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Eating Disorders: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

The food we choose and how we eat it significantly affects our physical and physiological health. Health is dependent on food, and abnormal eating habits can negatively impact an individual. Treatments for eating disorders are available to help people with eating disorders.

Eating disorders

What Is an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are complex symptoms generally related to odd food choices, eating habits due to body shape consciousness, nutritional deficiencies, or physiological challenges. Eating habits may not be considered abnormal until they interfere with thinking and daily life activities. These habits may range from avoiding meals due to fear of getting fat to having unusual cravings for things other than food. Typically, eating disorders happen for psychological reasons, but in some cases, nutritional deficiency or environmental factors are responsible for developing an unhealthy relationship with food.

Types of Eating Disorders

There is a comprehensive classification of eating disorders; some may involve skipping meals altogether, while others may include eating unconsciously. Statistics show that 28 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder. The following are a few common types of eating disorders affecting both men and women:

Bulimia Nervosa (BN)

Bulimia is another eating disorder caused by mental illness. In this condition, a person eats excessive amounts of food repeatedly and then tries to eliminate it by unhealthy means to maintain their body shape. For instance, self-inducing vomiting, the overdose of weight loss supplements, strict dieting, etc. They often curse themselves for binge eating and purging.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a severe psychological disease. In this condition, a person considers himself fat, although he/she is underweight. To maintain their body shape and lose weight, they avoid eating food, purge the food they eat, or even do frequent exercise. Consequently, it leads to malnutrition, unhealthy weight loss, or even death.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder is an eating disorder in which the patient is very picky in the food selection and eating. In contrast to anorexia, ARFID patients do not worry about gaining weight.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

BED is the abnormal eating pattern in which a person overeats food in frequent episodes and can’t find a way to stop. Unlike bulimia, BED patients do not show compensation behaviors.

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder (OSFED)

Other specified feeding and eating disorder is an umbrella term used in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual to describe eating disorders that are not otherwise classified. In this classification, a person may show considerable eating distress, but don’t have prominent symptoms.

Night Eating Syndrome

In this condition, a patient has trouble sleeping without eating anything; a person may wake up during sleep to eat something. It is not considered binge eating; however, night eating can lead to adverse health consequences.

Purging Disorder

In this disorder, a person follows a purging act by eating. Unlike bulimia, this disorder does not include binge eating; the rest of the symptoms are pretty similar.

Orthorexia Nervosa

In this condition, a person is obsessed with healthy eating. In fact, this eating habit can interfere with their social life and mental health significantly.

Rumination Disorder

Rumination is a bad eating habit that happens for psychological reasons. In this disease, a person regurgitates the partially digested or undigested food from the stomach and re-chews it. This is usually not a medical emergency, but it can lead to some digestive illnesses.


Pica is a disorder in which a person craves for or eats anything that is generally not considered food. For instance, pica patients may crave mud, clay, rubber, or plastic. Typically, pica is more common in kids and pregnant women.

Symptoms and Signs of Eating Disorders

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders typically vary from person to person; however, most abnormal eating habits have apparent physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.

Physical Symptoms

Weight fluctuations
Irregularities in the menstrual cycle and PV spotting (in females)
Weak immune system and slow metabolism
Sleep difficulties
A significant change in appetite
Persistence fatigue

Psychological Symptoms

Meal-time anxiety
Feeling guilt
Low self-esteem
Obsession with eating or not eating
Negative thinking
Disconnection with family, friends, and other social activities
Mood swings

Behavioral Symptoms

Obsessive rituals related to eating
Binge eating
Eating in private
Selective and restrictive eating
Frequent visits to the bathroom after eating
Flat mood
Rigidity in behavior
Social withdrawal

Causes of Eating Disorders

Generally, eating disorders don’t have any obvious causes, but research suggests that some biological and social factors can cause eating disorders. Genetics, emotional, and psychological factors can also contribute to developing unhealthy eating habits.

Risk Factors

Typically, eating disorders can affect anyone at any age, but teenage girls and women are more likely to be affected by eating disorders. The following are some risk factors for eating disorders:

Family history of eating disorders
Personal history of psychological health
Strict dieting

Diagnosis of Eating Disorders

Typically, eating disorders can be diagnosed by reviewing signs and symptoms. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) may also help your healthcare provider diagnose the disease. Your doctor can do a physical exam, blood sample examination, psychological evaluation, and other studies to test for eating disorders.

Treatment Options for Eating Disorders


Psychotherapy is one of the best treatments for eating disorders. A mental health expert tries to change the perception of the patient related to food. This treatment can be done through FBT (family-based therapy) or CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).

Medical Treatment

Medical treatments for an eating disorder are not recommended; however, antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs can help lower the effects of binge eating, purging, overeating, and associated symptoms.

Inpatient Treatment vs. Outpatient Treatment

Both treatment plans can work in the treatment of eating disorders.

Inpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders

Hospitalization of the patient may require strict care and medication under the supervision of a medical expert.

Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders

Outpatient treatment may allow the patient to continue their normal lives under the strict supervision of family or friends.

Process and Stages of Eating Disorder Treatment in VipVorobjev Clinic

Treatment at VipVorobjev for eating disorders remains the best and most effective that you can find.The clinic has qualified and certified healthcare and mental health experts who are top-notch in their fields. They help you deal with your condition and improve your everyday eating habits. Our experts help you cope with it and recover faster.

Is It Possible To Get Rid of an Eating Disorder on Your Own

Treating an eating disorder on your own is very difficult. A psychologist or psychiatrist is trained in how to help an individual recover from an eating disorder.

Effectiveness of Eating Disorder Treatment

VipVorobjev outpatient and inpatient treatment options for eating disorders are very effective and efficient in controlling symptoms. Our certified specialists can help you manage your disease.

Average Duration of Treatment for Eating Disorders

The average duration of treatment for eating disorders can vary from person to person. The intensity of the symptoms also play a role in the length of stay. Sometimes, it may take a few weeks to recover, and in other cases, it may take months.

Cost of Eating Disorder Treatment

The cost of treatment depends upon the plan, length of treatment, and methods used. Typically, the cost of treatment is usually at 5500 €.


Our qualified and skilled medical and paramedical staff can help you manage your condition if you are looking for help. Meet our experts:

Gordana Bujišić — Psychiatrist
Gennady Govoruhin — Psychiatrist
Neva Počuča — Clinical Psychologist
Zoran Crnjin — Psychologist
Bojan Šijan — Psychologist
Ivana Matović — Psychologist

Patents and Certificates

We are a certified and licensed facility for treating drug addiction, gambling addiction, regenerative procedures, pill addiction, and eating disorders. Our staff is also registered and well-skilled in their fields to help you live everyday life.


Patients at the VipVorobjev Clinic were greatly impressed by the staff, innovative treatment plans, and advanced rehabilitation. Most of them post positive feedback and recommend us to their friends and other users.

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