Different Kinds of Eating DisordersEating Disorders are extreme disturbances in an individual's behavior and feelings related to food, weight and body image.
 
Most likely to develop in young women during adolescence and young adulthood, today children, preteens, adult women, and men also may develop these problems. They are serious problems with life-threatening consequences.
 
Anorexia Nervosa
Characterized by excessive weight loss through self-starvation and sometimes through purging (such as vomiting, laxatives excessive exercise).  Symptoms include:
  • Refusal to maintain a normal weight
  • Intense fear of weight gain
  • Obsessive preoccupation with weight and shape
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Distorted body image 
Bulimia Nervosa
Characterized by cycles of binge-eating followed by purging, usually done in secret. The individual's weight may range from below to above average, so it may be harder to detect. Symptoms include:
  • Repetitive cycles of binging and purging
  • Feeling out of control of food intake
  • Purging after binging via self-induced vomiting, laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, excessive exercise, or starvation
  • Obsessive preoccupation with weight and shape
Other - Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Individuals may present with a mixture of anorexia and bulimic symptoms, but not qualify for the either diagnosis or they may engage in compulsive overeating or binging without purging. They are preoccupied and significantly distressed about their eating habits and may gradually gain weight to the point of obesity.
 
Many people have both symptoms of anorexia and bulimia. Men also are most likely to lose weight or to purge by excessively exercising.