What Is an Eating Disorder: Types, Symptoms, Risk Factors, And Causes


Eating disorders are dangerous conditions caused by persistent eating patterns that may hurt your feelings, health, and ability to perform essential life functions. Bulimia nervosa, anorexia Nervosa, and binge eating are the three most prevalent eating disorders.

Most eating disorders are characterized by an unhealthy obsession with food, body image, and weight, which negatively affects your body's capacity to absorb the proper nutrients for your development.


The types of symptoms displayed or observed depending on the particular eating disorder. The three most prevalent eating disorders are binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.

Types of Eating Disorders

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa, often known as bulimia, is a severe eating disorder that may be life-threatening. This eating disorder causes binge-and-purge episodes where you feel you have no control over your food intake.

During these episodes, you frequently consume a lot of food quickly and try to eliminate the excess calories unpleasantly. For example, you might force yourself to vomit, overstrain yourself when working out, or use other techniques, like enemas, to eliminate the excess calories.

Anorexia nervosa

Another potentially fatal eating disorder is anorexia nervosa, marked by persistent fear of gaining weight and a wrong perception of body shape or weight. When you have anorexia, you severely restrict your calorie intake or employ alternative weight-loss strategies, like vomiting immediately after eating, extreme exercise, and using laxatives or other dietary supplements.

Binge eating disorder

With binge eating behavior, you frequently overeat (binge) and experience a loss of control over the amount of food you eat daily. As a result, although you're not hungry, you eat rapidly or consume more food than you want, and you can keep eating even when you're uncomfortably satisfied.

Following a binge, you could feel bad about how much food you ate and how you acted. But unlike somebody with anorexia or bulimia, you wouldn't try to make up for this behavior with purging or intense exercise. But you will always prefer eating alone to disguise this habit of binge eating.


Genetics and biology: Genes may put you at higher risk of coming up with any of the eating disorders. Also, eating disorders could be influenced by biological factors, like alterations in brain chemistry.

Emotional and psychological health: People that struggle with relationships, perfectionism, impulsivity, and low self-esteem can develop any of these disorders.

Risk factors

Family background. People with siblings or parents who suffer from eating disorders tend to have eating disorders themselves.

Mental illness. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and anxiety disorders are frequently present in eating disorder victims.

Starvation and dieting. The brain is impacted by starvation, which results in mood swings, hard thinking, decreased appetite, and anxiety. In those more susceptible, weight loss and starvation alter brain function, which prolongs restrictive eating patterns leading to an eating disorder.

Stress. Going to college, getting a new job, moving, or dealing with relationship or family issues are all stresses and can cause eating disorders.


There are three main types of eating disorders which are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. Each of these has some specific criteria that differentiate it from others. Other less common ones are Pica, rumination, and restrictive disorders.