Anorexia Symptoms and Facts about Eating Disorders

Understanding Eating Disorder Symptoms

What are the signs? Who is at risk? How are they treated?

Eating disorders affect both women, men, adolescents and adults. Eating disorder symptoms vary person to person, and at Eating Disorder Center of Denver, we treat the whole person; the whole you. We understand the definitions surrounding eating disorders can be complicated. These explanations should help you figure out whether you or a loved one may have an eating disorder.

Take our interactive questionnaire to find out if you or a loved one needs our help.

Anorexia Nervosa

  • Anorexia nervosa is a condition in which a person has an extreme body image distortion that leads to an excessive fear of gaining weight. 
  • Even when underweight, individuals suffering from anorexia continue to fear weight gain and severely limit the amount and types of food they eat. 
  • Individuals with anorexia show symptoms surrounding often having a strong need for control and function well in society and social situations. 

Click below to download a printable PDF with more details about anorexia nervosa symptoms

Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia Nervosa (87 KB)

Bulimia Nervosa

  • Bulimia nervosa (commonly referred to as "bulimia") is an illness that manifests itself in the form of binge eating followed by behaviors to avoid weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, fasting, or excessive exercise. 
  •  Individuals with bulimia may be within a wide variety of weight ranges.

Click below to download a printable PDF with more details about bulimia nervosa symptoms

Bulimia Nervosa Bulimia Nervosa (87 KB)

Binge Eating Disorder

  • People with binge eating disorder (BED) frequently eat larger than normal amounts of food while feeling a loss of control over their eating habits. 
  • They often eat to the point of extreme discomfort. They feel as if they have no control and are depressed, disgusted or upset about the food eaten. 
  • Unlike bulimia, people with BED do not induce vomiting or use other methods after binging to avoid weight gain.

Click to download a printable PDF with more details about binge eating disorder symptoms

Binge Eating Disorder Binge Eating Disorder (77 KB)


  • Diabulimia refers to people with diabetes who intentionally omit or manipulate their insulin intake in order to manage their weight.
  • A common symptom of diabetes, especially Type 1 diabetes, is significant unexplained weight loss. Once Type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, insulin is prescribed to control the disease. The weight lost due to the diabetes quickly returns once the disease is being managed. Some people choose to reduce or manipulate insulin dosages in order to keep the weight off. This often leads to severe health consequences.
  • Diabetic patients with an eating disorder are often misdiagnosed. The eating disorder is often confused with the complications of diabetes.

Click to download a printable PDF with more details about diabulimia symptoms

Diabulimia Diabulimia (93 KB)

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

  • This a category for eating disorders that do not meet the specific criteria to be labeled anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating. 
  • Symptoms may include but are not limited to, chewing but not swallowing food, purging after eating small amounts of food, and having symptoms of anorexia even while maintaining an appropriate weight.

Click to download a printable PDF with more details about Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified Symptoms

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) (71 KB)

Eating Disorder Center of Denver also offers Bariatric Surgery evaluations

Often gastric bypass surgery can lead to thoughts, feelings or behaviors of eating disorders. Gastric bypass surgery is a surgical approach to address obesity, but may be accompanied by psychological issues. We encourage to seek treatment for psychological or emotional issues related to weight.

You are Not Alone. Help is just a call or click away

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, we are here to help. Call our toll free, confidential line Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm, Mountain Standard Time: 866-771-0861, or click here to request information.