The 2020 Economic Costs of Eating Disorders report published by Deloitte found that 9% of the 28.8 million Americans in the study will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. Eating Disorders can affect anyone, including people of all ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations. 

People with eating disorders may have trouble eating, preoccupation with food and body image, and changes in mood and behavior. There are many types of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED), and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder. In this blog, we will be covering an overview and treatments of several types of eating disorders. 

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Anorexia Nervosa 

What is anorexia nervosa? 

Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, and a relentless pursuit of thinness. Those affected by anorexia nervosa have an intense drive to lose weight, which leads them to severely restrict their food intake. 

Bulimia Nervosa 

What is bulimia nervosa? 

Bulimia nervosa is one of the most common types of eating disorders and is characterized by binge eating followed by compensatory behavior, such as self-induced vomiting or laxative use, to prevent weight gain. It can also involve extreme dieting or exercising. 

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) 

What is binge eating disorder? 

Binge eating disorder (BED) is one of the types of eating disorders recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. This disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time, often feeling out of control while doing so. Unlike bulimia nervosa, binges are not followed by purging behaviors such as vomiting or laxative use. 

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED) 

What is other specified feeding and eating disorder (OSFED)? 

Other specific feeding or eating disorders (OSFED) previously known as eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is a type of eating disorder which is not as widely recognized as other types of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. It is characterized by the same kind of symptoms and behavior associated with other eating disorders but does not meet the diagnostic criteria for the full range of these conditions. OSFED includes disorders, such as atypical anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED), avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), night eating syndrome (NES), pica, and rumination disorder.  

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) 

What is avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)? 

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) formerly known as Selective Eating Disorder, is an eating disorder in which people become so fearful or anxious about eating that they have a decreased appetite and significantly restrict their food intake. ARFID often begins in childhood but can persist into adulthood. People with ARFID may be very selective eaters, but they are often not motivated by a desire to control their weight or body shape, as is common in other types of eating disorders. 

Treatment for Eating Disorders

When it comes to treating eating disorders, there are several different approaches that may be effective. Depending on the type and severity of the eating disorder, a combination of therapies and medications may be recommended. The most common forms of treatment for eating disorders include psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, medical monitoring, and medications. 

  • Psychotherapy is often the cornerstone of eating disorder treatment. Therapy may involve cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps individuals identify and change harmful thought patterns and behaviors. It can also involve interpersonal therapy, which focuses on improving relationships and communication skills. Also, family therapy may be used to address issues within the family that could contribute to developing an eating disorder.  
  • Nutritional counseling is another important aspect of treatment for eating disorders. A registered dietitian can give guidance on how to make healthy food choices and maintain a balanced diet. They may also help create meal plans and learn to listen to hunger cues. 
  • Medical monitoring is necessary for all types of eating disorders to ensure physical health and safety. This may include regular doctor visits, lab tests, and weight checks.  
  • Medications may also be prescribed if necessary to help manage symptoms of depression or anxiety. 

The most important thing to remember when it comes to treatment for eating disorders is that no one-size-fits-all approach will work for everyone. With the right treatment and support, individuals can learn to manage their eating disorders and live a healthier, more fulfilling life. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with an eating disorder, we have an amazing treatment facility at Koru Spring in Jacksonville, Florida.