You see yourself as overweight even though you are very thin. The process of eating becomes an obsession. You develop unusual eating habits. This may be avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food. You may check your body weight over and over again. You may also use other means to control your weight. This often involves forced vomiting, or using laxatives, enemas, or diuretics. Girls with anorexia often have a delay with their first menstrual period. Your height may also be lower than it should.
Anorexia may cause:
Anorexia is different in each person. Some may get better after one episode. Others may have a pattern of relapse. Sometimes, it can last years.
There is a cycle of binge eating, then purging or exercise. Your weight may be within the normal range for your age and height. But, you may fear gaining weight. You may binge and purge in secrecy. This may make you feel shame or disgust with yourself.
Actions of bulimia:
Bulimia may cause:
Binge Eating Disorder
You have episodes of eating that you think you can't control. Most of the time this is done in about 2 hours. With binge eating disorder (BED), there is no purging. This may cause you to gain too much weight over time.
BED may cause:
About eating disorders. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders website. Available at:
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Accessed September 6, 2018.
Anorexia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114614/Anorexia-nervosa . Updated June 15, 2017. Accessed September 6, 2018.
Binge eating disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T563461/Binge-eating-disorder . Updated June 15, 2017. Accessed September 6, 2018.
Bulimia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114924/Bulimia-nervosa . Updated July 16, 2018. Accessed September 6, 2018.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). American Psychiatric Association; 2013.
Eating disorders: About more than food. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/index.shtml. Updated 2018. Accessed September 6, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Adrian Preda, MD
Last Updated: 9/6/2018