Eleven million Americans are struggling with an eating disorder, and you may be surprised how many of them do not have anorexia or bulimia. Currently, the American Psychiatric Association recognizes two distinct eating disorder types: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. People with anorexia experience a warped view of body size, and an extreme fear of weight gain. Usually, anorexics attempt to control their weight by severely limiting food intake or compulsively exercising. People with bulimia, meanwhile, engage in frequent bouts of overeating, or binging, which are then followed by vomiting or laxative abuse, known as purging While these have distinct diagnostic criteria, some individuals experience eating disorder feelings and behaviors that are not so clean cut. EDNOS is an umbrella term that stands for "eating disorder not otherwise specified." And it is now speculated that EDNOS may account for more eating disorders than bulimia and anorexia combined! And while many people have symptoms of bulimia or anorexia, they may vary enough to be classified as EDNOS instead. For example, most people with anorexia stop menstruating and fall well below their healthy weight range. A person with EDNOS may experience all the signs of anorexia, but still menstruate regularly, or may experience tremendous weight loss, but still fall within the normal range for their height and age. Meanwhile, most people with bulimia binge and purge more than twice a week. So an individual who engages in these behaviors less frequently may also be diagnosed with EDNOS, instead of bulimia. And there are other eating disorders WITHIN the EDNOS category that don't mimic anorexia or bulimia at all. Binge eating disorder, which involves recurrent food binges, without the purging of bulimia, falls within the EDNOS category. So, too, does regular chewing and spitting, and the newly identified "night eating syndrome," which involves consuming more than half of one's calories after 8 PM. Unfortunately, the "not otherwise specified" label may suggest that these eating disorders aren't as important or serious as bulimia or anorexia. But this is not true! All eating disorders present serious emotional and physical ramifications. In fact, this group of conditions has the highest mortality rate of any psychological illnesses. The good news is that nutritional and psychological counseling can be very effective at treating EDNOS. For this reason, it's vital to get help if you or someone you love suffers from symptoms of disordered eating.