OSFED – Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorder

 OSFED (OSFED) is a type of eating disorder that some people experience. Today, we’ll discuss what is OSFED; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is OSFED?

OSFED (other specified feeding and eating disorder) also formerly goes by the name of EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified). It’s not like other types of high-profile diagnoses like binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa.

OSFED hasn’t caught a lot of public attention, but the condition is a very common type of eating disorder and it exhibits various symptoms. The condition impacts roundabout 32% to 53% of the people with the eating disorder. Researchers developed this condition as a separate category in order to include people that didn’t meet the diagnostic criteria of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa, but still experience the symptoms of the eating disorder.

Symptoms of OSFED 

Behavioral Symptoms

Some of the main behavioral symptoms of OSFED are as follows;

  • Excessive exercising despite having injury, illness, fatigue, or bad weather
  • Hiding your body with loose clothes
  • Excessive usage of mouthwash, gum, or mint
  • Drinking water excessively or other types of non-caloric beverages
  • Hoarding of food or stealing
  • Eating a small amount of food regularly or skipping your meals
  • Practicing the food rituals like not allowing yourself to touch food or chewing excessively
  • Purging (removal) behavior of going to the washroom after the meals like diuretics and laxative packages and wrappers, and the smell of vomiting
  • Binge eating episode
  • Fearful of eating while accompanying others
  • Denying your feeling of hungry
  • Commenting frequently about overweight or fat feelings
  • Avoiding certain types of food items like no dairy, no sugar, or no carbs

Emotional Symptoms

Some of the main emotional symptoms of OSFED are as follows;

  • Highly critical of yourself
  • Irritated easily
  • Having little motivation to engage in activities or relationships
  • Anxiety
  • Needing the approval of others strongly
  • Depression
  • Lower self-esteem

Physical Symptoms

Some of the main physical symptoms of OSFED condition are as follows;

  • Impaired immune system
  • The poor wound healing process
  • Swelling of feet
  • Cold Feet and mottled hands
  • Eating large quantities of carrots and having yellow skin
  • Muscles weakness
  • Brittle and dry hairs and
  • Fine hairs on your body
  • Swelling around the area of the salivary glands
  • Brittle and dry nails
  • Dry skin
  • Dental problems like sensitive teeth, cavities, enamel erosion, and discolored teeth
  • Calluses and cuts across the joints of top fingers as a result of induced vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cold feeling all the time
  • Syncope and fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Slower heart rate
  • Limited blood cell count
  • Lower potassium level
  • Lower thyroid and level
  • Anemia
  • Concentration difficulty
  • Amenorrhea (missing periods) and menstrual irregularities
  • Symptoms of gastrointestinal infections like acid reflux, constipation, stomach cramps
  • Fluctuations in weight

Causes of OSFED 

OSFED is a complicated problem and researchers don’t know the exact cause of the problem. Both combinations of environmental and genetic factors play their part in the development of this condition. When we talk about eating disorder, some say that genetics load the gun, and the environment pull the trigger.

In other words, genetics make you vulnerable and particular types of events and situations would trigger the cause of an eating disorder condition. Some of the main environmental factors are as follows;

  • Media influences
  • Life transition
  • Stress
  • Puberty
  • Illness
  • Abuse
  • Bullying
  • Weight stigma
  • Dieting

Treatment of OSFED 

Eating disorders fall under the category of mental health conditions, and your doctor or psychotherapist would make the diagnosis and devise the treatment plan for you. The treatment plan depends on the types of eating disorders you have. The exact diagnosis would be difficult because, their symptoms are almost similar, but of lower frequency than bulimia. Some of the main treatment plans are as follows;


There is no exact or precise drug or medicine for the treatment of OSFED condition. Some medicines that would help you to manage the symptoms and other relevant conditions like anxiety or depression; and they’re as follows;

  • Co-occurring disorders: comprises various classes of antidepressants to treat anxiety and depression
  • Night Eating Syndrome: SSRIs like sertraline, fluvoxamine, and paroxetine
  • Bulimia Nervosa: SSRIs like fluoxetine for bulimia nervosa and topiramate also for bulimia
  • Binge Eating Disorder: lisdexamfetamine, topiramate, and fluoxetine
  • Anorexia: benzodiazepines, olanzapine, and atypical antipsychotics

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) is a very effective therapeutic treatment for various types of eating disorders. The focus of CBT is on the following things;

  • Relapse prevention
  • Body image exposure
  • Food exposure
  • Limiting body checking
  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Eating regularly
  • Alternative and delays
  • Meal planning
  • Self-monitoring

DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) is a type of CBT and it teaches you various skills like regulating your emotions coping with stress, living in the moment, and improving your relationships.

Family-based Therapy

FBT doesn’t judge or study the person or why one has developed the eating disorder condition and also does not blame the family. It’s a very effective treatment plan for the eating disorder of adolescent

Conclusion: OSFED – Other specified Feeding and Eating Disorder 

After an in-depth study of what is OSFED; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that the condition badly impacts your life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should consult with the therapist and work on the recovery plan before it’s too late.