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Eating Disorder Treatment in Santa Barbara
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Knowing the signs of eating disorders can help you identify them in yourself or someone else in your life. While anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder aren’t the only possible eating disorder diagnoses, they are among some of the most widely spoken about eating disorders. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of each.
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is characterized by extreme calorie or food restriction and fear of weight gain, often paired with weight loss or low body weight not better explained by another cause. Signs and symptoms of anorexia can include but aren’t limited to:
Abnormal laboratory findings (e.g., iron deficiency, low blood cell counts, changes in thyroid or other hormone levels) are often found in those who experience anorexia, too, and can be serious. Other risks of anorexia nervosa include but aren’t limited to heart attacks, coma, and death.
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by ongoing patterns of binge eating followed by purging. Like with other eating disorders, bulimia is very serious regardless of a person’s body size. Signs and symptoms of bulimia nervosa include but aren’t limited to:
Like with anorexia nervosa, abnormal laboratory findings are common in individuals facing bulimia nervosa. In the case that someone purges through vomiting, there may be evidence in the form of containers or bags of vomit hidden around the home, swollen cheeks, marks on one’s fingers and hands, vocal strain, and electrolyte imbalances.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by recurring periods of binge eating. Binge eating refers to eating abnormally large amounts in a short period of time. Unlike cases of bulimia, those with binge eating disorder do not use compensatory behaviors like excessive exercise or vomiting after a binge. Signs and symptoms of BED include but aren’t limited to:
Recurring episodes of binge eating are marked by both of the following:
Episodes of binge eating are marked by three or more of the following:
For a BED diagnosis to occur, one must experience episodes of binge eating at least once weekly on average for at least three months, paired with marked distress. Furthermore, binge eating episodes must not exist strictly during the course of another eating disorder (e.g., bulimia nervosa).
Some people’s eating disorders will fall under another diagnosis, such as other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED). This doesn’t mean that their eating disorder is less serious. If you have an eating disorder that doesn’t meet the criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or BED, our women’s eating disorder treatment center may be able to help.