The Eating Disorders (EDs) involve a disturbance in our relationship with others. involve an alteration in our relationship with food. Many times, they are accompanied by other types of disorders, such as depression or anxiety.
In this article we will talk about the importance of having healthy eating patterns; in addition, we will know the 6 most important Eating Disorders (ED) and what are their main characteristics.
- Recommended article: “What is the difference between anorexia and bulimia?”
Our relationship with food
Our relationship with food determines, to a large extent, how we treat ourselves or how we take care of ourselves. It also has a lot to do with our mood; thus, when we feel anxious or depressed, our eating patterns can change a lot. If there is any disturbance in this relationship, an eating disorder (ED) may appear.
Thus, in this type of disorder, the central element is food, but also another: our body (weight, body contour, body shape, body image). (weight, body shape, etc.). This is where deeper concepts of the psyche come into play: self-esteem, self-concept, etc.
If we do not look good physically, and we are also unwell inside (with anxiety, depression, etc.), EDD can appear. It is important to say, however, that social and cultural factors are of great importance for its genesis (especially in anorexia or bulimia, where advertising, the culture of thinness and fashion, are key elements to precipitate its appearance).
Origin of Eating Disorders
In the etiology of EDs we find a multifactorial cause. Thus, different factors influence their genesis (it is very difficult to say that a disorder is born from a single cause); these factors are temperamental, personality, society (social factors), genetics, education, culture, etc.
On the other hand, if we have “learned” to relate to food according to our mood, it is very likely that we will end up developing very dysfunctional behaviors in relation to our eating. For example, if when we are anxious, depressed or nervous, we eat excessively (or on the contrary, we stop eating).
It is therefore very important to take care of these eating patterns.. On the other hand, low self-esteem and social pressure to be thin are key elements that explain the etiology of anorexia, for example. That is, behind the Eating Disorders (ED) there are also important psychopathological symptoms.
- You may be interested in: “Why are women more prone to anorexia and bulimia?”
The 6 types of eating disorders
But, what are eating disorders (EDs)? How many are there and what are the characteristics of each of them? Let’s find out through this article.
Eating disorders (ED) involve an alteration in eating patterns. Sometimes they also include body image disturbances (e.g. in anorexia nervosa and bulimia).
The DSM-5 (Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders) classifies 8 eating disorders (ED). However, of these 8 we are going to explain the 6 most important ones2 of them are “Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” and “Other Specific Eating Disorder”.
1. Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is one of the most serious Eating Disorders (EDs).. Ninety percent of patients with AN are women (vs. 10% of men). Its main symptom is a refusal, on the part of the patient, to maintain body weight equal to or above the minimum normal value (according to her age and height).
Thus, patients with AN must have a weight below 85% of the expected weight, or fail to achieve normal weight gain during the growth period they are in (according to DSM-5 criteria).
In addition, there is an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming “obese”. There is a great alteration of the perception of weight or body shape; people with AN see themselves as fat, although their low weight is really worrying. For this reason they resort to dysfunctional behaviors such as: excessive exercise, vomiting, taking laxatives, etc. (depending on the type of AN).
In AN, there is also an important associated psychopathology to be treated (alterations in body image that can become delusional, negative thoughts, low self-esteem, lack of impulse control, obsessive perfectionism, rigidity, suicidal ideas, self-injurious behaviors, etc.).
Bulimia Nervosa (BN) is another of the most common eating disorders (ED), together with Anorexia Nervosa. As with anorexia, in bulimia 90% of the patients are women.
In this case, patients, according to DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, present recurrent binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors (aimed at not gaining weight). (aimed at not gaining or losing weight). These behaviors include: provocation of vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics, enemas and other drugs, fasting, excessive physical exercise, etc.
On the other hand, these people self-evaluate themselves based almost exclusively on body weight and silhouette.
Pica is an eating behavior disorder of childhood onset.. Its diagnosis should begin to be made from 2 years of age. It consists of persistent ingestion of non-nutritive substances (e.g. chalk, soil…).
This symptom should last at least 1 month, and is inappropriate for the child’s developmental level (i.e., it is not explained by the child’s maturational level). In addition, such behavior of ingesting non-food substances is not part of culturally accepted practices.
4. Rumination disorder
Rumination disorder is included as one of the 8 eating disorders (ED) stipulated by the DSM-5, although it is a childhood disorder. Thus, it usually appears in childhood.
It is also called mericism, and is characterized by the child’s repeated regurgitation and chewing of food; this symptom must last for a long period of time.This symptom must last more than 1 month. In addition, there must not be any disease that can explain this symptom (for example, esophageal reflux).
5. Binge eating disorder
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a disorder somewhere between obesity and Bulimia Nervosa.. It is characterized by the presence of recurrent binge eating, in the absence of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (typical of bulimia).
After binge eating, patients feel profound discomfort at the memory of binge eating. In order to be diagnosed with CT, binge eating must occur (on average) at least 2 days a week for 6 months.
6. Food avoidance/restriction disorder
Food avoidance/restriction disorder is another eating behavior disorder (ED), like rumination disorder and pica, also typical of childhood.
An eating disturbance appears, which results in: lack of interest in food, avoidance of food, preoccupation with its aversive consequences, and preoccupation with its aversive consequences.preoccupation for its aversive consequences, etc. In addition, this disorder is also characterized by a significant weight loss or a significant nutritional deficiency in the child.
It may also be that the child, because of his or her eating behaviors, is dependent on enteral feeding or oral nutrition supplementation.