The DSM-IV-TR officially recognizes two major eating disorders; anorexia nervosa and
It also recognizes binge-eating disorder, though not officially, as it notes more
research is needed on this particular disorder.
In order to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa,
four specific symptoms are required in the individual by the DSM-IV-TR.
First, the individual
must be underweight (specifically, 15% or more under what would be considered a healthy
weight for that person).
Secondly, the individual must be exceptionally worried or anxious about
Thirdly, the individual must have a defective outlook and view concerning their
This can include either a flawed discernment of the shape and size of their body,
placing an inappropriate amount of significance on physique in evaluation of self-worth, or a
failure to recognize the severity of their condition.
Lastly, females must have missed at least 3
A person with anorexia may also develop very involved habits and practices
Many anorexics also experience extreme fatigue and fainting to their weak
Being severely underweight also causes many with anorexia to suffer from a physical
complications, including irregular heartbeat, heart failure, and a very slow heartbeat.
with the kidney and immune system are also experienced, and many suffer from decreased bone
There are two subtypes of anorexia; the restricting type and the binge/purging type.
the restricting type, a person becomes underweight simply by severely limiting their calorie and
In the binge/purging type, the individual will take part in a series of cycles of
binging and purging (or some similar behavior intended to eliminate food that is consumed).
Generally, the cycle of binging and purging is characteristic of bulimia nervosa; however, those
with anorexia differ from those with bulimia in that anorexics still maintain a weight that is less
than 15% of what is considered their healthy weight.
There is no diagnostic criteria concerning
bodyweight for bulimia nervosa.
Also, women with the binge/purging type of anorexia will have
suffered from missed menstrual cycles; this is not necessarily experienced by those with bulimia
In addition, the binges of those with anorexia nervosa do not generally involve the huge
quantities of food that are characteristic of bulimia nervosa.
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized by a series of bingeing and purging episodes.
the DSM-IV-TR describes a binge episode as involving the consuming of a much larger than
normal amount of food during a specific period of time.
A binge episode is also characterized by
the individual feeling he or she has no control over their eating.
The purging behavior involves
some behavior that is intended to eliminate the food consumed; some behaviors include self-
induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, fasting, extreme amounts of exercise, diuretics, or enemas.
In order to be diagnosed, the individual must have engaged in these behaviors for at least 3