Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder

anorexia-nervosaFor the upcoming Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we’ve rounded up articles with information pertaining to anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

Eating disorders are behavioral problems that reflect a person’s relationship with food. It could involve both overeating and undereating, both resulting in health problems that could begin with simple weight issues to problems affecting organs such as kidneys,


There are three main types of eating disorders.

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder in which a person starves himself. This results in malnutrition and extreme weight loss.

Bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder are both illnesses where people overeat. However, while binge eating is just uncontrolled eating, bulimic people periodically overeat and purge by inducing vomiting or taking laxatives. Therefore, binge eating causes weight gain and even obesity, while bulimia nervosa could result in loss of weight and malnutrition, similar to that of anorexics.

While eating disorders are a result of psychological disturbances, this week’s articles discussed physiological
influences such as a person’s genetic make-up, neural circuitry, and the possible impact of diabetes on a person’s eating habits.

Anorexia nervosa may be linked to our genes: Study

Consuming food on the daily is necessary, as basic nutrition is required by the body in order to live. Skipping meals often makes us feel sluggish and tired, causing our stomachs to growl while we look for our next meal. However, there are people out there who choose to avoid food in an attempt to stay skinny—they have a condition called anorexia nervosa. This condition is commonly seen in young women who feel that they need to stay thin to be attractive, but this disease affects the elderly as well. It is currently estimated that 78 percent of deaths caused by anorexia occur among the elderly. Most medical professionals attribute this condition to psychological abnormalities, but according to new research, the illness may be linked to genetics as well.

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and body dimorphism—viewing yourself as overweight or unattractive despite what others say. These individuals usually restrict the amount of food they eat, purge after eating, or misuse laxatives, diet aids, diuretics, or enemas. Continue reading

anorexia-nervosa-bulimia-nervosa-may-be-caused-by-altered-function-of-neural-activityAnorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, may be caused by altered function of neural circuitry

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, two eating disorders, may be caused by altered function of neural circuitry. Both eating disorders are known to be deadly and are characterized by extreme behavior of restricting food intake, or binging and purging.

Research lead Walter H. Kaye said, “It has been unknown whether individuals with anorexia or bulimia have a disturbance in the system that regulates appetite in the brain, or whether eating behavior is driven by other phenomena, such as an obsessional preoccupation with body image. However, this study confirms earlier studies by our group and others that establish a clear link between these disorders and neural processes in the insula, an area of the brain where taste is sensed and integrated with reward to help determine whether an individual hungry or full.”

The research used functional MRI technology to test neurocircuitry by measuring the brain’s response to sweets in 28 women who recovered from either anorexia or bulimia. The researchers also looked at 14 women who had never experienced anorexia or bulimia as controls. Continue reading

bulimiaFacts about Bulimia Nervosa: The vicious circle of binging and purging

It’s uncommon to associate eating disorders with the elderly, but sadly these conditions plague older Americans as well. The largest demographic of seniors with eating disorders are women. But eating disorders and the elderly are not often discussed so getting exact statistics and information is difficult. There are many different types of eating disorders, one, in particular, is bulimia.

Bulimia nervosa is a condition where a person binges and purges, meaning they will consume high quantities of food and expel it from their body. This can be done in two ways: Purging bulimia and non-purging bulimia.

Two types of bulimia

Purging bulimia: The individual forces themselves to vomit or uses laxatives and enemas after eating.

Non-purging bulimia: The individual will practice methods such as excessive exercise or fasting to rid themselves of calories.

Bulimia nervosa is a life-threatening condition. People with bulimia are often overly critical of their body.

Causes and symptoms of bulimia

Developing an eating disorder usually includes many factors. Continue reading

Type-2-diabetes-risk-increases-with-binge-eating-disorderType 2 diabetes risk increases with binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa, an eating disorder increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. Bulimia nervosa is when a person binges and purges food. This means they will consume large amounts of food only to expel it from their body immediately afterward. This can be done through vomiting or with the use of laxatives. Causes of bulimia nervosa can range from psychological, biological, social and cultural influences.

Type-2 diabetes is a condition where the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t produce enough of it. The body’s metabolism becomes affected – this is how the body breaks-down food in order to use it for energy. Causes of type-2 diabetes could be genetic, environmental, result from obesity or lack of physical activity.

You may be wondering what an eating disorder and type-2 diabetes have in common, well, they’re more closely related than you’d think. Research has shown a strong link between rates of type-2 diabetes and patients with bulimia nervosa.

The findings, published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, revealed patients with bulimia nervosa have higher rates of type-2 diabetes. Continue reading

binge-eating-disordersKnow the causes and symptoms of binge eating disorder

We’ve all been tempted by second helpings of a favorite dish, or head to the buffet spread at a restaurant for the third time – you want to get your money’s worth and try everything, right? But what if you felt compelled to wolf down plateful after plateful of food? A dozen donuts or a full bag of cookies? You just kept eating and couldn’t stop…

What is binge eating disorder?


Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder where you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food. What is binge eating disorder? When those second or third helpings associated with overeating cross the line and become part of your routine, this could be binge eating disorder.

One of the notable facts about binge eating disorder is the gorging usually is done in secret, often at night. People are embarrassed about it. They vow to stop, and then resort to night eating under the radar of family or friends. In fact, the signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder can be hard to spot. Continue reading

Eating disorders affect more than 30 million Americans. They not only affect adults, but even teenagers who struggle with body image complexes and are often associated with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018 will place between February 26 to March 4, and is being used to spread awareness about these disorders.