Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified
Eating disorders, specifically anorexia and bulimia, are characterized by extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. They are serious disorders and can have life threatening consequences. This is also the case for the category of eating disorders known as eating disorders not otherwise specified (ENDOS). These eating disorders can include a combination of signs and symptoms that are pretty typical for someone who has anorexia or bulimia.
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by emaciation, a never ending pursuit to try and be thin and a total unwillingness to stay at a healthy weight. There is also a distortion of body image and an intense fear of gaining weight. Anorexia Nervosa is also characterized by a lack of menstruation among girls and women. The eating behavior is extremely disturbed. Some people with anorexia will try to lose weight by dieting and exercising obsessively. Other people with anorexia will induce vomiting, misuse laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.
• Deliberate self-starvation with weight loss
• Intense, persistent fear of gaining weight
• Refusal to eat or highly restrictive eating
• Continuous dieting
• Excessive facial/body hair because of inadequate protein in the diet
• Compulsive exercise
• Abnormal weight loss
• Sensitivity to cold
• Absent or irregular menstruation
• Hair loss
Someone with bulimia nervosa will have regular moments of overeating which are always followed by a feeling of guilt, which can then lead to extreme crash dieting, doing lots of exercise and purging (self-induced vomiting.)
- Binge-eating “repeatedly” – eating much more than most people normally do, together with a feeling that they can’t stop or control their eating
- Repeatedly and inappropriately compensating for the over-eating, such as over-medicating with laxatives, fasting, exercising to exhaustion, or making themselves vomit
- Frequent dieting
- Been doing these two things (binge-eating and inappropriately compensating) repeatedly at least twice a week for the last 3 months
- Overly judging themselves in terms of the weight and shape of their bodies
Eating disorders not otherwise specified
These are the most common examples of eating disorders not otherwise specified but every person experiencing eating disorders not otherwise specified may have varying symptoms.
- Menstruation is still happening despite meeting all the criteria for either bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.
- All conditions are present to qualify for anorexia nervosa except for the individual’s current weight is in the normal range or above.
- Purging or other compensatory behaviors are not occurring at a frequency less than the strict criteria for bulimia nervosa
- Purging without binging which is sometimes known as purging disorder
- Chewing and spitting out large amounts of food but not swallowing
An eating disorder not otherwise specified is simply put an eating disorder that meets all the criteria except for one or two things. Mainly all of the above have one thing in common and that is an obsessive preoccupation with weight to the point that affects the present day moment and the ability to enjoy life while being around friends, family, at work etc. A person with ENDOS or any other eating disorder will constantly be concerned about their weight and food.