A person with Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) may present with many of the symptoms of other eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa but will not meet the full criteria for diagnosis of these disorders. This does not mean that the person has a less serious eating disorder. EDNOS is a serious mental illness that occurs in adults, adolescents and children. 40% – 60% of people who seek treatment for an eating disorder have EDNOS.
People with EDNOS commonly present with extremely disturbed eating habits, a distorted body image and an intense fear of gaining weight. EDNOS is the most common eating disorder diagnosed for adults as well as adolescents, and affects both males and females equally.
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What are the risks associated with EDNOS?
The risks associated with EDNOS are severe. People with EDNOS will experience risks similar to those of the eating disorder their behaviours most closely resemble:
- Inflammation and rupture of the oesophagus and stomach from frequent vomiting
- Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
- Kidney failure
- Osteoporosis – a condition that can lead to human bones becoming fragile and easy to fracture.
- Irregular or slow heart beat which can lead to an increased risk of heart failure
- Loss of or disturbance of menstrual periods in girls and women
- Increased risk of infertility in men and women
What are the warning signs of EDNOS?
Having awareness about eating disorders and the warning signs and symptoms can make a marked difference to the severity and duration of the illness. Seeking help at the first warning sign is much more effective than waiting until the illness is in full swing. Many of the signs that indicate a person may have EDNOS are very similar to those of the other eating disorders.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting some or a combination of these signs it is vital to seek help and support as soon as possible.
The warning signs of EDNOS can be physical, psychological and behavioural. It is possible for someone with EDNOS to display a combination of these symptoms.
Find out more about the warning signs