How Many Eating Disorders Are There.

Hello Everyone, It’s great to see you here. Today we are going to cover How many eating disorders are there? Many people believe that eating disorders are all about food, as we go through the information we will see that is not necessarily the case. The cause can be much deeper rooted.

Let’s dive in and see how many disorders exist and what is known to be the main causes :

Contents :

Table of Contents


    People who suffer from Bulimia tend to binge eat, meaning they eat two or three times as much as most others and usually at specific times of the day. The type of food they eat is usually full of calories. Then they make themselves vomit the food up. Take laxatives or even in the extreme have an enema.

    The majority of bulimics are not under weight. They tend to maintain a normal weight. Bulimia mainly affects teenage girls, Boys can also be affected.

    Symptoms :

    1. A fear of gaining weight.
    2. Binge eating.
    3. A person who is obsessed by their weight and physical appearance.
    4. A person who is vomiting after eating.

    Bulimia Side Effects :

    Dehydration, loss of tooth enamel, sore throat, salivary glands can become swollen, acid re flux and problems with hormonal balance. If you vomit the food up on a regular basis you are in serious danger of, an imbalance in the levels of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium. This can cause a stroke or heart attack.

    A thin lady looking in a mirror and a fat lady looking back

    Bulimia affects around 4% of the population. It has a high death rate estimated at 3.8%.


    Anorexia Nervosa, is a condition that affects around 1.2% to 4% of the population at any given time. People who suffer from this disorder think they are overweight. 9 times out of 10 they simply don’t weigh enough, but that is not how they see themselves.

    There are 2 types of anorexia, those that binge eat and do whatever is their preference to get rid of the food they have just eaten. This is generally achieved by excessive exercising, the taking of laxatives or by vomiting.

    The second type are those that don’t eat at all or eat very little, and then exercise furiously so as not to gain a single ounce. The people in this second category are very secretive, they refuse to eat in public and are constantly obsessing about food.

    Anorexia is a disease that mostly affects teenage girls and models. It does affect boys as well to a lesser degree.

    When, I was in my senior school there was a boy who suffered from anorexia. In our last year of school we only saw him for the first month and then never saw him again.

    Symptoms to look out for:

    1. A person who is very thin and looks extremely underweight for their age and height.
    2. A person who you rarely if ever see eating anything.
    3. A person who vomits after eating.
    4. A person who is constantly talking about their weight.

    The Dangers :

    Damage to your teeth, not being able to become pregnant, heart and kidney problems, their bones thin, their hair and nails snap off easily because they are so brittle. The Worst case scenario Death due to multi organ failure.

    Anorexia is a mental disorder and it has the highest death rate out of the eating disorders. An estimated 4% of sufferers die each year from complications of this disease.

    Binge Eating

    Binge eating disorder can occur at any time in a person’s life. The majority of sufferers are found in the 12-20 year old age range. The main difference between this and Bulimia is the sufferer does not try to eject the food. They just eat and eat until they physically cannot eat anymore.

    The type of food is unimportant, they will eat anything and everything. As you can imagine this person is very overweight or clinically obese.

    How to recognize a binge eater:

    1. Not being able to control the urge to binge eat.
    2. Eating a large amount of food even though they are not hungry.
    3. going off with bags of snacks and eating them in secret because of the feelings of guilt.
    4. Feeling disgusted or ashamed about their eating habits.

    The Risks :

    Being overweight or clinically obese, increases your risk of stroke and heart attacks as well as type 2 diabetes.

    Binge eating affects 2.8% of people in America. Just under half of them will seek treatment. However, a large proportion of sufferers do die from the disorder.

    A lady eating pizza and holding a can of coke and a bag of cakes

    Rumination Disorder

    I’m happy to say I have never met anybody with this particular disorder. If you are easily offended or certain scenarios make you feel very sick, I would skip this disorder.

    Rumination disorder is where you chew your food, swallow it, regurgitate it chews it some more and then swallow it again or spit it out. The bringing back up of the food is not normally as soon as its swallowed, its generally within 20-30 minutes after eating it.

    Unlike the other disorders this can occur in children between 3 months and 1 year old. It’s dangerous in this age range because the child can become malnourished and severely underweight which can prove to be fatal. This tends to stop on its own in these children.

    If it occurs in older children or adults then therapy is highly recommended. Adults who suffer from this disorder tend to restrict their eating and will not eat in public. This can become very problematic and cause them to be very underweight.


    Pica is a very different disorder because it has nothing to do with eating food. It involves eating things such as : soap, paper, hair, coal, wool, stones, ice, dirt even washing detergent.

    This can occur in young children, teenagers as well as adults. It is most common in pregnant women, children and those suffering from a mental disorder.

    As you can imagine these people are at a high risk of infections, nutritional deficiencies, and poisoning.

    Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

    This disorder ( ARFID) is usually found in children under the age of 7, although adults can suffer as well.

    People with this disorder often experience a great deal of trouble eating, either due to a lack of interest in eating or not liking certain smells, tastes, colours, textures, or temperatures as well as a fear of choking. This is a real disorder and not to be confused with a fussy eater.

    I have a friend who does not eat fruit because she doesn’t like how it feels in her mouth. I cannot imagine never eating fruit can you?

    The Risks of this condition include :

    1. Being deficient in nutrients
    2. Not eating enough calories
    3. Needing supplements as opposed to choosing to take them
    4. Being fed by a feeding tube
    5. Not feeling like you can eat with others.


    This is the new kid on the block. It has yet to be fully recognized as an eating disorder, but that by no means doesn’t mean it does not exist or that it can be dangerous.

    Ortorexia is where the person only concentrates on eating healthy food. Sounds good right? Unfortunately its not, these people cut out whole food groups that can have a detrimental effect on our bodies. Causing unnecessary stress, severe weight loss, and malnutrition.

    The people suffering from ortorexia are not normally trying to lose weight. It’s all about their identity and sticking to a self-imposed diet.

    Who Do Eating Disorders Affect

    Eating disorders can literally affect anyone at any age, but there are those that can be in higher risk category. People who experience lower self-esteem or a perception of poor body image, perfectionists, or those that find it difficult to deal with stress may be more likely to experience an eating disorder. You would also be more likely to suffer if there are others in the family that suffer as well.

    A lack of positive support and other important connections may also play a huge part. In some cases, eating disorders can go along with other mental illnesses. Our beliefs about the way we see ourselves are also important. While the media may often portray thinness as an ideal body type, this alone doesn’t cause an eating disorder. How we think about those messages and apply them to our lives is what affects our self-esteem and self-worth.

    A diagram of a Brain

    What Causes Eating Disorders

    As with many medical conditions the exact cause remains unknown.

    What is known is that, mental illness plays a big part as well as low self-esteem, being in a problematic relationship, being a compulsive person and being a perfectionist.

    In certain people biology plays a role. These people have genes that can show they are in a higher risk category.

    Biological factors, such as changes in brain chemicals, can also play a role

    Where To Go For Help

    The first step would be to visit your doctor. Although you are not going to feel very comfortable explaining the disorder it is a necessary step for you to get help and can literally save your life.

    The doctor will most likely refer you to a counselor if you don’t need immediate medical attention, there are 3 you could speak with, a dialectical behavior therapist, a cognitive-behavioral therapist or a dialectical behavior therapist. There you can speak about the issues you are facing, and get the help and support you need to overcome the disorder.

    If you are a parent or a loved one of a sufferer try to persuade them to seek help, before its too late.

    There are no medications available for eating disorders, although you could be prescribed something for a mental health issue associated with the disease. It is possible to beat these disorders if you get the help you need.

    Once you have become more stable it may be necessary to have help from other professionals such as:

    • A dietitian to provide education on nutrition and meal planning.
    • Medical or dental specialists to treat health or dental problems that result from you’re eating disorder.
    • A mental health professional, such as a psychologist to provide psychological therapy. If you need medication prescription and management, you may see a psychiatrist.
    • Your partner, your parents, or another family member you feel comfortable speaking to. For young people still living at home, parents should be actively involved in treatment and may also supervise your meals.

    The Management of an eating disorder can be a long-term challenge. You may need to continue to see the specialists on a regular basis, even if you’re eating disorder and related health problems are under control. This helps you to not relapse back into your old habits.

    This article may contain affiliate links which means I could receive a small commission if you purchase anything. The price you pay will not be affected.

    There are Alternative treatments

    Vitamin supplements that are made up of vitamins A, B, C, and E and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are essential in activating brain function and stabilizing the appetite. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids boost the relaxation of muscles and help to minimize stress.

    A multivitamin supplies the body with its necessary nutrition and sustains a chemical balance. Together with therapy for binge eating disorder, it can help you control your urge to binge eat.

    The number 1 recommended dopamine supplement is l-tyrosine. L-tyrosine is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to dopamine. Tyrosine is naturally present in protein-rich foods like animal products and legumes. If your diet is deficient in l-tyrosine, you will not have enough dopamine in your system. There are many forms of tyrosine supplements but the best of them all is the highly absorb able form of l-tyrosine that acts as a filter that keeps foreign substances out of the brain.

    Supplements that contain Ginkgo biloba is another herbal remedy for brain-related disorders like depression and anxiety.

    Acupuncture, used in conjunction with other regular treatments, can be effective in minimizing symptoms of depression, giving you a better sense of control, and improving your mental and physical health.

    Yoga helps your binge eating by minimizing your stress levels. A study showed that women who practiced yoga improved their positive feelings and a sense of self-worth significantly. They also showed improved body image, reduced self-objection, and better eating habits.

    My Final Thoughts

    You need to be happy with yourself, you need to love yourself the way you are. Just because models look stick thin doesn’t mean they live a normal healthy life.

    Having an eating disorder is something millions of women and men suffer from. You are not the first and will not be the last. The doctor will have seen it all before. If your family and friends are worried about you then, Please seek help if you have any of these conditions. Before its too late.

    I wish to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read this article. If, you have a question or a comment then please feel free to leave them below. I love to hear from you all and I will get back to you.

    If, you know anyone else who would benefit from reading this then please feel free to share it using the social media buttons at the bottom of this article.

    Take great care of yourself because you are worth it.


    Please speak to a doctor before taking supplements of any kind. Every one is different and what works well for one may not necessarily work for another.

    This post is not intended to diagnose or treat you in any way. It’s for information purposes only. I’m not a medical doctor.

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