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Types of eating disorder

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Caraline provides support to those living with Anorexia nervosa (AN), Bulimia nervosa (BN), Binge Eating Disorders (BED) and other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED).

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Anorexia (or anorexia nervosa) is where an individual restricts their nutritional intake to control their weight and compensate using other forms. This behaviour creates complex psychological difficulties and physical health implications.


Bulimia (or bulimia nervosa) is where an individual is trapped in a cycle of eating large volumes of food (bingeing), leading to them feeling guilty and then compensating through purging.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder is where an individual will eat large volumes of food uncontrollably. Unlike those living with Bulimia, those living with Binge Eating Disorder will not purge.

Binge Eating Disorder is extremely debilitating for the individual and feelings of shame, disgust and embarrassment can cause them to hide their eating disorder from those around them.


OSFED - other specified feeding or eating disorder

Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are diagnosed by a healthcare professional however, there can be overlap of symptoms. When an individual presents with an overlap of symptoms they are treated as OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder).

This is the MOST common presentation, it carries all the health risks of the other presentations and is very much as serious as the other presentations.

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A 2017 study by Hay et al showed that of the 1.25 million people living with a reported eating disorder the diagnosis was categorised as per chart:

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