Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV.  It is the category for people who do not meet the strict criteria for either Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa, but who have significant concerns about eating and body image. For example, a person who shows almost all of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa, but who still has a normal menstrual cycle and/or body mass index, can be diagnosed with EDNOS.  One may experience episodes of binging and purging, but may not do so frequently enough to warrant a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa.

For those with EDNOS: all of the criteria for anorexia nervosa are met except that, despite substantial weight loss, the individual’s current weight is in the normal range; all of the criteria for bulimia nervosa are met except that binge eating and inappropriate compensatory mechanisms occur at a frequency of less than twice a week or for a duration of fewer than three months.

This category has been shown in some studies to have the highest death rates of any category of eating disorder. 52 % of eating disorder sufferers may have EDNOS. Most patients do not have pure forms of eating disorders, and they may cross over from one disorder to the other over time.