Eating disorder types: Which can you relate to?

In this world of advancements, people still try to control their diet from their perspective. Diet control is essential to avoid conditions like obesity, blood pressure, and other heart-related issues associated with weight. Food gives a definite sense of pleasure in an individual due to the release of Dopamine. People tend to overeat due to their craving for dopamine while on a diet. There is another group who stops eating altogether, and become lean; to control their weight but eventually succumb to the junk. It is crucial to keep an eye on how much weight they have put on. They ultimately become a slave for fear of weight gain eventually leading to various eating disorder types.
It’s sure that every individual is suffering from any these eating disorder types or may relate to

  • Binge eating disorder (BED)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating is a disorder where people tend to eat more. Moreover, this overeating is at frequent intervals. They are helpless and can’t stop themselves from eating even when they feel uneasy.

Why do people binge eat?

When people opt for a diet, they limit themselves to a specific amount and quality of food. In the events when they fail to do so, the intense craving grabs their control due to which they start to binge eat. It is important to note that binge eating and overeating are not the same.

Difference between binge eating and overeating:-

BED is characterized by repeated episodes of eating more in a specific period than most people would eat under similar circumstances. They can feel their diet control slowly moving out of hand. They eventually develop a feeling of disgust, guilt, or embarrassment towards themselves. In these events of pressure, they start to eat alone and fear to show their attitude towards eating to the world out there. Sadly, they are usually locked up in their rooms while eating and are a victim of emotional and physical distress. The good news here is that BED is diagnosable and is not a common phenomenon.

Overeating, on the other hand, tends not to happen recurrently or to be driven by a sense of lack of control. Unlike binge eating, it doesn’t trigger the same intense feelings of guilt or shame.

Genetic factors responsible for BED

Studies and further analysis found a specific mice gene in association with binge eating. Although there are many other factors like biological and environmental, that also influence BED. This hint gave researchers the idea or to identify any links between behavioral variation and genetic inheritance.

After a lot of research, they found the link between binge eating and mutation in a gene Cytoplasmic FMR-1 interacting protein 2 (CYFIP2- responsible for cognitive functions). The behavioral characteristics are associated with a decrease in transcription of the gene needed for myelination (the process responsible for the formation of the myelin sheath around nerve fiber) where myelin increases the flow of nerve impulse across the body; and a component of the brain’s reward system. Trails of remyelination to normalize eating behavior is under research.

Various other factors that influence a person to binge eat are

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • depression and
  • boredom


  • Eating more quickly than usual even when uncomfortable
  • Eating even if they are not hungry
  • Feel guilt or ashamed after binge eating
  • Hide their binge-eating behavior

Anorexia nervosa eating disorder

Among the different eating disorder types, anorexia nervosa is characterized by the development of an irrational fear of gaining weight, which can drive them to become thin. They face a food obsession and think about food always. They also count calorie intake during their day to find ways to limit food. It can be a result of a traumatic event or the desire to excel in sports such as gymnastics, which demands weight loss. Depression, anxiety, bullying, body shaming, and suicidal thoughts are among others. For rapid weight loss, they follow unhealthy strategies like using diet pills and laxatives (used to treat constipation). They continuously strive to develop a perfect body, which harms them in the long run.

Genetic factors responsible for Anorexia nervosa

Psychiatrist Walter Kate at the University of Pittsburgh found a variation in a region on chromosome 1 that was common in people with the disease. The region comprises about 100-300 genes, and when they tried to narrow it down, they found a few crucial genes involved in neural signaling for appetite, anxiety, and depression. Anorexic individuals have a genetic variation in two of the three genes.

  1. In response to serotonin (mood stabilizer)
  2. Opioid receptor regulating appetite.

So, the good mood and appetite systems are disrupted by the defective protein in anorexia nervosa.

Bulimia nervosa eating disorder

Bingeing and purging are the two signs and hallmarks of Bulimia. Females are most affected. An individual with Bulimia eats large amounts of food very quickly and then compensates by throwing up or taking diet pills and disrupting bowel movements with laxative use. Unlike Anorexic individuals, they are healthy or slightly overweight.


  • Obsession overweight
  • Depression
  • Irregular periods
  • Dehydration
  • Constipation

Genetic factors responsible for Bulimia

A high mutation rate in GLP1 (Glucagon-like peptide) receptor pathway GLP1R is observed in Bulimia. GLP1R is present in chromosome 6, and its expression can is essential in the brain and pancreas. It controls the human appetite. Since it is a genetic mutation, genetic inheritance also plays a role.

  • Stressed life events
  • Lifestyle
  • Social pressure also plays an essential role.

People strive for a perfect body due to various reasons like pressure and body shaming. A weight loss for their passion is also a reason. When they follow a diet, they unknowingly succumb to these disorders. It is always better to follow a healthy routine with a balanced diet and the right amount of water intake instead of unhealthy strategies, eventually affecting you in the long run. If weight loss is a necessity, then workout along with a diet plan is a must.

Related: What do you think is the best pH for daily water consumption?

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