Wednesday, 6 March 2013

ED or DE?

Do you have ED? An eating disorder? Maybe not. Some people have an ED that is diagnosed and on their medical record. Others have an ED but they have not been diagnosed with it - this was me for about five years of my life. I was losimg weight, restricting, and severly ill. But no doctors actually gave me the diagnosis 'anorexia' until I walked into the emergency room.

My point? There are many people with eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating) that may go by unrecognized because they have not seen a doctor, or their doctor is unaware of the signs of ED.

Then there are people with EDNOS, which is harder to diagnose. Many doctors are not aware that EDNOS even exists, so patients might not be diagnosed.

Then there are people with disordered eating (DE). Many people fall into this category...and I am sorry to say that even YOU may fall here. DE is a term used to describe any eating that is not, well, ordered. This includes eating once a day, not eating full meals but always snacking (in such a way that your body does not get enough nutrition), eating only certain types of foods, restricting other types of foods for strange reasons, excessive dieting, etc. Some of us, at one point, have gone through a phase of DE. It is not a diagnosable thing, so I can see how many of us do not notice that we may be doing any of these things. But the point still holds that DE is common. And it should be changed ASAP, as this may lead to eating disorders or otherwise unhealthy lifestyles.

NOTE: I am NOT saying that snacking at mutliple times in the day in wrong, nor am I saying that any of these practices are bad. I am simply saying that if you do not give your body enough energy it needs, it might be time to look at that and fix it. If you snack all day but are eating enough and feel strong and healthy, you are PERFECTLY FINE!

Then, there are people with eating disorders, but they do not fit the categories perfectly. They may be restricting food all day, but they still have not lost enough weight to be considered 'anorexic'. They may be restricting so that they are eating the bare minimum. Or, they may binge. But they do not binge the amount that is 'needed' to be diagnosed with binge eating disorder. Or they may throw up, but not 'enough' to be bulimic. Does this mean they do not have an eating disorder?! NO! NO! NO!

This is one thing I am really passionate about because so many people think that because of these reasons, they are not 'sick enough' or do not deserve any help because perhaps it is 'in their head' or 'not that bad'. Let me make the message clear: IF YOU FEEL THAT THERE IS A PROBLEM, YOU DESERVE HELP. It does not matter if no one believes you. It does not matter if you do 'fit' the categories to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. Maybe you DO have ED. Or maybe you have DE. Whatever it is, there may be a problem. It is not in your head, it is not just you. You need help. And you deserve help.

I am posting this because I convinced myself for so long that nothing was wrong, that it was just me, and that I was not sick enough because I had not lose enough weight, I was still technically eating, etc. But doing this only kept me sick for longer and made my illness worse. ED does not 'go away' by itself; it will evolve into a worse situation.

Please, Please, Please: if there is an issue, seek help. From anyone. You deserve a good life, full of health and happiness. Do not let anyone - even yourself - tell you that you cannot have a problem because you do not look sick/thin, do not fit the diagnostic criteria, etc. You are worth every single treatment option available. So go get it. And do not stop or give up until you have found the help you need. It just might save your life.


  1. This means that I am my self have DE.
    I snack several times daily ,however I feel well and I just had complete check up and my said you are o k .
    Many [people I know do snack several times daily


    1. Note that I said that if you snack all day but eat enough, you are FINE! I am referring to eating small anounts of food and not eating enougg. I snack too - but I eat enough! This is okay and NORMAL!

  2. Thank you so much for the clarification .
    I am sure your blog is the most trustworthy of all
    Keep swimming girl


  3. This is an excellent blog Marina
    I think this will help me reflect on my health and I will assure you that I will keep my health and my eating as number one issue to improve and I may seek your guidance if I am not sure but for now I will review your blog on a daily basis .
    Thank you for this excellent blog
    I am one of those people you talked about in this blog .My eating behaviour has been abnornmal for many years without major health problems and no family ,friends ,walk in clinics able to identify any reason for me for feeling unwell.
    I am on the right track now thanks to you.


  4. Hey Marina
    That is true
    I know many boys and girls who have DE and they are not aware and not surprizing to me their family doctors not aware their is a problem
    Not diagnosed does not equal not their.
    Also you are there are people diagnosed but not buying in to the diagonsis and also not engaging in any treatment.
    Thank you for all your efforts

    Recovered ED victim

  5. ED is very hard to diagnose as many present with DE till things get out of hand and the person crashes .
    DE is an eexcellent term and I hope medical people use it as it refelcts the reality of majority of people at early stage .
    Excellent blog


  6. DE
    I know many friends who I can say for sure have some kind of DE but they are normal to me ,themselves and never been told have any problem
    Thanks for raising our awareness to abnormal eating behaviours that could hide ED underneath


  7. This is an excellent topic ED or DE .
    It is my understanding that all ED victims had to suffer many years eith DE before formally diagonesed with ED>
    You are making an excellent point by giving examples of DE so that those who can identify themselves as DE or if any family member noted thier DE behaviour can be motivated to seek help before too late.
    This blog is doing a lot of good work about rasing the awareness and waking people up from denial
    I hope this blog win the award as it deserves

    Keep up the excellent job Marina

    medical student

  8. I have a questions .I eat every 3 hours and I eat enough FOOD but not variety AND I feel o k .
    Am I at risk of DE??
    Should I try to eat variety ??

    (new friend to your respected bloh)

    1. I can't answer if you are healthy or not; but, if you are eating enough and are feeling well, then perhaps it is okay. But if you feel that you can add more variety - just for fun and to see if you like other foods, i would say to try it! You may be surprised how many new foods you like!
      And welcome to the blog! It's nice to have new readers!

    2. Thanks for the reply
      I believ I am able to add one new item at a time and go slwoly.
      Thanks for the warm welcome
      I glad to be one of your friends


  9. I have been follwoing this blog for long time and I trust this helped me to make up my decsion .I am accepted now into inpatient treatment program and my first day will be this next week
    That is very exciting news to me and my family.
    I give your blog a lot of credit for this

    Roxy(this is not my real name)

  10. Hi Marina
    You are absolutely right re DE
    If you recall my first few comments on your blog,I told you I have mild ED and I am sure now that I struggled for many years with DE till eventually you helped me to wake up and make the hradest but the best decision to get into treatment.
    Now I am in out patient program program and doing o k .
    I was told March is the nutrition month and all of us need to nourish our body to be able to nourish our brains.
    Please look at those websites if you wish .
    I think Nona may benifit from looking at those too.
    Healthy Eating Toolbox
    Canada's Food Guide: My Food Guide Servings Tracker
    Eat Well Central
    Canadian Living's Healthy Life channel

    Marina your blog is the best that is helping people with ED,DE and many others .


  11. Marina
    You remember when I spoke to you about those who are bulleying me for my large breasts and how this affcted me and led me to have DE .
    Now with your support ,I feel very good about myself and proud of myself and happy with my body
    I am eating well 3 meals and 2 snacks and feel energitic and most impotant I feel liking my body better than ever
    Thanks Marina
    For that reason and many others ,your blog is the best.


  12. What an excellent blog to tell all of us what is healthy and what is not so that every body knows where we stand

    Keep up


  13. I agree with you
    We need to focus on our health and help our self.
    We need to reflect on our daily activies and if we think we have either ED or DE ,we need to uncover it not to cover up


  14. For many years I was not eating any breakfast and I will eat lunch ,dinner and supper at 10 PM all heavy meals .Despite eating 3 heavy meals and skipping early breakfast I had been feeling tired and fatigue.My doctor referd me to dietietian and she showed me early morning breakfast is the most important and since then had me eat early breafast and then a small meal every 3 or maximally 4 hours and I have been feeling healthy
    I think I had DE and now I am fine
    Your blog shines the light on very impotant issues in our daily life


  15. You are right many many if not all Iraqi people and may be all middle east have DE .They eat several times during the night and may skip brakfast
    I hope they will make the change to healthy life
    excellent blog Marina


  16. Wow ,lots of info
    Fantastic blog


  17. Excellent blog.

  18. I am an RN and I do have clients clearly match DE and you are right may be they do not meet DSM criteria for ED diagnosis but later they may develop ED .
    I do believ they may have EDNOS even now.
    I hope thye become aware and seek help.
    You are a good caring skillful nurse.
    Welcome to the profession


  19. WOW Marina
    this is a very real insight to what happen to people before get very sick and then eventaully diagnosed with ED.
    If all families look into DE and act quickly before flip to ED ,this would prevent many from becoming victims.
    Marina you know to me and my daughter you have been always the near and the dear.
    May God bless you

    A Thankful Mother

  20. Excellent thoughts on how disease can creep on us not as ED but first as DE
    Whether ED or DE ,we all need to be aware and move on woth our plan to ensure good health and happy life .


  21. I have to admit that I was ignoring my meals especilly my breakfast till I came across your blog and I felt I needed to take action and eat well,3 meals and 2 snacks daily.
    This blog makes me feel that I had DE and your blog woke me up before progressing to ED

    Keep up and thanks for raising the awareness


  22. I eat lots of food and I eat 5 times daily and I feel healthy and in good shape ,not fat or thin and I wonder do I have DE??

    Any way I am healthy and I feel good and this is my parameter

    Social science student ,york U


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