fl3Eating disorders are a group of conditions marked by an unhealthy relationship with food. The three main types of eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa (weight loss often due to excessive dieting and exercise, sometimes to the point of starvation along with a distorted body image), Bulimia Nervosa (cycles of extreme overeating, known as bingeing, followed by purging or other behaviors to compensate for the overeating), and Binge Eating Disorder (regular episodes of extreme overeating and feelings of loss of control about eating). Individuals can, and often, exhibit behaviors of all three types of eating disorders.

Some dangers of eating disorders include malnutrition, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, hypnoatremia (not enough sodium in the blood with can lead to fluid in the lungs, brain swelling, nausea, vomiting, and death), muscle atrophy, paralysis, tearing of the esophagus (due to self-induced vomiting), gastric rupture, gastrointestinal bleeding, cancer of the throat or larynx, chronic fatigue syndrome, dental problems, amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle), anemia, kidney infection and failure, liver failure, bad circulation, slowed or irregular heart beat, heart attack, seizures, or death.

Individuals with eating disorders tend to experience low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, trouble coping with emotions, and/or substance abuse. For some individuals, a preoccupation with their body and with food is a way to gain control over one aspect of their life.

Participating in Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help individuals learn about the underlying causes of their illness, how to identify and predict when symptoms and triggers are likely to occur, how to reduce the power the eating disorder has over the individuals, how to reframe self-defeating thoughts about themselves and their body, and how to cope with the underlying issues in a more positive and healthy way.