symptoms.

Anorexia Nervosa

  • 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.

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Binge Eating Disorder

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amounts of food but without behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge eating episodes.
  • Feelings of strong shame or guilt regarding the binge eating.
  • Indications that the binge eating is out of control, such as eating when not hungry, eating to the point of discomfort, or eating alone because of shame about the behavior.

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Bulimia Nervosa

  • Frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting.
  • A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes.
  • Self-esteem overly related to body image.

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Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder
(Described as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) DSM-IV)

  • A feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment, but does not meet the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder.
  • Examples include:
  • Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal)
  • Bulimia nervosa (with less frequent behaviors)
  • Binge-eating disorder (with less frequent occurrences)
  • Purging disorder (purging without binge eating)
  • Night eating syndrome (excessive nighttime food consumption)

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Additional Eating and Feeding Disorders

  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • Pica
  • Rumination Disorder
  • Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder

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