Types of Eating Disorder and General Information

Eating disorders are characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that causes someone to change their eating habits and behaviour. A person with an eating disorder focuses excessively on weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.

It has been seven months since I was discharged. I called to speak to Dr Hind Al-Khairulla my consultant psychiatrist because I want everyone at Ellern Mede to know that I am happy, I believe in myself and my future and I have to thank you all for my recovery. I am close to finishing my first year at College.

Eating disorders include a range of conditions that can affect someone physically, psychologically and socially.

Types of eating disorders:

  • anorexia nervosa – when a person tries to keep their weight as low as possible; for example, by starving themselves or exercising excessively

  • bulimia – when a person goes through periods of binge eating and is then deliberately sick or uses laxatives (medication to help empty the bowels) to try to control their weight

  • binge eating disorder (BED) – when a person feels compelled to overeat large amounts of food in a short space of time

  • other specified eating disorders (OSFED) is when a person has some but not all of the signs of typical eating disorders

  • avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) also known as selective eating disorder (SED) – is when a person limits their consumption of certain foods based on the food’s appearance, smell, taste, texture, or a past negative experience with the food.

  • Pervasive refusal syndrom (PRS) – this is now referred to as pervasive arousal withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). It is a rare disorder first described by Ellern Mede founder, Bryan Lask and colleagues in 1991 (until 2011 this was included in the standard psychiatric classification system, the DSM. It describes a condition when a person’s refusal to eat, drink, talk, walk or self-care, is usually accompanied by resistance to treatment; hospitalisation is usually necessary. 

    Whilst eating disorders are more common among teenagers and young adults these are serious illnesses which can affect anyone and at any age. Eating disorders affect thinking, memory and information processing. They are associated with thinking in a detail-focused and inflexible manner. The eating disorder often serves an important purpose for the person who has it – perhaps making them feel more in control or special in some way. This can make it difficult for the person to think about recovery. The causes of eating disorders are not fully understood but it is likely that a combination of biological, social and psychological factors may play a role.

    How do you know if you, or your loved one, needs help? Conditions as complex as eating disorders mean that there are variations in the typical signs and not all symptoms will apply to everyone. If behaviour has changed as a result of the changing relationship with food, it is always advisable to ask a GP to arrange a specialist assessment. The faster you access treatment the better the outcomes for the patient. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on eating disorders 1.1.3.1 states: “People with eating disorders should be assessed and receive treatment at the earliest opportunity.” Ellern Mede offers immediate advice and assessment and offers both NHS and Private eating disorder services at several locations in London.

    Eating disorders cause significant difficulties for those affected and their families. This includes social and relationship difficulties, mood difficulties such as depression and anxiety. Eating disorders also impact an individual’s physical health, including bone health, energy levels, menstruation and internal organs such as the heart.

    Measured re-feeding may be required as part of treatment. Ellern Mede is rare in its expertise in this intervention. Only 35% of children’s eating disorder services in the UK are able to offer the type of re-feeding that is required for patients with a serious eating disorder.

 

 

NHS referrals

Ellern Mede has provided specialist Tier 4 eating disorder services to the NHS since 2000. We respond to referrals within 24 hours.


Private referrals

Call now for immediate access to Ellern Mede specialist private eating disorder services. Accepted referrals begin treatment within two weeks or faster in emergencies.