When most people think of eating disorders, they immediately think of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, but some of those people may be surprised to learn that there’s a third type of eating disorder called EDNOS. EDNOS stands for eating disorder not otherwise specified. You may have recently learned that you or a loved one suffers from EDNOS, or maybe you suspect that you may have it and want to find out more information about it. You’ve come to the right place.
Characteristics of EDNOS
An EDNOS sufferer suffers from an eating disorder that may have some of the outward signs and symptoms of anorexia and bulimia but may not have all the key characteristics of those strictly defined conditions. Some of the characteristics of EDNOS are as follows:
- You may have many of the outwardly visible signs of anorexia like extreme thinness or completely refusing to eat but you’re still getting your period. Loss of a menstrual cycle is one of the most common indicators of anorexia.
- You may be bingeing and purging, but you do it on a much less frequent level than a true bulimic.
- You could suffer from purging disorder. This is characterized by the need to make yourself vomit even after eating just a tiny bit of food.
- You may see yourself with the same body dysmorphic tendencies as a person with anorexia.
- You could chew large amounts of food without swallowing any of it. You would do this by alternately chewing your food and spitting it out.
If you recognize any of these symptoms but you’re still unclear on the issue, you can always reach out to our counselors toll-free at any time at 1-888-287-0471.
Is EDNOS as Serious as Other Eating Disorders?
The answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” What many people don’t realize is that more people are diagnosed with EDNOS than with anorexia and bulimia combined. People with EDNOS are engaging in the same dangerous eating habits as those with anorexia and bulimia, so they could end up suffering from the same illnesses and conditions, such as heart disease, liver failure, strokes, thinning hair and rotting teeth.
An EDNOS sufferer may also suffer from the same psychological neuroses and fears as a bulimic or anorexic patient. She may share symptoms like the same distorted body image, the same fear of food and the same drive to limit her caloric intake to dangerously low levels. She may feel the extreme urge to purge and cleanse like a bulimic individual does. The point is that whatever the official diagnosis, many of the characteristics of EDNOS are identical to those of anorexia and bulimia, so the diagnosis is just as serious. This means that a person suffering from EDNOS requires the same sort of treatment as someone suffering from other eating disorders.
What Types of People Suffer From EDNOS?
“Although women are historically more apt to suffer from eating disorders than men, the number of men suffering from eating disorders continues to grow every year.”Although women are historically more apt to suffer from eating disorders than men, the number of men suffering from eating disorders continues to grow every year. Men are being affected by the same social pressures and standards of beauty that women have always been subjected to, resulting in more and more men engaging in dangerous eating habits in order to maintain a youthful physique. While young women in their mid-to-late teens and 20s are most often the poster children for eating disorders, anyone can develop an eating disorder at any age for any number of reasons.
How to Tell if Someone Has EDNOS
Some of the most common signs of EDNOS include the following:
- A person suddenly starts eating alone all the time
- A person begins disappearing into the bathroom each time he or she eats something
- You notice that there are suddenly large amounts of food disappearing, but you never see that person eating; this could mean that this person has binge eating problem.
- A person develops a sudden preoccupation with food and has rigid definitions on what constitutes good food and bad food
- A person suddenly associates enjoying food with doing something bad
Many of these symptoms are similar to what you would find in people suffering from anorexia or bulimia.
How Does Someone Get Treatment for EDNOS?
The most important thing to remember is that EDNOS is a real and serious condition that requires treatment as comprehensive as the type offered to anorexics and bulimics. If you suspect that you have EDNOS, know that help is merely a phone call away.
Professional treatment is the most successful way to treat all serious eating disorders, including EDNOS. Because the range of EDNOS symptoms varies from person to person, it’s important that an individual treatment program be designed that treats each patient’s specific issues. Treatment will help the person control the damaging behaviors of the condition while helping her to determine the factors that caused them in the first place. Once she can isolate her triggers, she’ll be given the tools to handle them in the future. If you’d like to get more information right now, give our advisors a call at 1-888-287-0471.