Eating Disorder

by. dr. Wimbi Cahyani

Eating disorder is a disease characterized by eating disorders related to thoughts and emotions.  These disorders can be very serious and affect physical, psychological and social functioning. Eating disorder is usually more common in young women, but it can happen to anyone and any age group. Eating disorder is usually associated with obsession with food, weight or body shape or anxiety when eating or the consequences of eating certain foods. There are several types of eating disorder, namely anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and pica.


Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that can be life threatening. This eating disorder is characterized by a very low body weight, even below the normal minimum body weight. People with anorexia nervosa usually always starve themselves and will limit the food they eat. This is due to fear of gaining weight or becoming obese. Anorexia nervosa sufferers consider themselves to be overweight even though their weight is below normal. In some anorexics, they sometimes have the behavior of vomiting food that has been eaten or using laxatives. 


Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by:

  1. repeated episodes of binge eating. People with bulimia usually eat more than normal within 2 hours and can not be controlled
  2. Unusual repetitive behavior to prevent weight gain such as vomiting food eaten, excessive exercise, excessive fasting, use of laxatives or diuretics.
  3. This eating behavior takes place at least once a week for 3 months.

Patients with bulimia usually go to the bathroom frequently after eating to regurgitate the food they had eaten. But at some point, they will eat very large portions. This can endanger yourself because it can cause tearing of the stomach tissue because stomach acid continues to rise due to the behavior of vomiting food.


Binge eating disorder

People with binge eating disorder usually eat for a certain period of time with a very large portion, more than the normal portion of a person. They can’t control themselves when they eat, they can’t stop and they don’t control what and how much they eat. People with binge eating disorder usually eat faster, eat until they feel uncomfortable, eat large amounts of food even though they are not hungry, eat themselves because they feel embarrassed by the amount of food they eat. Sometimes they will feel disgusted by themselves, depressed and feel guilty afterwards. Binge eating disorder can be triggered by stressors in yourself, negative feelings about your body shape and boredom.



Pica is an eating disorder in which a person repeatedly eats foods that have no nutritional value. It is called a pica if this behavior is carried out for more than a month. Some examples of things that are eaten are paper, soap, cloth, hair, chalk, charcoal and other objects that have no nutritional value. 


What should be done if you or someone close to you has the characteristics of an eating disorder?

  1. seek help from experts, consult a doctor.
  2. Do not give comments about body shape or weight.
  3. Never blame yourself or patients and advise them to eat right without consulting an expert.
  4. Never underestimate the problems of people with eating disorders
  5. Provide support so that they want to get treatment and get better.