Even though eating is in its name, eating disorders are not just about food. These are complex mental health issues. You should take the help of the best online psychologist in India to change their course. This blog talks about the eight most common types of eating disorders.

But first, let’s know what an eating disorder is.

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorder is a serious mental health condition. It impacts people of all ages, genders, nationalities, and socioeconomic statuses.

People with eating disorders engage in inappropriate eating behaviors as a coping mechanism for difficult situations or emotions. This behavior can involve restricting the amount of food consumed, eating a lot of food at once, adopting unhealthy methods to get rid of it (such as making themselves ill, taking laxatives, fasting, or engaging in excessive exercise), or a combination of all of these behaviors.

What are the most common types of eating disorders?

Even though eating disorders are a group of closely linked issues characterized by excessive food and weight issues, each disorder has its own set of symptoms and diagnostic standards. The symptoms of the six most prevalent types are listed below.

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder defined by weight loss (or inadequate weight gain in growing children), difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight for one’s height, age, and stature, and, in many cases, a distorted view of one’s body.

People with anorexia nervosa usually limit their calorie intake and the kinds of food they eat. Other symptoms of the condition include compulsive exercise, laxative use, and/or binge eating.

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorder is a potentially fatal but treatable eating disorder. It is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating a lot of food, frequently rapidly and to the point of discomfort, feeling out of control while doing so, feeling shame, distress, or guilt afterward, and not frequently engaging in unhealthy coping mechanisms (such as purging) to deal with the binge eating. In India, it is one of the most prevalent types of eating disorders.

BED is one of the most recent eating disorders to receive official recognition in the DSM-5. Prior to the most recent change in 2013, BED was categorized as a subtype of EDNOS (now referred to as OSFED). The change is important because certain insurance providers will not pay for eating disorder treatment in the absence of a DSM diagnosis.

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)

Formerly known as “selective eating disorder,” avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is a new diagnosis in the DSM-5.

ARFID and anorexia are similar types of eating disorders. Both entail restrictions on the quantity and/or types of food taken, but ARFID does not involve anxiety over body size or shape or a fear of being overweight like anorexia does.

A person with ARFID does not eat enough calories to develop and grow appropriately or, in adulthood, to support basic body functions, despite the fact that many children go through episodes of selective or picky eating. In children, this results in stopping weight gain and vertical development; in adults, this leads to weight reduction.

Other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED)

Previous versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual referred to Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). OSFED/EDNOS is a dangerous, life-threatening, and manageable eating disorder despite being regarded as a “catch-all” classification that was sometimes refused insurance coverage for treatment because it was thought to be less dangerous.

The category was created to include people who had serious eating disorders but did not strictly fit the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. The majority of patients received EDNOS diagnoses at clinics.

Rumination disorder

The regular regurgitation of meals for at least a month constitutes a rumination disorder. Food that has been regurgitated can be swallowed, chewed again, or spit out. The majority of the time, people who regurgitate their food don’t seem to be trying or to be upset, stressed, or disgusted.

Unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED)

The term “unspecified feeding or eating disorder” (UFED) refers to presentations in which symptoms characteristic of a feeding and eating disorder predominate and cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other key areas of function but do not fully satisfy the diagnostic criteria for any of the conditions in the feeding and eating disorders diagnostic class.

When the criteria for a specific feeding and eating disorder are not met, the clinician may choose to use the unspecified feeding and eating disorder category. This includes cases where there is insufficient data to make a more precise diagnosis (e.g., in emergency room settings).

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia is an eating disorder. It is characterized by uncontrollable bingeing episodes of overeating. Following this is purging using techniques like vomiting or abusing laxatives.

Binge eating is when you consume significantly more food than you normally would in a brief period of time, typically less than two hours. You may feel that you have no control over these binge eating episodes.

The binge-purge cycles can occur frequently during the day or frequently throughout the week.

Bulimics often maintain normal or above-average body weights. They may hide their issue in this way for years. Many bulimics wait until they are between the ages of 30 and 50 before seeking treatment.


Pica is an eating disorder in which people eat nonfood items. The most often consumed substances include clay, dirt, and flaking paint. Other uncommon items include feces, glue, hair, and cigarette ashes.

10% to 30% of young children aged 1 to 6 are affected by the disorder, which is more prevalent in children. Children and adults with intellectual and developmental problems are also prone to it.

Pregnant women rarely have odd cravings for non-food items. For these women, pica typically includes consuming dirt and may be associated with an iron and zinc deficiency.

These are the eight most common types of eating disorders. In most cases, eating disorders are highly dangerous to your physical and mental health. Thus, it is advisable to visit a therapist in such conditions.

eMbrace Lives has the best online therapist in India who helps their clients in the healing process so that they live a healthy life.

Contact eMbrace Lives today and book your appointment with the best therapist.

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