OTHER EATING DISORDER TERMS

 

There are other eating disorder conditions you may encounter but that are not medically recognized terms or conditions independent of other eating disorders. 

 

Compulsive Overeating 

 

One of the more recognized eating disorder terms, it is not a recognized disorder on its own but often refers to a broad range of behaviors. For some, it may be a habitual behavior, while for others, it can be a coping mechanism (Emotional Eating) to deal with overwhelming emotions or anxiety. Compulsive overeating is not a behavior that can simply be addressed by a diet or exercise program. It may be treated as a symptom of another eating disorder diagnosis such as bulimia or binge eating disorder, as an obsessive-compulsive disorder, or independently. The sufferer may or may not be overweight or suffer from body image issues.

 

Signs and symptoms may include:

 

  • Eating past satiety

  • Impulsive eating

  • Hiding food or eating food out of the garbage

  • Fear of losing control when eating

 

Physical complications may include many of the consequences of binge eating disorder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orthorexia  

 

 

First used in the late '90s, orthorexia refers to an obsession with healthy or "clean" eating to the point that it becomes life interfering or damaging to one's health.

With this condition, the sufferer may slowly remove so many foods from their diet that they suffer malnutrition. 

 

This condition might fall under the umbrella of anorexia or a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

 

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Compulsive checking of ingredients and nutritional labels

  • Removing an increasing number of foods or food groups

  • Increased concern about the origin of ingredients 

  • Only eating a narrow group of foods that have been determined to be healthy or "clean"

  • Becoming distressed when safe foods are not available

  • Obsessively reading about and researching healthy lifestyles

 

Physical complications may include many of the consequences of anorexia, including:

 

  • Malnutrition due to insufficient intake

  • Vitamin deficiency

  • Mineral deficiency

 

Diabulimia

 

Diabulimia is the combination of the words diabetes and bulimia and is a condition that affects some individuals with type 1 diabetes. It describes an extremely dangerous behavior of restricting insulin to control weight. Females with type 1 diabetes are twice as likely to get an eating disorder, and it is estimated that as many as 30% of teenagers restrict their insulin to control weight. The misuse of insulin serves as a form of purging calories and, as such, may fall under the diagnosis of bulimia. The sufferer may engage in other eating disorder behaviors and exhibit a distorted body image.

 

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Extreme thirst

  • Thinking or talking a lot about body image or weight loss

  • Depression and mood swings 

  • Secrecy about blood sugar, insulin, food, or eating habits

 

Physical complications may include:

 

  • High blood sugar levels

  • Sugar in your urine

  • Confusion

  • Dehydration

  • Muscle loss

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis

  • High cholesterol 

  • Bacterial skin infections

  • Yeast infections

  • Skipped or abnormal periods

  • Staph infections

  • Retinopathy

  • Neuropathy 

  • Peripheral arterial disease

  • Atherosclerosis 

  • Liver disease

  • Stroke

  • Coma

  • Death

 

Exercise Addiction/Compulsive Exercise

 

This term is used to describe a person whose desire to exercise has become life interfering. They may work out at unusual hours or locations, and begin to cancel social engagements, adjust work or school schedules, and reduce or eliminate other obligations that interfere with their desire to exercise. The inability to exercise may create intense anxiety. The sufferer may or may not experience a distorted body image. Compulsive exercise may be treated as an obsessive/compulsive disorder or in conjunction with an eating disorder if a comorbid condition. 

 

Signs and symptoms may include:

 

  • Exercise that significantly interferes with important activities

  • Exercising despite injury, illness, or other medical complications

  • Intense anxiety, depression, irritability, feelings of guilt, or distress if unable to exercise

  • An excessive and rigid exercise regimen

  • Discomfort with rest or inactivity

  • Exercise used to manage or avoid uncomfortable emotions

  • Withdrawal from friends and family in

 

Physical complications may include:

  • Osteopenia

  • Osteoporosis

  • Amenorrhea 

  •  (osteopenia or osteoporosis) 

  • Loss of menstrual cycle (in women)

  • RED-S Syndrome (in women)

  • Persistent muscle soreness

  • Chronic bone & joint pain

  • Overuse injuries and stress fractures

  • Persistent fatigue and sluggishness

  • Altered resting heart rate

  • Increased frequency of illness & upper respiratory infections

 

Exercise Bulimia

 

This describes exercise that used as a purging behavior rather than to be physically healthy. The sufferer will exercise to burn off ingested calories or feel as though they have permission to eat. This behavior may take place in secrecy and can resemble many of the characteristics of compulsive exercise. The sufferer may experience a distorted body image and is often a comorbid condition with other eating disorder behaviors.

 

Signs, symptoms, and risk factors are the same as those of compulsive exercise, as well as any associated eating disorder.

 
 
 
 
 

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