Eating Disorders Health Center

Anorexia Nervosa

Those who suffer from anorexia fluctuate between extremes. If you suffer from anorexia you may may severely reduce the amount of food you take in, or begin to eat an unusually large amount of food. You may also become very concerned with your physical appearance, especially your weight. These affects can start out small in the form of minor adjustments to the amount of food eaten, but generally will expand until they are out of the individuals control.

Many individuals who suffer from anorexia deny that they have a problem. They will not seek treatment until their condition has worsened to a serious state. If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of anorexia it is very important to seek the help of a medical professional.

Bulimia Nervosa

Those suffering from bulimia nervosa can get better. A health care team of doctors, nutritionists, and therapists will help the patient recover. They will help the person learn healthy eating patterns and cope with their thoughts and feelings. However, bulimia is a long-term illness that requires vigilance on the part of the patient, and patients may have symptoms even with treatment. People with fewer medical complications of bulimia, and those who are willing and able to take part in therapy have the best chance of recovery.

Binge Eating Disorder

If you think you might have binge eating disorder, it is important to know that you are not alone. Most people who have the disorder have tried but failed to control it on their own. You may want to get professional help. Talk to your health care provider about the type of help that may be best for you. The good news is that most people do well in treatment and can overcome binge eating.

People with binge eating disorder are usually very upset by their binge eating and may become depressed. Research has shown that people with binge eating disorder report more health problems, stress, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts than do people without an eating disorder. Other complications from binge eating disorder could include joint pain, digestive problems, headache, muscle pain, and menstrual problems.

People with binge eating disorder often feel bad about themselves and may miss work, school, or social activities to binge eat.

People with binge eating disorder may gain weight. Weight gain can lead to obesity, and obesity puts people at risk for many health problems. People with binge eating disorder who are obese are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. They also experience guilt, shame, and distress about their binge eating, which can lead to more binge eating. 

Review Date: 
March 13, 2012
Last Updated:
August 8, 2014