Eating disorders are illnesses defined by irregular eating habits and severe distress or worry about body image. If you have become so preoccupied with food and weight that other aspects of your life are harder to manage, it may be a sign of an eating disorder. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Symptoms of eating disorders can include fear of gaining weight, fluctuations in weight, obsession with nutritional content of food, restricting food intake, overeating, loss of control while eating, and compensatory behaviors after eating (including purging, excessive exercise, or extreme use of laxatives or diuretics). People who experience eating disorders can also develop mood symptoms of sadness, guilt, distress, and shame, in addition to medical complications of heart issues, bone loss, multi-organ failure, and even death. Treatment of disordered eating includes a multidisciplinary approach using medical care, nutrition, psychotherapy, and medications.
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