Eating disorder
Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder: Definition, 3+ Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis

Eating Disorder Definition

Eating disorders are different attitudes towards food that cause a person to change his behavior and eating habits. This can be a serious condition that negatively impacts a person’s health, emotions, and abilities in a variety of important areas of life.

Eating Disorder Symptoms

These symptoms vary depending on the type of disorder experienced, including:

Overeating disorders

When suffering from this disorder, a person usually eats a large amount, then feels out of control with his or her diet. The patient eats faster and more when not hungry and continues, even though it is full. Like just bulimia, the person will feel disgusted with himself and ashamed of his behavior, but the person does not try to exercise excessively or spew his food. People usually tend to eat alone, so that the disorder is unknown to others.

Anorexia nervosa

This disorder is indicated by abnormally low weight, feeling very afraid if weight gain and having the wrong perception about her weight or body shape. Anorexia sufferers strive to maintain food intake in order to maintain their weight and body shape, so that sometimes they can die from hunger.

Other symptoms of anorexia can include: thin body, insomnia, excessive fatigue, dizziness, blue nails, brittle nails and hair, constipation, dry skin, and irregular heartbeat.

Bulimia nervosa or often called bulimia

When suffering from bulimia disorder, a person loses control during eating, so repeatedly consumes a large amount of food, then remove it again (eating and purging). This is done to reduce excess calories due to feeling guilty, embarrassed, and afraid of overweight. The way it is done, usually by forcing himself to vomit and exercising too hard.

Other symptoms of bulimia include extreme use of weight loss supplements, laxative use, and regular consumption of diuretics or enemas. Bulimia sufferers tend to judge the deficiency in themselves too hard, even though they are actually normal or slightly overweight. Many bulimia sufferers also limit eating during the day, thus increasing the amount of food at night, then re-spewed.

Eating Disorder Causes

So far, it is not yet known the exact cause of the eating disorder. But as with other mental disorders, eating disorders can occur due to a combination of several factors, including:


Some cases of eating disorders are found in people who have certain genes. This gene can make eating disorders easier.


In addition, eating disorders are also commonly experienced by people who have parents or siblings with a history of similar disorders.


Changes in chemicals in the brain can play a role in causing eating disorders.

Psychological (mental state)

Eating disorders are often found in people who also have anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

In addition to these causes, a number of conditions that can also increase a person’s risk of eating disorders are:

Teen age

Adolescents are prone to eating disorders because they tend to pay more attention to self-image or appearance.

Excessive dieting

Hunger due to a diet that is too strict can affect the brain, thus causing the urge to overeat.


A variety of stress-causing problems, whether in work, family, or social relationships, can increase the risk of eating disorders.

Eating Disorder Diagnosis

Determination of the diagnosis of eating disorders can be done with the help of a medical interview with a doctor, who asks:

  • Do you feel sick or vomiting from fullness to feeling uncomfortable?
  • Are you worried about losing control of how much food you consume?
  • Did you lose 6 kg in 3 months?
  • Do you feel fat even though others say you’re skinny?
  • Does food dominate your life?

If you answered yes to two or more of the above questions, you could have an eating disorder.

Last Updated on February 23, 2022 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team

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