5 common types of eating disorder and their symptoms



An eating disorder is a psychological illness that is characterized by abnormal or disturbing eating habits.

Eating disorders are serious behavioral conditions affecting the physical, psychological, and social functioning of a person.

Here are some of the types of eating disorders:

1. Anorexia nervosa

This is an eating disorder that makes people obsess about their body weight and what they eat. It is characterized by weight loss, and there’s an intense fear of gaining weight, even when there’s extreme weight loss. People with anorexia nervosa restrict the number of calories they take into their body in order to prevent weight gain or continue weight loss.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa

– Extreme weight loss

– Insomnia

– Low blood pressure

– Dry or yellow skin

– Skipping meals on a regular basis

– Social withdrawal

– Body fatigue and dizziness


– Therapy

– Medications

2. Rumination disorder

Rumination disorder is a type of eating disorder in which a person repeatedly and unconsciously regurgitates food they have previously chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out.


– Bad breath

– Weight loss

– Avoiding eating around others

– Being hungry and irritable between instances of bringing up their food

– Nausea


– Medications

– Behavioral therapy

3. Binge eating disorder

People suffering from binge eating disorders tend to consume a large amount of food in a short period of time, even when they are not hungry. It is a type of eating disorder in which people eat large quantities of food over a short period of time and then experience discomfort, guilt, or shame afterward.


– Buying and consuming lots of foods

– Mood swings

– Eating until uncomfortably full

– Spending most of their time thinking about food

– Bloating


– Weight loss therapy

– Interpersonal psychotherapy

– Medications

– Cognitive behavioral therapy

4. Other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED)

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED) is a type of eating disorder that doesn’t meet the diagnostic criteria for any other eating disorder. It was previously known as Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).

Symptoms of OSFED

– Refusal to eat certain types of foods

– Tiredness

– Poor body image

– Social withdrawal


– Medications

– Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

– Family-Based Therapy

– Nutritional Therapy

5. Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) was formerly referred to as “Selective Eating Disorder”. It is an eating disorder in which a person avoids the intake of certain foods because they are sensitive to the taste and smell of food or because they have had a distressing experience with certain foods, which can cause a feeling of fear or anxiety around the food. People with AFRID are often picky eaters.


– Finding it difficult to recognize when hungry

– Taking longer time to finish a meal

– Always having the same meals

– Dramatic weight loss

– Stomach cramps


– Nutrition counseling

– Medical care

– Feeding therapy