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Wayne State College
Counseling Center
Student Center, Rm. 103
1111 Main St.
Wayne, NE 68787

Phone: 402.375.7321
Fax: 402.375.7058

 

 

Related Services  > Eating Disorders  > Definitions

 

Eating Disorders Links: | Signs and Symptoms | Relapse Warning |
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Anorexia Nervosa

 

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by emaciation, a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight, a distortion of body image and intense fear of gaining weight, a lack of menstruation among girls and women, and extremely disturbed eating behavior. Some people with anorexia lose weight by dieting and exercising excessively; others lose weight by self-induced vomiting, or misusing laxatives, diuretics, or enemas.

 

The body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to function normally, so it is forced to slow down all of its processes to conserve energy. This “slowing down” can have serious, life-threatening, medical consequences. Eating disorders experts have found that prompt intensive treatment significantly improves the chances of recovery.

 

Anorexia Nervosa has four primary symptoms:

  • Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height
  • Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat” even though underweight.
  • Disturbance in the experience of body weight or shape, undue influence of weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of low body weight.
  • Loss of menstrual periods in girls and women post-puberty.

Click here to learn more about the warning signs and symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa.

 

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Bulimia Nervosa

 

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food (e.g., binge-eating), and feeling a lack of control over the eating. This binge-eating is followed by a type of behavior that compensates for the binge, such as purging (e.g., vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics), fasting and/or excessive exercise.

 

Unlike anorexia, people with bulimia can fall within the normal range for their age and weight. But like people with anorexia, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape. Usually, bulimic behavior is done secretly, because it is often accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame. The binging and purging cycle usually repeats several times a week. Similar to anorexia, people with bulimia often have coexisting psychological illnesses, such as depression, anxiety and/or substance abuse problems. Many physical conditions result from the purging aspect of the illness, including electrolyte imbalances, gastrointestinal problems, and oral and tooth-related problems.

 

 

Bulimia Nervosa has three primary symptoms:

  • Regular intake of large amounts of food accompanied by a sense of loss of control over eating behavior.
  • Regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, fasting, and/or obsessive or compulsive exercise.
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape.

Click here to learn more about the warning signs and symptoms of Bulemia Nervosa.

 

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Binge-Eating Disorder

 

Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurrent binge-eating episodes during which a person feels a loss of control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia, binge-eating episodes are not followed by purging, excessive exercise or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often are overweight or obese. They also experience guilt, shame and/or distress about the binge-eating, which can lead to more binge-eating.

 

Obese people with binge-eating disorder often have coexisting psychological illnesses including anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. In addition, links between obesity and cardiovascular disease and hypertension are well documented.

 

Binge-Eating Disorder is characterized by:

  • Frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food in short periods of time.
  • Feeling out of control over eating behavior.
  • Feeling ashamed or disgusted by the behavior.
  • Behavioral indicators of binge-eating disorder include eating when not hungry and eating in secret.

 

Click here to learn more about the warning signs and symptoms of Binge-eating disorder.

 

 

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The WSC Counseling Center is located in the Student Center, Room 103. Please make an appointment by calling (402) 375-7321.

 

 

Sources:

 

© 2005 National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Permission is granted to copy and reprint materials for educational purposes only. National Eating Disorders Association must be cited and web address listed. www.NationalEatingDisorders.org - Information and Referral Helpline: 800.931.2237

 

National Institute of Mental Health: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________
Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor

 

 

 

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