Different types of children eating disorders

Children Eating disorders are very common among children and teens as it can cause serious changes in their eating habits that can lead to life threatening health problems. The different types of children eating disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia and binge eating. In children and teenagers, these eating disorders can also overlap as some children can experience an alternate periods of bulimia and anorexia. These children eating disorders are generally developed during early adulthood or adolescence but are can also develop in childhood. Females are more vulnerable to these eating disorders as compared to males. The different cause of these eating disorders include distress, low self esteem, fear of being overweight and feelings of helplessness. It can also lead to more serious consequences like substance abuse, depression and anxiety disorders.

anorexia mirror

Anorexia - it is a condition in which the child does not eat or refuses to eat adequate calories in an irrational or intense fear of becoming fat. The children and teens suffering from this condition have distorted body image as they feel that they are very heavy. These children are obsessed with being too thin and refuses even to maintain a minimal normal weight.

Symptoms of Anorexia include Always dieting, Perfectionism, depression, being self critical and anxiety, Compulsive or excessive exercising, Intense fear of being fat even when the child is underweight, Rapid weight loss, Strange eating habits and Unusual interest in food

Anorexia can also have many other health problems like low blood pressure, thinning of bones, sensitivity to cold, irregular heartbeat and damage of major organs. This condition is very fatal and can cause electrolyte imbalance and cardiac arrest. Bringing the children or teens to their normal weight is the primary aim of treatment and the long term treatment include psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and anti depressant medication.

Bulimia - it is the condition in which they overeats or binges but then he/she purges the food by using laxatives or vomiting for preventing weight gain. They eat too much in a short duration of time and may fell ashamed or disgusted after eating and then to prevent weight gain they may use enemas, diuretics, laxatives and diet pills after which they feel relived.

The symptoms of bulimia include anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, excessive exercise, mood swings, vomiting after eating, unusual interest in food, overemphasis on physical appearance and unusual eating habits. The complications that this condition can have on children include swelling of salivary glands, inflammation of esophagus and damage of tooth enamel. The treatment of bulimia includes nutritional counseling, group therapy, behavior modification and anti depressant medication.

Binge eating - it is a condition in which the child gorge rapidly on food without purging. It includes chronic and out of control eating of large mount of food in a short duration until a point of discomfort. These children tend to become obese or overweight and they may struggle to handle emotions. This condition is triggered by boredom, sadness, stress, worry or anger. Generally binge eaters are very upset about their overeating and tend to become depressed.

Treatments for Anorexia

Anorexia can be described as an eating disorder typified by deliberate refusal to eat enough food needed to maintain a healthy body weight. Consequently, the body and mind are deprived of the nutrients needed for optimum functionality. Anorexia is common among adolescents but just like any other eating disorder it can be developed at any stage of life. The need to feel in charge of one’s life is the primary reason why most people embark on a self starvation mission.

The best treatments for anorexia seek to address underlying causes which most of the time have to do with a person’s self esteem and image. While treating anorexia can be challenging, full recovery is possible if appropriate treatment and support is sought early enough. The type of treatment administered on a patient who is anorexic depends of how severe the condition is.

A patient may be treated as an out, day or inpatient. In instances where the level of weight loss is extreme, he or she may be admitted in a specialist center. For further insights, here’s a comprehensive look at various treatments for anorexia and what to expect with each treatment.

Medical Care

Anorexia is associated with a myriad of complications and the need to place a patient under frequent monitoring may be necessary so as to constantly check on hydration levels, electrolytes as well as other related conditions.

In extreme cases, patients with anorexia may be fed through a tube placed on the nose extending all the way to the stomach. Medical care can be coordinated by a doctor or other health care professional. However, in some cases a mental health provider may be in charge of the entire process.

Restoring a Healthy Weight

The initial tips of anorexia are geared towards the patient get back to a healthy weight. It’s almost impossible for patients to recover from an eating disorder without restoring an appropriate weight and learning proper nutrition first. A psychologist can work with the patient to come up with a strategy aimed at restoring healthy weight.

A dietitian can provide guidance on a healthy diet by outlining specific meal plans and calorie needs that will help increase the patient’s weight.

anorexia treatment


Psychotherapy is the most common treatment for anorexia. It may involve devotion of significant amounts of time and financial commitment especially if the patient is besieged by other issues such as depression, sexual abuse and drugs as well as relationship problems.

Some of the psychological treatments for anorexia include;

Individual Therapy – This form of therapy helps the patient deal with behavior and thoughts that contribute to anorexia. It enables the patient adopt a healthier self esteem and learn positive ways to deal with distress and other strong feelings.

A type of talk therapy referred to as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is commonly used. It may be carried out as a day treatment program, but in some instances it forms the part of treatment in a psychiatric hospital.

Family Based Therapy – This form of therapy is based on the assumption that the patient has an eating disorder and is incapable of making sound decisions when it comes to his or her health. It is for this reason that help from family members becomes important.

The family members ensure that the patient embarks on healthy eating patterns. Family based therapy can help resolve disputes between family members and assemble support from apprehensive members. This form of therapy is particularly helpful for adolescents who are still living under their parents care.

Group Therapy – This type of therapy helps individuals suffering from anorexia connect with others facing the same problem. While casual support groups may be helpful, it is important to note that they should be led by a mental health professional. Chances of patients competing for the thinnest tag cannot be ruled out.


There are no specific medications to address anorexia yet. However, antidepressants together with other psychiatric medications can help deal with mental disorders seeing that anorexia patients may be suffering from depression and anxiety.


In cases characterized by extreme malnutrition, medical complications, psychiatric emergencies and prolonged refusal to eat hospitalization may be a viable option. Hospitalization can be in a medical or psychiatric ward. Some clinics focus in treating patients with eating disorders while others offer day programs instead of full hospitalization.

Specialized eating disorders provide more a comprehensive treatment in the long run. Patients should continually seek therapy and nutrition education even after hospitalization for continued recovery.

One of core challenges in treating anorexia is that some people don’t view it as an illness but a lifestyle choice instead and are less concerned about addressing the problem. Anorexia can turn out to be a life long battle and it’s imperative that individuals be encouraged to take any of the above treatments for anorexia depending on the severity.

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is the state of the inability to maintain a healthy eating procedure for a surmountable duration of time that it will inevitably affect the health of an individual. People who suffer from eating disorders are bound to develop and exhibit physical and mental health problems that can become detrimental. What is an eating disorder is a question that is brought forward by majority of the society.

eating disorder

Many people have phased of this conditions as a fad or life choice while it has been proven to actually be rooted from the psychological setting of a human being to simply follow through without the ability to control it on their own. Majority of the victims of eating disorder conditions are seen to have a severely entailed and strongly rooted vision towards their own self image due to past experiences such as child abuse, low self esteem, lack of self acknowledgement, bullying, cultural pressure, parental influence, peer pressure etc.

Types of eating disorders:

1. Compulsive eating disorder. This is the state of eating disorder in which a person finds themselves under uncontrollable states of ingesting large amounts of foods at a go. After such an experience the person is enveloped under a state of guilt and depression. Majority of the people who engage in compulsive eating disorder are seen to do this especially when they feel pressured in any moment of their lives and can equally engage in this habit at almost any time of day or night. This condition also involves the ability of a person to continue to eat large amounts of food even after they are uncomfortably full form eating especially if they are undergoing huge amounts of pressure.

2. Binge eating disorder. This eating disorder possesses very little difference to the compulsive eating disorder. The binge eating disorder entails the abnormal consumption of large amounts of food whether one is hungry or not and this event can continue well past the uncomfortable state of being full. This eating disorder is usually depicted by distressed people who try to hide their problems and experience a great sense of shame, guilt and disgust.

3. Bulimia Nervosa. This condition is observed by first eating large amounts of food and then the eater intentionally rids their bodies of the food content ingested either by ingesting laxative to quicken the digestion or by pocking the throat in order to puke it all out. This is a serious condition in which the individual is unable to control their food desires and ingestion process. They are afraid of gaining weight and will much rather dispose of the food as fast as possible before it is fully absorbed into the body system. This can lead to severe health and life threatening conditions such as heart damage, anxiety disorders, dental damage, kidney damage, damage of the digestive system etc.

4. Anorexia nervosa. Is considered to be a life threatening condition as a person will attribute characteristics of starving oneself and even deny their own hunger until their bodies are craving for nutrition at the very lowest limit of activeness. Majority of the people involved in this eating disorder are mainly afraid of gaining weight and will normally exhibit weight that is much lower than their average BMI. As already witness this uncontrollable eating disorder will not only develop risky health conditions and diseases due to lack of enough nutrition but is also seen to lead to death of an individual.