There is one main type of anorexia nervosa, but it can be further categorized based on the presence or absence of certain behaviors or symptoms. The main type of anorexia nervosa is:
- Restricting type: This is the most common type of anorexia nervosa. Individuals with the restricting type severely restrict their food intake and do not regularly engage in binge-eating or purging behaviors (such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives or diuretics). They may achieve weight loss through excessive exercise, severe calorie restriction, and strict dieting.
In addition to the main type, anorexia nervosa can be further classified based on the presence of specific behaviors or symptoms. These classifications include:
- Binge-eating/purging type: Some individuals with anorexia nervosa engage in episodes of binge-eating followed by purging behaviors. During binge-eating episodes, they consume large amounts of food in a short period, followed by attempts to compensate for the calories consumed. Purging behaviors may include self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or diuretics, or excessive exercise.
- Atypical anorexia nervosa: This category applies to individuals who meet all the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa but are not significantly underweight. Despite not meeting the weight criteria, individuals with atypical anorexia nervosa exhibit the same psychological and behavioral patterns as those with the classic form of the disorder.
It’s important to note that the distinction between these types is based on specific behaviors and symptoms and does not necessarily imply a difference in severity or prognosis. Regardless of the subtype, anorexia nervosa is a serious condition that requires professional intervention and treatment.