Anorexia Nervosa (AN)
More than 28 million Americans, or roughly 9% of the population, will experience an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime. In this article, you’ll learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa and how to find treatment for yourself or someone you love.
Anorexia Nervosa Ketoacidosis Symptoms
Ketoacidosis, or ketosis, is a metabolic state where the body has high concentrations of ketones (a type of water soluble molecule) in the blood serum and urine. When normal biological processes which regulate the amount of ketones in the body fail, this can result in a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis.
Anorexia Nervosa Recovery Tips
Once you have been through treatment for anorexia nervosa (AN), it’s so important to continue working towards recovery long after your last day of treatment at a higher level of care. It’s also important to support your own self-care throughout treatment, so you can heal in the best way possible.
Anorexia Nervosa Statistics: Gender, Race and Socioeconomics
When examining anorexia statistics, or eating disorder rates in general, the results can be alarming. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, more than 30 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.
Anorexia Nervosa and Brain Fog: What is It?
Brain fog is considered to be a temporary mild cognitive impairment and sometimes thought of as an exaggerated mental fatigue.
Anorexia and Cachexia
Cachexia is a very serious, complex condition that occurs with anorexia nervosa (AN) and other disorders. Also called a “wasting disorder,” cachexia involves body mass loss, muscle loss, extreme fatigue, weakness, and lack of appetite.
Anorexia and Constipation
Most people experience constipation at some point. This can happen for many reasons, such as not getting enough fiber in your diet, dehydration, lack of physical activity, or not eating enough food.
Anorexia and Gastroparesis
Gastroparesis (literally meaning “stomach paralysis) is a condition that affects the movement and muscles involved in emptying the stomach and moving food onward down the digestive tract.
Anorexia and Hypermetabolism
Hypermetabolism is when the metabolic system is hyperactive so much that the person starts burning higher amounts of calories, leading to weight loss.
Anorexia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Research highlights the increased prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in those suffering from an eating disorder, like anorexia nervosa (AN).
Anorexia and Lower Back Pain
Individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) live with an intense fear of gaining weight, and they excessively restrict calories, which may lead to extreme weight loss.
Anorexia and Your Digestive System
Anorexia nervosa (AN) can definitely affect your digestive system. One of the most frequently experienced symptoms seen in AN is constipation.
Anorexia and the Kidneys
Those who struggle with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) often develop kidney diseases due to the toll restricting, binging, and purging take on the body. Some of these conditions can be very serious, but most are fully treatable.
Anorexia in the Transgender Community
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious eating disorder involving severe caloric restriction, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a preoccupation with weight and shape. Individuals with AN over evaluate themselves based upon how their bodies appear, and they tend to have a distorted view of themselves.
Anorexia, Bone Pain, Joint Pain, and Body Aches
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious eating disorder that affects both the mind and the body. People with anorexia nervosa often have pain throughout the body, including bone and joint pain and muscle and backaches.
Anorexia’s Effect on Hair Growth
One body system, among others, that anorexia nervosa (AN) impacts is the integumentary system. It is the largest organ system of the body and comprises the skin, hair, and nails.
Art therapy is a form of experiential therapy used to treat eating disorders that incorporates elements of the visual arts with cognitive counseling.
Atypical Anorexia Nervosa
While atypical anorexia nervosa (AAN) may share characteristics of anorexia nervosa (AN), it is an entirely different diagnosis found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Atypical anorexia nervosa is categorized in the DSM-5 as an Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSED).
Atypical Bulimia Nervosa
Atypical bulimia nervosa (ABN) is a form of bulimia nervosa (BN) that affects individuals differently.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, or ARFID, is an eating disorder that involves consuming less food than what is needed for proper body health, maintenance, and development.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States, with more cases than anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa combined. BED is a debilitating disorder that disrupts a person’s quality of life in a way that may cause them to isolate themselves from others. These feelings will lead to more episodes of bingeing, continuing the cycle.
Binge Eating Disorder of Low Frequency and/or Limited Duration
Binge eating disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder in the United States, affecting nearly 2.8 million people. This number does not include people living with BED of low frequency and/or limited duration. Binge Eating Disorder of Low Frequency and/or Duration is a condition that meets the criteria for BED, but with binges that occur fewer than once a week and for fewer than three months.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a serious condition that involves a preoccupation with physical appearance. With proper treatment, however, a full recovery is possible.
Bulimia Nervosa (BN)
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder that affects between 0.5% and 1.5% of people throughout their lifetime. However, the actual lifetime prevalence is not known due to the secrecy and shame that can lead a person to avoid seeking help for their condition. While eating disorders can be life-threatening, they are treatable, and a full recovery is possible when effective treatment is provided. In fact, nearly 74% of patients who seek treatment for bulimia nervosa fully recover from the condition.
Bulimia Nervosa Headaches
It’s common for individuals with bulimia nervosa (BN) to experience headaches. One study shows that 75 percent of women with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa experience regular migraines, compared to the 12.5 percent of the population that have them.
Bulimia and Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be an exciting time for a mother-to-be. Many expectant mothers look forward to experiencing the changes their bodies undergo during pregnancy. But, for some, these changes are upsetting and can lead to an eating disorder, such as bulimia nervosa (BN), or even trigger a relapse.
Bulimia in the Elderly
Eating disorders are typically associated with younger—even adolescent—people. But data on the subject shows that a large number of elderly people are struggling with eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa (BN).
Bulimia’s Effects on the Knuckles and Hands
Although bulimia nervosa (BN) is an insidious disease, usually characterized by secretive behavior to mask the disorder, there are some telltale signs that others can watch for when concerned about someone close to them.
Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Cured?
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious, and, unfortunately, sometimes deadly disorder. But as dire as that sounds, there is hope: it is possible to recover from anorexia nervosa.
Can Bulimia Cause Cancer?
Some diseases are more likely to lead to cancer than others. For example, alcoholism can cause cancers in the gastrointestinal (GI) system, and papillomavirus infections can cause genital cancers. Bulimia nervosa (BN) can cause certain types of cancer, too.
Can Bulimia Kill You?
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious eating disorder that affects up to 4.6% of women and 1.3% of men during their lifetimes. Transgender men, transgender women, as well as those who are non-binary are affected as well.
Can Eating Disorders Cause Anemia?
Anemia is a condition that occurs when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells in the body. The red blood cells transport oxygen to the entire body, but if there aren’t enough of them to do this job, then the person with anemia can feel a big difference in their energy and endurance levels.
Can Sugar and Other Foods Be “Addictive”?
Whether or not you suffer from an eating disorder or are simply trying to maintain healthy eating habits, a lot of people spend time thinking about food.
Can You Have Mild Anorexia?
“Mild anorexia” is not currently a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM). However, anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex eating disorder, and doctors may refer to symptoms as “mild” or “severe”.
Causes of Mealtime Sickness
“Every time I eat I feel sick” is something that is heard often by dietitians specializing in eating disorders. In this situation, “sick” can mean many things, but it often refers to a feeling of nausea.
Chew and Spit Disorder (CHSP)
Chew and Spit Disorder (CHSP) is a pattern of disordered eating that occurs when someone chews food but instead of swallowing, spits the food out. The drive to spit out the food is an attempt to get pleasure from eating without ingesting any calories.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological treatment for eating disorders that involves talking with a trained mental health therapist.
Cognitive Emotional Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive emotional behavioral therapy (CEBT) is a hybrid form of therapy used to treat eating disorders that borrows from CBT and DBT...
Comparing Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorder
Bulimia nervosa (BN) and binge eating disorder (BED) are two different eating disorders that share some of the same characteristics. Both involve consuming what are considered large amounts of food in one sitting or across several hours. But people who have binge eating disorder do not engage in compensatory purging behaviors to make up for food eaten, while those who have bulimia do.
While emotional eating and compulsive "overeating" are behaviors that occasionally occur, frequent "overeating" episodes may be a sign of disordered eating. Although the term "overeating" may be a term used, very often clinicians find that "overeating" may also be associated with patterns of undereating, guilt and shame around food, weight, and body, and other manifestations of struggles around self-care.
Diabulimia is an eating disorder that people with Type 1 diabetes exhibit by lowering their medically prescribed insulin. Those who struggle with diabulimia may do so in secret due to fear of being judged or misunderstood.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical behavior therapy can effectively treat eating disorders by teaching patients to accept themselves, while simultaneously changing harmful behaviors.
Do I Have Bulimia?
If you’ve been struggling with your eating habits lately, and especially if you’ve been binging or purging, you might be asking yourself, “do I have bulimia?”.
Do You Have Body Dysmorphia?
Body dysmorphic disorder is more than just feeling dissatisfied with your body from time-to-time. It is a diagnosable mental health condition, and for people who live with body dysmorphia, negative thoughts about their appearance are difficult to control, and can even consume hours of their day.
Does Anorexia Cause Diabetes?
This is a question that many people with anorexia nervosa (AN) ask. There is no direct relationship between anorexia and diabetes. Anorexia isn’t known to cause diabetes.
Does Anorexia Cause Mood Swings?
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious eating disorder that involves caloric restriction and a fixation on body weight and physical appearance. Individuals with anorexia nervosa have an intense fear of gaining weight, even when they are underweight.
Early Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa
Facing an eating disorder, like anorexia nervosa (AN), in your own life or that of a loved one can be a daunting task. Current research indicates that early detection and intervention are crucial for decreasing the risk of long term illness and severe medical complications from these disorders.
Eating Disorders and Addiction
Eating disorders like binge eating disorder, atypical anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa often co-occur with substance use disorders. These conditions, when they occur on their own, can cause significant impairment in many aspects of a person’s life—and when they occur together, the physical, mental, and social consequences are often compounded. Having a substance addiction can complicate eating disorder treatment outcomes and vice versa, which is why it’s essential that individuals receive comprehensive treatment that addresses both conditions.
Eating disorder treatment programs for LGBTQIA+ People
Eating disorders are common in the LGBTQIA+ community. Research has consistently shown that LGBTQIA+ adults and adolescents are more likely to experience eating disorders than their cisgender and/or heterosexual peers. While the cause of eating disorders remains elusive, strong evidence suggests that genetic, environmental, and cultural influences are involved. For LGBTQIA+ individuals, there are additional factors to consider when selecting treatment options.
Eating disorder treatment programs for athletes
Many athletes believe disordered eating behaviors will enhance their athletic performance. However, evidence shows that eating disorders both inhibit performance and increase the risks of injury.
Eating disorder treatment programs for children
Eating disorders among children are very serious, and can be potentially life-threatening. When left untreated, eating disorders have the potential to take a major toll on a child's life and can have long-term effects.
Eating disorder treatment programs for elderly
Eating disorders occur among all ages, genders, ethnicities, and demographics. However, elderly patients with eating disorders often get disregarded because many people believe the condition only affects younger people.
Eating disorder treatment programs for executives
C-suite jobs are highly demanding. CEOs and other executives have a lot on their shoulders, from striving to meet their companies’ bottom lines and taking care of their employees to working on ever-tighter deadlines. Unfortunately, all that stress can take a toll on one’s mental and physical health. Eating disorders, and disordered eating, are not uncommon among the executive demographic.
Eating disorder treatment programs for male teens
Eating disorders can be very distressing for teen boys, and may have detrimental effects on their health and wellbeing. These disorders, when left untreated, can have serious health repercussions and lead to early bone loss, developmental delays, organ damage, malnutrition, or even death.
Eating disorder treatment programs for men
Men are affected by eating disorders like any other gender. Millions of men struggle with disordered eating, and the sad reality is that deep shame persists due to the misconception that eating disorders primarily impact women and girls. The truth is that in the United States, at least 10 million men are struggling with an eating disorder presently.
Eating disorder treatment programs for non-binary people
Non-binary people struggle with eating disorders, just like every other gender. When a person has an eating disorder, they may feel alone, as though no one understands the pressures they feel to look a certain way. This can be felt even more deeply for non-binary people who may not feel like there is a program accepting of their gender, as most are based in the binary of male or female programs. In addition, access to specialized care has not yet been prioritized within the eating disorder field.
Eating disorder treatment programs for teen girls
Eating disorders are serious conditions that can affect anyone at any age. However, teen girls are often more susceptible to these conditions due to bullying, weight shaming, and the mainstream media’s idealization of thinness in women. The risk of developing an eating disorder as a teen girl has increased in recent years due to the pressures of social media, and the stressors of the pandemic.
Eating disorder treatment programs for transgender people
Transgender people struggle with eating disorders as well as have to deal with additional barriers to treatment their cisgender peers do not, such as women-only or men-only programs that may not have trans-inclusive care options.
Eating disorder treatment programs for women
Women are statistically the most affected demographic when it comes to eating disorders. It is estimated that over 20 million women in the United States will experience disordered eating in their lives, which can lead to serious physical, and physiological side effects if left untreated.
Examining the Anorexia Death Rate
Eating disorders are routinely cited as being among the most lethal mental health disorders, and anorexia nervosa (AN) has the highest mortality of any psychiatric disorder, secondary only to opioid misuse disorder.
Examining the Bulimia Death Rate
Eating disorders are among the most dangerous—and deadly—diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Even if they don’t directly lead to death, eating disorders like bulimia nervosa (BN) can cause many health problems for people struggling with them.
Examining the Effectiveness of the Maudsley Approach to Treatment for Anorexia
The Maudsley family-based treatment approach was developed by psychiatrists and psychologists at the Maudsley Hospital in London as a treatment cure for anorexia nervosa (AN).
Yes, there is such a thing as too much exercise. As important as moving our bodies is, eating, rest, and recovery are equally important. At Within Health we prefer to think of moving your body and using your body, and we prefer to use terms that promote finding joy in movement and compassion for one’s body.
Exercise Bulimia: What it is and How it’s Treated
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder that affects about three percent of women and one percent of men, and most are diagnosed between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine, according to available data. Unfortunately, research also shows the mortality rate for bulimia is high.
Exposure therapy is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) originally developed to help treat anxiety. In the eating disorder space, exposure therapy helps to reduce anxiety around food, eating, exercise, and the body, in order to overcome disordered eating habits.
Family-based therapy (FBT) is a type of group therapy used in the treatment of eating disorders that involves members of a family or household, including spouses, children, parents, siblings, and even close friends.
Food Aversion and OCD
When we think of eating disorders, we often imagine someone who has anorexia nervosa (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN), but another type of eating disorder present in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).
Food Maintenance Syndrome (Foster Care)
Food maintenance syndrome is an eating disorder common in children in foster care. It is believed to develop from previous stressors and neglect. Compared to other eating disorders, little is known about the condition, so it can go undetected or be misdiagnosed.
Gourmand syndrome is a rare eating disorder affecting people with injuries to the right brain hemisphere. Discover the signs and symptoms of gourmand syndrome and explore treatment for those living with the condition.
Group Therapy and Eating Disorder Treatment
Eating disorders affect everyone, with research estimating that nine percent of Americans will develop an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.
Harmful Outcomes of the Pro-Ana Movement
Imagine that there were websites that encouraged people not to get treatment for their diabetes, or celebrate how great it is to have cancer. It’s a horrifying thought. Yet, there are a growing number of websites and social media sites that glorify anorexia nervosa (AN) and other eating disorders.
Help for Bleeding Caused by Bulimia
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious eating disorder that can have numerous medical complications if left untreated. Perhaps one of the most alarming of these for the person suffering from the eating disorder is the appearance of blood after self-induced vomiting.
Hidden Characteristics of Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is one of the most widely-known types of eating disorders, but even a condition this recognizable can come with a number of hidden characteristics, or manifest in ways many people may not be aware of or be able to easily spot.
How Anorexia Nervosa Affects Your Hands
You may not realize that anorexia nervosa (AN) can literally affect every part of the human body, from head to toe, including your hands.
How Anorexia Nervosa Can Affect Heart Rates
Those who struggle with anorexia nervosa (AN) severely restrict what they eat due to an intense fear of gaining weight and distorted perception of their bodies. Extreme caloric restriction can cause serious health complications, including affecting heart rates, and damaging the heart.
How Bulimia Affects Your Knuckles
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious eating disorder, in which people engage in eating binges, then use compensatory behaviors to attempt to rid the body of excess calories afterward.
How Bulimia Affects Your Period
Bulimia nervosa (BN) may cause changes in your menstrual cycle, or period. It has been known to shorten cycles, stop the period for a short period of time, give you more periods, and cause a light flow during the cycle. All of these changes indicate that there are hormonal disruptions that are occurring with bulimia.
How Bulimia Can (Permanently) Affect Your Teeth
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is a serious psychiatric disorder that involves frequent purging, which can be excessive exercising, taking laxatives or diuretics, or self-induced vomiting, to lose weight.
How Bulimia Nervosa Affects the Upper GI and Respiratory Tract
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder that involves frequent purging, by self induced vomiting, as a means to lose weight that can have life-threatening effects on the body.
How Diet Culture Can Lead to Eating Disorders
From advertisements and food labels to social media and influencers, diet culture is all around us—it’s almost impossible to avoid. It’s so pervasive that it can be difficult to realize the onslaught of problematic messaging encountered on a daily basis.
How Does Anorexia Affect Eyesight?
The eyes, like any other organ, need proper nutrients to function. People living with anorexia nervosa (AN) typically don’t consume enough food to fully nourish their bodies. This malnutrition leads to physical changes and complications, including to the eyes and vision.
How Does Anorexia Affect the Brain?
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a disorder of undereating, and results in profound nutritional depletion. Weight loss and nutrient deficits affect every organ in the body.
How Does Anorexia Nervosa Develop?
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious eating disorder that involves caloric restriction that can lead to significant physical and mental health problems and may include weight loss and/or a dangerously low body weight.
How Does Bulimia Affect the Jaw?
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is an eating disorder that affects many parts of the body, including the jaw. BN involves episodes of purging, often as self-induced vomiting, which puts stress on the jaw and can cause facial pain.
How Does OCD and Eating Disorders Interact
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders are two distinctive conditions, but the two have more in common than many people think—and can be especially tricky to navigate when they occur together.
How Exercise Bulimia Impacts the Body
Exercise bulimia is similar to bulimia nervosa (BN), but, instead of purging to rid the body of ingested food, the individual overexercises to burn calories.
How Safe are Weight Loss Drugs?
Everyone seems to be looking for a quick way to lose weight, but are weight loss drugs safe, or part of disordered eating practices?
How to Help Someone With Bulimia
It can be incredibly difficult when someone you love is struggling with bulimia nervosa (BN). You may feel hopeless, like you’re stuck on the sidelines, watching as your loved one continues to battle their disorder.
How to Help Someone with Anorexia Nervosa
If you’ve found yourself on this page, it’s likely because someone in your life has anorexia nervosa (AN), and you want to help them. That’s a wonderful thing, and you’re probably concerned that you may say or do the wrong thing, especially when your loved one is in a vulnerable state.
How to Help a Friend with an Eating Disorder
When someone you care about is struggling with an eating disorder, it can be difficult to know how or when to help. Showing support can often look and feel different depending on particular details or where someone is on their recovery journey.
How to Stop Binge Eating?
If you struggle with binge eating episodes or feel stuck in a binge and restrict cycle, wondering “how to stop binge eating,” you’re not alone.
How to Stop Bulimia
Bulimia nervosa is a complex eating disorder that often comes with feelings of shame and guilt, so individuals often avoid seeking help. Eating disorders won’t go away on their own. But a full recovery from bulimia is possible when effective treatment is provided.
How to Stop Eating at Night
Night eating syndrome is characterized by recurrent episodes of night eating, defined as eating late at night either prior to bed or actually awakening at night to eat.
How to Stop Emotional Eating
Emotional eating is eating in response to emotional cues, often to cope with or soothe difficult emotions, rather than in response to hunger.
How to Stop Thinking About Food
Food is an essential part of life. We need to have it every day, and we couldn’t live without it, so it’s natural to think about food on a regular basis. However, thinking about food constantly and obsessively can become a problem when it disrupts our daily lives or is indicative of other problems.
How to Talk About Bulimia Nervosa
When you’re living with an eating disorder, like bulimia nervosa (BN), you can get stuck in feelings of shame and despair, believing you’re not worthy of support or even that you deserve to feel the way you do.
How to Tell Your Loved Ones You Have Bulimia
Telling your loved ones, family, or parents that you have bulimia nervosa (BN) can be a terrifying thought. From how they’ll react to what happens next, there’s a lot to consider, and it may be easy to focus on the downsides.
Identifying Anorexia Risk Factors
Eating disorders, specifically anorexia nervosa (AN), are complex and serious psychiatric disorders. Those with AN are at five times higher risk of death than the general population. They are also 18 times more likely to die from suicide than the general population.