Different Types Of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are not about food, they are about control. Most people who suffer from eating disorders want to be able to be in control of at least one aspect of their lives and food is one thing that is easy to manage. If you need help for your child with eating disorders in San Diego, CA, Children's Healthcare Medical Associates has a specialist in adolescent and teen eating disorders as part of their medical staff.


Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where the person who has it may have a fear of gaining weight that is unreasonable for their age and size. Their body image becomes distorted, they think they are fat even when they may be skeletal. Anorexia usually starts in the teen years or in early adulthood. It is most common in white females and the sufferers are often high achievers from families with high expectations.

Some symptoms of anorexia are not menstruating for 3 or more cycles, cutting food into small pieces and moving it around the plate rather than eating it, excessive exercise, using laxatives, and going to the bathroom right after a meal. While these can all be innocent symptoms, if you notice them along with weight loss, anorexia may be what is happening.


Bulimia is an eating disorder where the sufferer eats excessive amounts of food, and then resorts to inducing vomiting or using laxatives to keep from gaining weight. It is not known exactly what causes bulimia, but it is more common in women than men and usually manifests in adolescents or teen girls. They are aware that what they are doing isn't normal, and they may suffer from guilt or fear of discovery.

Bulimia is harder to diagnose because the sufferers are very secretive and they are also typically of normal weight. If you notice excessive exercising, eating large amounts of food at one time, or going to the bathroom right after eating, these may be signs of bulimia.

Binge Eating

Binge eating may occur along with bulimia, or it may be suffered alone. The person who is suffering may eat massive amounts of food at a meal, and then snack in addition. There is typically excessive weight gain associated with this condition. The actual causes are unknown, but if you notice that your child is indulging in any of this type of behavior, it is time to see an eating disorder specialist.

If you need help with eating disorders in San Diego, CA, Dr. Karen Loper is an eating disorder expert at Children's Healthcare Medical Associates. To make an appointment, call our office at (619) 297-5437.

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