Evidence-Based Comprehensive Psychological, Nutritional and Medical Care

About Eating Disorders: Causes, Complications, & Facts About Eating Disorders

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders — such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder — include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males.

What are the main types of eating disorders?

Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), and Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Eating disorders are generally described as psychological disorders resulting in and characterized by disturbances in normal eating behavior. Energy imbalance, fear of fat and body image distortion.  Frequently, individuals suffering from eating disorders use food to satisfy a psychological need often through bingeing or by a denial of hunger and refusal to eat. These coping mechanisms become habit and difficult to change. The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. All three eating disorders are characterized by unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.

Eating disorders can lead to a wide variety of dangerous and potentially life-threatening medical complications. The health risks of eating disorders include depression, bone loss, digestive problems, heart disease, kidney failure, loss of menstruation, and death. To avoid these complications, individuals and their family members should learn about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders especially dangerous behaviors such as prolonged calorie restriction or frequent vomiting. The sooner that an individual learns about eating disorder treatment and begins a treatment program that is right for them, the more likely it is that the treatment will be successful and the less likely it is that the individual will suffer from long-term complications.

Learn Information About Eating Disorders

If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important to learn the signs, symptoms, complications, causes, and risk factors. Additionally, there are other resources available that provide important information about eating disorders including eating disorder books and articles. The following pages are designed to offer information to individuals with eating disorders and to the family members of those who are suffering from eating disorders. For additional information contact McCallum Place, an eating disorder treatment center.

About Eating Disorder Treatment

McCallum Place offers a number of eating disorder treatment programs in St. Louis and Kansas City provided by expert physicians, therapists and registered dietitians.  We provide comprehensive integrated care in our residential, partial hospital programs and intensive outpatient programs. Depending on an individual’s medical condition, eating disorder severity, financial situation, and accompanying mental disorders, so the best treatment option can be determined. Learn more about treatment for eating disorders or contact the intake staff at McCallum Place to schedule a free, confidential eating disorder assessment.

Marks of Quality Care
  • Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA)
  • Eating Disorder Coalition of Iowa
  • International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)
  • RenewED, Eating Disorders Support
  • Washington University in St. Louis

McCallum Place addresses all areas of your eating disorder. It’s so important to visit all these areas (physical, mental, emotional, and habitual) to fully understand your eating disorder and how to maintain your personal recovery.

– A Former Resident