What is it?

Eating disorder describes a group of psychiatric disorders that cause unhealthy eating habits and may interfere with physical and mental health. These disorders include anorexia-nervosa, bulimia-nervosa, binge eating disorder, and more. Eating disorders are more common among women, especially at young ages.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Atypical Anorexia
- Feeding disorder
- Disordered Eating
- Pica Syndrome

Signs & symptoms

Signes and symptoms differ between the different disorders, but may include:
- Reduced eating, leading to significantly lower body weight.
- Low body weight may cause physical damage to many systems, including heart, kidneys, gastric, and fertility complications.
- Emphasis on body weight as an essential source and sometimes a single source of self-esteem.
- Episodes of binge eating – consuming high amounts of food without control, usually followed by feeling disgusted or guilty afterward.
- "purifying" behavior following binge episodes – for example, vomiting, using laxatives, or exercising excessively.
- Notwithstanding the above, patients may have normal or high body weight, depend on the particular disorder.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made via a psychiatric assessment, conducted by a psychiatrist – a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. This assessment includes questioning, physical exams, cognitive exams, and other tests that might exclude other diseases or conditions.

Treatment

Treatments include psychological therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and different medicines, based on the patient's symptoms, including anti-depressant and anti-psychotic drugs.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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