Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa & Binge Eating

What Are They?

Anorexia Nervosa:
  • life threatening eating disorder
  • self-starvation and excessive weight loss

Binge Eating:

  • binge is a short period devoted to indulging in an activity in excess
  • disorder is characterized by recurrent binge eating without use of compensatory measures to counter the eating


Anorexia Nervosa:
  • not enough food intake leading to low weight
  • fear of weight gain
  • obsession to preventing weight gain
  • self-esteem affected by body image

Binge Eating:

  • frequently consume very large amounts of food in short periods of time
  • out of control during episodes
  • feel guilty about the binge eating
  • eating without being hungry, to the point of discomfort
  • eat alone because of shame of the disorder
"I always felt that anorexia was the form of breakdown most readily available to adolescent girls."

Kate Beckinsale

The Effects of the Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa:
  • irregular periods or no periods at all
  • infertility
  • young girls may never start their period
  • chemical imbalances can cause tiredness, weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage and convulsions
  • osteoporosis - thinning of the bones from lack of Calcium and Vitamin D
  • rotting tooth enamel
  • permanent constipation and abnormal pains
  • swelling of hands, feet, and face
  • dizzy spells
  • depression
  • thinning hair and dry, rough skin

Binge Eating:

  • high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • gallbladder disease
  • musculoskeletal problems


Anorexia Nervosa:

  1. Getting back to a healthy weight.
  2. Starting to eat more food.
  3. Changing how you think about yourself and food.

  • Medical treatment- hospitalization may be necessary
  • Nutritional treatment- counseling from a dietitian to teach you about healthy eating and proper nutrition
  • Counseling and Therapy- identify negative thoughts that fuel the disorder and replace them with healthier beliefs

Binge Eating:

  1. Therapy

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps focus on the thoughts you are having and helps you become aware of how you use food to deal with emotions.
  • Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on relationship problems and interpersonal issues that contribute to the eating disorder.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with meditation and teaches you to tolerate stress, control emotions, and accept yourself.

2. Support

  • Group Therapy led by psychotherapists.
  • Support Groups led by volunteers or health professionals.

3. Medications

  • Topamax may decrease binge eating and increase weight loss, but includes serious side effects.
  • Antidepressants may decrease binge eating but relapse rates are high when taken off the drug.

“We have it in our head that if we fill our stomachs, we’ll fill our hearts.”
Kate Wicker, Author of Weightless: Making Peace With Your Body


Anorexia Nervosa:
  • There is a self test for diagnosis on titled: Eating Disorders and Emotional Eating Test
  • A doctor can diagnose a patient as well.

Binge Eating:

  • The same self test on from above can be used for diagnosis as well.
  • Just like Anorexia Nervosa, a doctor can diagnose a patient.
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