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Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED), previously known as EDNOS, is when people have symptoms that are typical of a feeding or eating disorder but do not meet the full criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder. These symptoms cause significant distress or difficulty in the important areas of your life. They commonly go undetected and under the radar for some time. Those experiencing these difficulties may not emerge until they report physical health symptoms such as insomnia, muscle weakness, gastrointestinal problems, and other related complaints.

The physical health risks and associated poor mental health can be as severe as those with the previous mentioned eating disorders.

OSFED - a connection to emotional distress

As with other eating disorders, there is not one definitive cause for OSFED. However, there are certain risk factors that can increase the likelihood of one having an eating disorder.

OSFED symptoms

The symptoms of OSFED are highly variable but will be similar to the disorder that it most-resembles. The wide range of symptoms are therefore very variable and may differ in severity. This adds to the potential for the diagnosis to be delayed.

Causes of OSFED

  • Genetic vulnerability: sometimes illustrated by family history of eating disorders or other mental health disorders
  • Societal or occupational pressure to look a certain way
  • Experience of trauma, including abuse
  • Experience of anxiety, obsessional or perfectionistic traits
  • Experience of depression or low self-esteem
  • Experience of criticism of own food intake, weight or bodily appearance, i.e. bullying