Clinical Eating Disorders

What exactly are clinical eating disorders? Clinical eating disorders include:

Anorexia nervosa – When you lose a lot of weight because you’re hardly eating anything, and might over-exercise. You probably can’t or don’t admit how underweight you are. You may not initially look very thin, but may be far too thin to support your health. You can be so thin that every bone in your body shows but still feel “fat”. When you feel fat it makes it hard to ask for help or hears advice from others because, to you, “fat” has come to mean “being bad”. You could also know that you are much too thin but don’t make changes because you’re so afraid of food and gaining weight. To you, this would represent losing control over yourself.

Bulimia nervosa – When you binge and purge. You eat out of control and then try to get rid of the calories. You fast, make yourself vomit, abuse laxatives, or exercise too much. These ways of purging harm your body and don’t help you accomplish what you want. Your weight may go up and down a lot.

Binge eating disorder – When you eat so much you’re uncomfortable, eat to comfort yourself, eat in secret, or keep eating as part of a meal or between meals. You feel a lot of shame or guilt about your eating. Binge eating is also called compulsive eating. It is not the same as bulimia because you do not usually try to get rid of the food you’ve eaten.

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (ED-NOS) – When you experience a mix of anorexia, and/or bulimia, and/or binge-eating symptoms, but don’t fall neatly into one of these medical categories, you may have an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (ED-NOS). If you have an ED-NOS, you should also receive the help and resources provided to individuals who have a “neat” clinical diagnosis.

Please keep in mind…

Any food and weight issues that limit your ability to live a full and pleasurable life are of concern. It doesn’t matter if you don’t clearly fit one of the clinical categories above – you still can and should seek help.

For additional information, please visit the National Eating Disorder Information Centre 

Source: National Eating Disorder Information Centre


Woman with an eating disorder and her hands bound by tape-measure limiting her dinner to a kiwi

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