Conditions we treat
“The most typical patterns of eating disorders involve restriction or binge eating.”
The eating disturbances classified as eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, however there is also the category of eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS), which includes eating problems like binge-eating disorders or those that are consistent with anorexia or bulimia but aren’t quite frequent, severe, or impairing enough to meet criteria.
According to Sandoz, Wilson and DuFrene, anorexia nervosa is characterized by weight loss (refusal to maintain the normal expected body weight for age and height) , weight phobia (intense fear of weight gain), body-image disturbance (a misperception of body weight or shape), and amenorrhea (absence of menstrual cycles).
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating and purging as a compensatory behavior that includes regular use of self-induced vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, or enemas to prevent weight gain. There is a sense of lack of control, fear of weight gain, and body-image disturbance.
Binge-eating disorder describes recurrent episodes of eating much more rapid than normal eating and much more food that most individuals would eat in a similar amount of time and under similar circumstances, and are accompanied by a sense of lack of control, similar to what happens in bulimia nervosa. These episodes occur at least twice a week, and tend to occur in response to emotional discomfort.
The most typical patterns of eating disorders involve restriction or binge eating.
Restriction is intentional limiting of caloric intake, and binge eating involves the consumption of greater amounts of food than would be expected in that context, and much more rapid than is normal. Typically, binge eating involves specific foods called comfort foods, that are eaten in order to alleviate the intense emotional discomfort.
Compensatory behaviors are any behaviors that are engaged in to prevent weight gain or to make up for eating, such as skipping a meal, running, vomiting or laxative abuse.
Finally, there is a tendency for the person with the eating disorder to check her/his appearance to be certain that no extra fat has accumulated on the body, resulting in either relief or intense distress.
Eating disorder sufferers often experience negative thinking about body image and food, rigid beliefs about thinness and control, unstable mood and emotional disturbances, and sometimes dissociative episodes. The dissatisfaction with their body increases negative thinking and affect, which in turn increases eating pathology.