Other eating disorders

Below are some rarer known eating disorders and are not that uncommon. Although not recognised as official medical conditions, all are nevertheless serious emerging problems.

Diabulimia

Diabulimia is a term created to represent a condition of diabetic bulimia. The condition occurs when insulin dependant diabetics skip injection in order to lose weight – this type of disorder usually affects type 1 diabetics. Young diabetics, who already have numerous issues to deal with, realise the potential weight loss possible by skipping insulin, without understanding how much they are damaging their bodies.

The side effects of manipulating and omitting insulin from the body can be serious and dangerous. Blood sugar levels can surge and reach an unhealthy level, leading to fatigue, dehydration and eventually wearing of the muscle tissue. Over a long-term, the symptoms are the same as badly managed diabetes. These can include complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, kidney disease and further damage.

Night Eating Syndrome

This has recently been recognised as a possible new form of eating disorder. It involves eating the majority of food late at night, or waking from sleep to eat. Often people with this problem will fast during the day.

Orthorexia

People with Orthorexia will be fixated on eating food they deem as healthy and ‘pure’. Unlike anorexia, people who are orthorexic are concerned with the quality not quantity of food. Most foods they eat will be organic and will avoid foods that are processed and high in sugar and fats. Whilst this may not be the most damaging of eating disorder, the obsession with food can take over a sufferers life. In some instances, orthorexia can be the precursor to anorexia.

Pica

This is compulsive craving for eating, chewing or licking items that have no nutritional value – chalk, plaster, paint, soda, starch, glue, rust, coffee grounds and cigarette ashes. This phenomenon is sometimes linked to certain mineral deficiencies (like iron or zinc) and is often associated with other psychological disturbances and social deprivation.

Complications can include lead poisoning, malnutrition, abdominal problems, intestinal obstruction, dental problems and death in more severe circumstances.

Prader Willi Syndrome

Prader Willi Syndrome is a complex disorder that is present from birth. People with this syndrome have an insatiable appetite because of a defect that means they never feel full. There are number of physical problems associated, some of which include delayed motor development, abnormal growth, dental problems, obesity and diabetes.

Sleep Eating Syndrome

People with SED-NOS will binge on foods, usually at large quantities, during the night when sleep walking. They mostly do not remember the binges and is usually brought on when anxious, stressed or angry.

'Men Get Eating Disorders Too' is a registered charity in England and Wales no. 1139351.

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