When the Mirror Lies: A Look at Eating Disorders, Part 2.

By Miri

In the United States, about 30 million people suffer from some form of eating disorder. Among them is Binge Eating Disorder, in which the individual regularly ingests exaggerated amounts of food and experiences the feeling that he is unable to stop. There are also Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder, whose symptoms do not exactly coincide with bulimia, anorexia or Binge Eating Disorder, but with consequences that can become very severe or even fatal.


Among the most frequent potential factors of both disorders are…

  • History of diets or depression.
  • Genetics.
  • Trauma or anxiety.
  • Dissatisfaction with weight.
  • History of bullying/mockery because of weight.

BED Symptoms:

  • Binge eating in a short time or throughout the day.
  • Impossibility to stop eating or do so very fast.
  • Eating to the point of feeling discomfort or getting hungry.
  • Hide food, eat alone or in secret.
  • Anxiety, depression, or guilty feelings of compulsive eating.
  • Insomnia, fatigue and low energy.

The diagnosis and treatment of OSFED tend to be difficult since it can occur in conjunction with other psychiatric disorders and presents symptoms like other eating disorders.

Possible OSFED symptoms:

  • Atypical anorexia meets all criteria without weight loss.
  • Bulimia, less frequently.
  • BED or unrestrained appetite, less frequently.
  • Purge.
  • Night eating syndrome.
  • Low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, irritability, or self-loathing.

Consequences for health:

The health consequences can be deadly. Some studies indicate that 52% of people with OSFED have the highest risk of death, compared to those with any other eating disorder.

The risk of suicide is 58 times higher in women suffering from eating disorders.


Consequences In BED:

  • Obesity and edema (inflammation).
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus and gallbladder disease.
  • High blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Heart disease and bowel irritation syndrome.
  • Kidney disease and degenerative arthritis.
  • Infertility and some types of cancer.
  • Fibromyalgia and insomnia.


  • Inflammation and rupture of the esophagus by vomiting.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Delayed growth (adolescents).
  • Infertility in men and women.
  • Irregularity in the heart rhythm, which can cause heart failure.

How can you help?

It is disconcerting to know that adolescents with normal weight may be suffering from eating disorders. It is also known that 40% of people who follow some type of diet suffer BED. Possibly many do not know that they suffer BED or OSFED, nor that they are related to other mental disorders. So, what can we do in these cases? Treatment on both may vary. In BED, it is typically a lifelong treatment, but in OSFED the challenge is to identify the problem to be able to treat it. Parents and friends of those with eating disorders can help identify the symptoms and convince patients to seek professional help. If left untreated, they run the risk of chronic diseases and even death. If you are identified with one of these symptoms or see it in a loved one, act now. Get help. Do not leave health in the hands of the mirror.

For immediate support, contact your physician, call the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) confidential help line at 1-800-931-2237 or visit their website for more information: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

If you miss the Part 1 of this article, check it out here. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thought about this topic.


  • webmd.com -http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/news/20140826/even-normal-weight-teens-can-have-dangerous-eating-disorders-study-finds?page=2
  • Nationaleatingdisorders.org -https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-facts-eating-disorders
  • Mirror-mirror.org -http://www.mirror-mirror.org/binge.htm
  • eatingdisorder.org -http://eatingdisorder.org/eating-disorder-information/medical-complication
  • anad.org -http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eatingdisorders-not-otherwise-specified/

* The Spanish version of the Author’s article was published in cocinaMAX ™ Magazine by Royal Prestige®, Year 8; Issue 30; 2016, SPA.

Photography Credit: Mitchell Hollander & Freestocks.org.



One thought on “When the Mirror Lies: A Look at Eating Disorders, Part 2.

  1. Pingback: When the Mirror Lies. A Look at Eating Disorders, Part 3. – The Freedom of Life

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