Common Types Of Eating Disorders

01 August, 2020 Atheeva Santosh

Eating disorders are serious conditions that are related to persistent eating habits which negatively affects your health and wellbeing; and important functioning. The habits of eating effects by genes, the way you were raised, your mental health, biological changes, media imageries, and injuries. As so many factors could affect your eating, it results in developing eating disorders.

Thus eating disorders are a range of psychological conditions that develop unhealthy eating habits. Mostly eating disorders develop due to certain eating behaviors that are formed by focusing too much on your body shape, weight, and food.

What Causes Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders can be caused by:

  • Genetics
  • Personality traits like neuroticism, perfectionism and impulsivity
  • Cultural preferences- for example certain culture promoting thinness
  • Brain biology – levels of serotonin and dopamine.

Most Common Types Of Eating Disorders: 

1.      Anorexia nervosa

It is the most well-known eating disorder. This is also one of the most deadly and severe eating disorders. This is the condition or mental illness that involves severe food-restrictions, extreme exercising and purging behaviors. An individual with anorexia nervosa will have the following symptoms:

  • Intense fear of gaining weight even after being underweight
  • Consistently staying underweight by losing weight rapidly. Such a skinny appearance can look alarming for others.
  • Refusing to accept that low body weight can be harmful to health
  •  Amenorrhea – a condition in which women stop menstruating due to low-fat content.
  • Heart damage - Anorexia stresses the cardiovascular system causing harmful heart conditions

2. Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa develops when someone starts binging on large amounts of food repeatedly and then gets into purging it. The purging behavior during this condition includes forcing oneself to throw up, do extreme workouts or over-exercise and using diet pills and laxatives. Both of the habits of binging and purging together can be dangerous physical symptoms.

3. Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating is the condition when someone consumes an excessive amount of food within a 2 hour time duration. This disorder is characterized by episodes of binge eating which is accompanied by a trance-like state, guilty feeling, ashamed feeling, and worries of weight gain. Unlike Bulimia Nervosa, the binge-eating disorder does not tend to purge habits. The major symptoms can rapid weight gain and becoming overweight.

4. Drunkorexia

This eating disorder is caused by an obsession or addiction to alcohol. In this condition, the individual purges or restricts food in order to save calories or have enough space for drinking alcohol. This condition can be evident if that individual is an alcoholic and suffers from malnutrition.

5. Pica

Pica is an eating disorder that causes people to eat things that are not commonly considered as food. Individuals with this disorder crave for non-food substances like dirt, chalk, soap, paper, detergent, soil, cloth, pebbles, or cornstarch. People with pica have increased risk of poisoning, gut injuries, infections, and nutritional deficiencies.

 6. Orthorexia Nervosa

Eating habits are becoming so much unhealthy that people are becoming more aware of making it healthier. An individual with orthorexia Nervosa becomes so obsessed with planning and checking on consuming a perfect diet that it finally disrupts their life and health.

7. Prader Willi Syndrome

This syndrome leads to compulsive eating and obesity, a condition inherited genetically. This disorder begins with weak muscles, poor feeding, and slow development in babies. In childhood, this syndrome causes insatiable hunger. People with this syndrome often develop diabetes and struggles to get back to their normal life.

Complications of eating disorders

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Suicidal tendency
  • Serious health problems
  • Growth and development problems
  • Socializing and relationship issues
  • Work and school issues
  • Death

How to prevent an eating disorder

These eating disorders can be prevented by helping your child or your loved one to develop good eating habits and encouraging them to eat good nutritional foods for better health than telling them to diet for weight reduction or to eat more to gain more weight. Also talk to them and make them realize that they are beautiful and valuable whichever shape they are. Avoid comparisons and let them eat in their natural biological ways.


Treatment for eating disorders is provided by mental health professionals, dieticians, and care providers. It includes nutrition education, psychotherapy, and medications. Medication can’t cure eating disorders but certain medications are suggested by doctors to control urges to binge or purge and excessive obsession with food.  
Drugs such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are usually prescribed to provide relief from depression or anxiety. You can always choose to buy them from the online chemist shop.


We all tend to have certain eating habits according to our lifestyles and personal tastes. Make sure you are not too picky or too much obsessed with having a thin body that your body lacks essential nutrients for growth and development. If at all there are any problems like lack of appetite or any other illness that is making you stop eating what’s necessary; then immediately contact a doctor. Sometimes your doctor might suggest you to take vitamin supplements to enrich your condition. For buying medicines, you can always seek the help of the best online pharmacy in India.