Eating disorders consist of 4 main categories:
- Bulimia nervosa: characterized by episodes of uncontrolled food intake, followed by compensatory behaviors.
- Anorexia nervosa: characterized by low body weight and distorted body image and fear of weight gain.
- Binge eating disorder: characterized by frequent consumption of large amounts of food, even when the person is not hungry.
- Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder: These are disorders that do not meet the criteria of the previous categories, but they cause severe discomfort or difficulties in one's daily life, relationships and / or work environment.
In order to effectively treat eating disorders, it is necessary to have the help of a mental health professional, a dietician and in some cases a doctor.
The mental health specialist assists the person to explore his/her needs, desires and feelings, as well as the relationships of the individual. Together, they will seek to discover the root causes of the problem through a relationship of trust, understanding and mutual respect.
The dietician will determine a person's dietary needs and will try to create a diet plan based on those needs.
Lastly, medical help may be needed when the person has a low body mass index and / or when the person's eating habits cause medical problems, such as dehydration, malnutrition and electrolyte disorders.