National Eating Disorder Awareness week is February 26 through March 4. An eating disorder is a psychological disorder characterized by abnormal eating habits and can be caused by a number of factors.  Thirty million Americans struggle with an eating disorder. Could you be one of them?

The theme this year for National Eating Disorder Awareness week is Let's Get Real, and the goal is to expand the conversation. Our culture has a complicated relationships with food, exercise, and appearance, and it needs to be addressed.  Many people do not get the support and help they need due to stigma and old stereotypes.

If you think you might be at risk for an eating disorder, you can take this short online quiz from the National Eating Disorder Association.

We break down the three most common types of eating disorders...

  • 1

    Anorexia Nervosa

    The person suffering from this disorder is often fearful of weight gain and obsessed with the thought of it. Most times they believe they are overweight when they're clearly underweight. In order to avoid weight gain they avoid eating. Their bodies loose the nutrients needed on a daily basis. As a result of self-starvation, the consequences entail muscle loss, severe dehydration, weakness, possible kidney failure, fainting, hair loss, and the risk for heart failure.

  • 2

    Bulimia Nervosa

    The individual with bulimia binge eats and purges to compensate for overeating. They will find different methods to rid the body of the food that was eaten by excessive exercise, laxatives, diuretics. The male/female suffering with bulimia is often extremely unhappy with their body image and fearful of weight gain. Bulimia can have long term effects such as gastrointestinal problems, heart difficulties as a result of an electrolyte imbalance.

  • 3

    Binge Eating Disorder

    This disorder is caused by excessive eating which results in weight gain, obesity and health problems. Men and women who struggle with this disorder may also experience intense feelings of guilt, distress, and embarrassment related to their BED.