What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia is a condition commonly defined as self-induced starvation. This definition can be misleading because a person with anorexia is often hungry but will refuse to eat by denying their own hunger and need for food as a result of an intense and distorted fear of becoming fat. Other symptoms include excessive weight loss, restrictive control of caloric and fat intake, as well as obsessive thoughts of food/preparation and extreme worry about body shape and size.

  • Heart damage (murmur, rhythm disturbance, heart failure)
  • Kidney problems (stones, kidney failure)
  • Bone density problems
  • Low blood sugar, low pulse, low respiratory rate, elevated cholesterol
  • Electrolytic imbalances
  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Constipation or slower emptying of food from the stomach
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Low body temperature, slowed circulation
  • Deteriorating hair and nail quality
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Skin rash, lanugo hair (soft hair that appears on the body for warmth)
  • Water retention, bloating, abdominal pain
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Reduced energy

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder is characterized by frequently eating more food than most people would consume in a similar period of time. This disorder is marked by periods of impulsive gorging or continuous overeating while feeling out-of-control (as though one cannot stop or control how much he/she is eating).

  • Joint Problems
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Depression and Mood Swings
  • Anxiety
  • Elevated Cholesterol Levels
  • Cardiac Instability
  • Hypertension

What is Bulimia Nervosa?

Bulimia is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by engaging in compensatory behaviors such as purging or using laxatives to prevent weight gain.

  • A binge consists of eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances usually within a 2 hour period.
  • Compensatory behaviors are divided into categories: Purging and Non-purging.
  • The purging behaviors include induced vomiting, the use of laxatives and diuretics while the non-purging behaviors involve excessive exercise and alternating periods of strict dieting or fasting.


  • Esophageal problems (tears, bleeding, rupture)
  • Stomach injuries (inflammation of lining, rupture)
  • Intestinal injuries (ulcers, bloody stools)
  • Lung complications
  • Kidney and heart complications (kidney stones, kidney failure, uneven heart rate, heart failure, diseased heart muscle)
  • Skin problems
  • Erosion of tooth enamel
  • Swollen salivary glands
  • Changes in menstrual cycle
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Dehydration
  • Depression and mood swings