The health and emotional problems that go hand in hand with eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia are seemingly endless, as the illness affects each individual in a very different way.
While both conditions are linked with a low self esteem, stress and emotional problems, many sufferers would say their condition started with what they perceived was a health interest in how many calories they were consuming.
According to eating disorder charity Beat, bulimia is more common than anorexia, but is more of a hidden illness due to the fact the majority of patients tend to maintain an average or just over normal body weight.
And, while it may be obvious to some people what the damaging effects are, others are often surprised to hear the illness can result in a range of health problems that are not directly related to the digestive system.
For example, individuals who have suffered from bulimia for several years are also likely to experience a sore throat, stomach pains, mouth infections, constipation, irregular periods, kidney and bowel problems, or dehydration.
However, the emotional impact the condition has on its patients is much more difficult to identify, with some people going several years without realising how severely bulimia has affected their wellbeing.
One factor the majority of individuals who have suffered from bulimia or anorexia nervosa all tend to have in common is the control they are attempting to gain over their intake of food, as well as their exercise regime.
Oxford University student Georgey Routen recently opened up about her battle with eating disorders and claimed she grew obsessed with her daily intake in a bid to feel as if she had some say in the goings on in her life.
She told the Oxford Times: "I can't pin down what caused it, but I remember feeling like the world was rushing past me at a hundred miles an hour.
"So I controlled what I ate to feel like I had control.
"It was never about looking thin or like a celebrity - it was about controlling my world rather than it controlling me. If anyone tried to talk to me about it, I would blow up."
Ms Routen, who is studying history and politics at the prestigious learning institute, said her weight plummeted to dangerous lows and became skeletal before she was able to gain weight.
However, the 20-year-old revealed her battle was made more difficult by the fact she was suffering from both anorexia nervosa and bulimia at the same time, which meant she would panic and make herself sick whenever she started to return to a healthy weight.
Ms Routen's story is not unlike several high profile figures who have also suffered from bulimia at various stages in her life, including former Pussycat Doll singer Nicole Scherzinger - who admitted she was living with an eating disorder when the group was at the height of its fame.
US journalist and author Katie Couric has also battled bulimia, opening up to More magazine that she lived with the condition for many years.