Top 10 Disorders Related To Eating

Anorexia Nervosa

Extremely low body weight and an obsessive fear of gaining weight is the prime characteristic of this disorder. Recent studies has revealed the prevalence of this illness to be in about one out of every 100 girls with girls even 8 year old has been found to be hospitalized in extreme cases. Brain mapping test of those affected with anorexia has revealed some startling facts, like their urge to shun food is as intense as addicts or alcoholics would be to ingest heavy drugs or alcohol. Also, its similarity with addictions does not end here, since there are every chances of the disease to rear its ugly head once more even after its symptoms have retreated, since it never really goes away, like most addictions. So it’s extremely important for anorexics to have a firm control on their impulses and urges even if they have been able to get rid of its signs and symptoms through treatment. The period marked by the absence of any symptoms is considered as remission and the thing that anorexics will do good to keep in their mind is that it is not permanent. The lull can be broken by just one event, even several years down the line. However, there’s hope in that the disease can be kept under check and it’s very much possible for them to have a perfectly healthy lifestyle with normal eating habits.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia NervosaIt is an eating disorder characterized by a pattern of recurrent binge eating followed by activities to compensate the act of excessive intake of food. The most common form exhibited by a majority of those diagnosed with bulimia nervosa is purging or self-induced vomiting, while some will resort to the use of diuretics, enemas or ipecac syrups. Fasting or over exercising is another method that bulimics employ to induce vomiting. They are very much aware of the abnormality of their behavior and would do anything to cover it. However, an interesting fact of the disorder is that bulimics who maintain a balance between binge and purge cycles generally have normal body weight while it’s only those who tend to purge more than they binge will exhibit external symptoms of an eating disorder.

Binge Eating Disorder

This disorder is not the same as bulimia and is believed to be the most common form of eating disorder, though Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) specifies it to be a part of Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified or EDNOS, which is a broad classification of eating disorder. They are not too fond of food and much like anorexics and bulimics, they also are ashamed of the way their bodies have shaped up. Their eating habits are a source of embarrassment for them.

Anorexia Athletica

Although this does not conform to being an eating disorder from a technical point of view, it’s extremely rare for the disease to exist without another eating related disorder. As the name itself might suggest, those affected with anorexia athletica tend to have more of the feeling that we generally get to have after a long run or a stint at the gym. However, those diagnosed with anorexia athletica will almost always put in more effort and exert themselves more just to achieve that perfect body, often at the cost of severe injury.

Night Eating Syndrome

Characterized by a pattern of binge eating that usually occurs late at night, Night Eating Syndrome or NES is an eating disorder that is relatively new and much like orthorexia, NES too is slowly gaining in prominence. It is common for sufferers of NES to be obese and are generally insomniac. They shun food during daytime only to indulge in late night eating and would consume more than half of their daily calorie requirement during this time. Also, as is the case with other forms of eating disorders, people with NES are not too happy to admit there’s a problem and are conservative as far as their eating habit is concerned.

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Although its possible for a person to be affected with Body Dysmorphic Disorder even if there is no incidence of an eating disorder, chances of acquiring the disease without the big two is almost always nil. Also, this disease tends to linger on even if other symptoms may have ceased to exist. People diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder believe to be suffering from a number of deficiencies like having bad hair, bad teeth and bad odor, or being fat and ugly and so on. This makes one to feel perhaps even more insecure than a teenager would normally be about their looks. Also, Body Dysmorphic Disorder sufferers have completely different perceptions of how they look in a mirror than those around them.


A primary preoccupation to develop muscles is what characterizes bigorexia. Often referred to as reverse anorexia, this disorder marks a frenzied movement to add substantially to the muscle mass. This includes compulsive workout sessions, taking in supplements and relying on a severely restricted diet. Bigorexics may have huge muscular bodies but their zeal for more seems to be unending. They would be too shy to show off since they believe their bodies are just not good enough. It’s a disorder that claims more male victims than females and is the only disorder of this type to feature in this list. However, apart from the fact that a growing number of males are falling prey to bigorexia, its hard to compile a statistical figure since men are too embarrassed to disclose they are bigorexics or that they have eating disorders since it’s believed to be a girl’s or women’s disease.


Sufferers of this disease are always obsessed with the idea of eating healthy food. It shares a striking similarity with anorexia, so much that it’s easy to mistake or diagnose one for the other, with just the logic to justify the eating habit that acts to differentiate the two form of illness. While those suffering from anorexia suffer from an insatiable obsession to loose weight, for orthorexics, it is their penchant for pure food that is slated to be at fault. DSM IV does not recognize orthorexia and there’s a greater chance of it not to be diagnosed, though it is steadily making its presence felt across United States. There’s even the story of a young woman who ultimately died a tragic death due to orthorexia.

Prader-Willi Syndrome

It is a rare form of genetic disorder that is caused due to an anomaly in the chromosomes. It has been found to be equally prevalent among both the sexes and people of all races and is non hereditary. There are several symptoms that can be identified with Prader-Willi Syndrome, like motor skill deficiency, hindered growth, reduced mental abilities and an extreme urge to eat that simply refuse to die. In fact, such is the appetite of those suffering from Prader-Willi Syndrome that if left unto themselves, they can literally eat themselves to death. General treatment procedures followed include growth hormones and a low calorie diet that is an absolute must. The show CSI carried a fictionalized account of Prader-Willi in 2005.


This is a unique form of illness in that it is both an eating disorder as well as a psychiatric problem and is one of the most interesting diseases to feature on this list. Non-nutritious substances or even non-food items like cigarette butts, paints, soil or mucus are the things that pica affected people consider as their food. It is their strange eating habit that makes them prone to fall sick and in extreme cases, the person may even die if having consumed dangerous chemicals or sharp objects that can grievously damage their internal organs.

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5 Responses

  1. Jesmi says:

    Is there any significance in the fact that this list comes one day after the food festivals list?

  2. payday loan says:

    I did not know that there were so many different forms of this disorder.. I guess Im nieve to it, I just thought there were two anorexic and bulimic.. Intresting blog..

  3. fertilidad says:

    there are a lot of eating disorders.
    very useful, thank you for the info

  4. i have a friend with anorexia and it´s horrible!
    good post

  5. la alergia says:

    Terrible histories!
    Anorexia is a great problem around th world

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