nervosa is characterized by self-starvation to avoid obesity. People
with this disorder believe they are overweight, even when their
bodies become grotesquely distorted by malnourishment. Women who
strive for less than 15% of ideal body weight are at risk for anorexia
Physical complications include cognitive disturbance, muscular weakness,
changes in sleep patterns, electrolyte disturbance, anemia, dizziness,
osteoporosis, constipation, irregular menses and possible infertility.
is characterized by massive food binges followed by self-induced
vomiting or use of diuretics and laxatives to avoid weight gain.
Some anorexic patients combine bulimic purges with their starvation
routine. These disorders generally afflict womenparticularly
in adolescence and young adulthoodand are much less common
among men. Some researchers believe that anorexia and bulimia are
caused by chemical imbalances in the brain; one study has linked
bulimia to deprivation of tryptophan, an amino acid used by the
body to make the neurotransmitter serotonin. Others contend that
these disorders are rooted in societal ideals that value slenderness.
Physical complications include electrolyte imbalance which may result
in severe cardiac arrest, dehydration, swelling of fingers, ankles
and faces, irregular menses, dental deterioration and gastrointestinal
eating disorder is characterized by consuming large quantities of
food in a very short period of time until the individual is uncomfortably
full. Binge eating disorder is much like bulimia except the individuals
do not use any form of purging following a binge. Individuals usually
feel out of control during a binge episode, followed by feelings
of guilt and shame. Many individuals who suffer with binge eating
disorder use food as a way to cope with or block out feelings and
emotions they do not want to feel. Individuals can also use food
as a way to numb themselves, to cope with daily life stressors,
to provide comfort to themselves or fill a void they feel within.
Like all eating disorders, binge eating is a serious problem but
can be overcome through proper treatment.
Physical complications include obesity, menstrual irregularities,
diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholestrol, osteoarthritis,
decreased mobility, shortness of breath, heart disease, liver and
kidney problems, cardiac arrest and/or death.
overeating is characterized by uncontrollable eating and consequent
weight gain. Compulsive overeaters use food as a way to cope with
stress, emotional conflicts and daily problems. They usually feel
out of control and are aware their eating patterns are abnormal.
Like bulimics, compulsive overeaters do recognize they have a problem.
Compulsive overeating usually starts in early childhood when eating
patterns are formed. Most people who become compulsive eaters are
people who never learned the proper way to deal with stressful situations
and used food instead as a way of coping. Fat can also serve as
a protective function for them, especially in people that have been
victims of sexual abuse. They sometimes feel that being overweight
will keep others at a distance and make them less attractive. Unlike
anorexia and bulimia, there is a high proportion of male overeaters.
In today's society, compulsive overeating is not yet taken seriously
enough. Instead of being treated for the serious problem they have,
they are instead directed to diet centers and health spas. Like
anorexia and bulimia, compulsive overeating is a serious problem
and can result in death. With the proper treatment, which should
include therapy, medical and nutritional counseling, it can be overcome.
Physical complications include weight gain, hypertension or fatigue,
mobility problems, diabetes, arthritis, sciatica, varicose veins,
hiatal hernia, embolism, sleep depravation, toxemia during pregnancy,
high blood pressure, shortness of breath, high cholesterol levels,
cardiac arrest and death.
you think you may have an Eating Disorder?
a look at the following list of questions. The questions presented
involve behaviours and feelings that are common in someone suffering
with an eating disorder. The purpose of this test is NOT to decide
for you that you have an eating disorder, but to help you determine
whether or not you have one. The only person that can decide whether
or not you have an eating disorder is you. This test is also SPECIFICALLY
for individuals who feel that they may have an eating disorder.
Do you starve yourself on a regular basis?
___ Do you binge and then self induce vomiting?
___ Do you feel out of control when you eat?
___ Do you feel powerful and in control when you are able to abstain
___ Do you binge on food when you are experiencing negative feelings?
(ie. anger, sadness, etc.)
___ Do you feel that you do not deserve to eat?
___ Do you know the calorie content in the foods that you eat?
___ Do you feel the only control you have in your life is in the
areas of food and weight?
___ Do you believe you are fat, even though people tell you otherwise?
___ Do you feel that you have to be perfect in everything that you
___ Do you use laxatives, diet pills, or diuretics as a method of
___ Do you exercise to burn calories, rather than to stay fit?
___ Are you secretive about your eating habits?
___ Do you feel anger towards anyone that questions your eating
___ Do you feel guilty after you eat?
___ Do you hear negative messages in your head
(ie. saying you're fat, ugly, worthless,
___ Do you avoid social events because there will be food present?
___ Do you think about food constantly?
___ Do you believe that life will be perfect and you will be happy
if you lose weight?
___ Do you have an intense fear of gaining weight?
___ Do you feel ashamed of your eating behaviours?
___ Do you feel that no matter what you do, it will never be good
___ Do you think that you may have an eating disorder?
you have answered yes to three or more of the following questions,
it could be a sign that you do in fact have an eating disorder or
the beginning of one. You may want to consider seeing a therapist
or talking with someone at an eating disorders clinic about this
Eating Disorder Test is written and created by Colleen Thompson
and Michelle Comeau from mirror-mirror.org