Eating and food habits vary greatly by age and culture, and even time of year. However, eating disorders are ongoing, serious mental and behavioral health problems that can be life threatening. People with eating disorders have abnormal eating behaviors such as severe overeating or not eating enough food to stay healthy. These behaviors involve extreme concern about body shape and weight.

These are common eating disorders:

Anorexia nervosa may cause a person to become dangerously thin. Often, the person will not eat enough because he or she thinks of himself or herself as overweight.

Bulimia nervosa involves periods of overeating followed by purging, sometimes through self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives.

Binge-eating is characterized by repeated bouts of out-of-control overeating.

Women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. These disorders usually start in the teenage years and often occur along with depression, anxiety disorders and substance abuse. Getting help early, when symptoms first occur, can be helpful. Eating disorders can lead to heart and kidney problems and even death.

Specialists at Ohio State Behavioral Health can diagnose your eating disorder and work with your primary care doctor or a community partner to create an ongoing treatment plan. Treatment may include monitoring behaviors, therapy, medication and nutrition counseling.

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