The most well-known eating disorders in women are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Other eating disorders such as nighttime eating disorder and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder also affect people of all ages and genders but do not gain the attention that the more well-known ones do. Some people may feel these disorders aren’t as serious as anorexia nervosa, and these eating disorders may simply need outpatient eating disorder treatment to resolve the condition. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
With more research into less-familiar eating disorders like orthorexia and spitting and chewing disorder, the need for treatment to prevent serious physical and mental health consequences is becoming clearer.Here, we’ll discuss these two less-popularized eating disorders and raise awareness.
What Is Orthorexia?
Officially recognized about a decade ago, orthorexia is an eating disorder in which a person compulsively restricts the consumption of food based on their perception of the food’s “cleanliness, wholesomeness, and healthiness.”
Development of orthorexia is often associated with dieting and attempts to “eat healthy” In addition to increasing their level of physical activity, they also make drastic changes to what kind of foods they eat. Over time, their focus on eating low-fat, low-calorie, fresher foods becomes more than a lifestyle change.
Compulsively avoiding food groups, preparations and specific times comes gradually as these behaviors cement themselves. Eating disorders in women often develop in ways similar to how orthorexia develops–as a lifestyle choice that ultimately becomes a harmful fixation.
For example, a person with orthorexia may decide to cut all gluten and meats out of their diet in their attempt to be healthy or avoid “unhealthy foods.”Eating this way can lead to nutritional imbalances, but it also releases dopamine, a “feel-good chemical” into the brain.To spur more of this chemical release, the person might go to more extreme diets and food avoidance, such as going on extended juice cleanses, avoiding solid foods.
A diet restricting solid food will eventually take a toll on overall health as the body is starved for nutrients and begins shutting down.Eating disorder treatment centers evaluating someone with severe orthorexia may recommend the individual be hospitalized for malnutrition before they begin psychotherapy.
Of course, not everyone who diets or is a picky eater develops orthorexia. Risk factors for this eating disorder include having perfectionistic tendencies, obsessive/compulsive habits, rigid (black or white) thinking, and anxiety disorders.
Chewing and Spitting Disorder
People with Chewing and Spitting disorder will chew food but refuse to swallow it. They intend to get the taste of the food they crave without taking un any calories or gaining weight. Chewing and spitting is similar in some ways to other eating disorder like bulimia nervosa because chewing and spitting involve eating large amounts of high-fat, high-calorie foods but not consuming the food. Women with binge-eating disorder eat large amounts of food at one time but immediately force themselves to vomit afterward.
Symptoms of Chewing and Spitting Eating Disorder
People who are experiencing the symptoms ofChewing and Spitting Disorder Will go to great lengths to find ways to chew their food and spit it out without being noticed. In severe cases, chewing and spitting might interfere with their ability to socialize, which drives them into social isolation. As with other forms of eating disorder like anorexia nervosa (and people with anorexia nervosa often chew and spit),Chewing and Spitting Disorder is associated with suicidal ideation and body image concerns, depression, preoccupation with weight and appearance, and anxiety.
Physical consequences of a chewing and spitting disorder include stomach ulcers, hormonal imbalances, weight loss, swollen salivary glands, and tooth decay. Eating disorder treatment centers address symptoms of chewing and spitting using a variety of cognitive retraining and talk therapy methods like CBT and DBT, as well as classes with nutritionists and dieticians.
Less well-known eating disorders in women continue to emerge as our media and culture increase their focus on the mantra that “skinny is attractive.” Residential and outpatient eating disorder treatment programs remain the most effective methods, anyone, with an eating disorder can depend on to achieve recovery from an eating disorder.