The ICD-10 Code for Anorexia Nervosa

The category of eating disorders encompasses a variety of conditions. They’re related to the relationships that people have with food and body image, and there are three main kinds. Anorexia nervosa is the name of the condition in which excessive dieting and exercise lead to dramatic weight loss. Another common condition is bulimia nervosa. With this condition, people overeat and then compensate for their binging by purging or taking part in other activities to lose weight. Binge eating is a related eating disorder. People with this condition binge eat, but they do not purge.

ICD-10 Codes

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes allow the industry to categorize different kinds of conditions using a common language. Hospitals, insurance companies, healthcare providers, and other related professionals can use ICD codes to communicate clearly. The ICD-10 system was implemented in 2015, and it applies to all organizations covered by HIPAA. When the right ICD-10 codes are used, other professionals associated with treatment as well as insurance companies will have an accurate understanding of the disorder.

ICD-10 Codes for Anorexia Nervosa

There are several codes used to categorize anorexia nervosa. They are as follows:

  • F50.00: Anorexia nervosa, unspecified
  • F50.01: Anorexia nervosa, restricting type
  • F50.02: Anorexia nervosa, binge eating/purging type

In order to determine what type of code to use, a provider has to take a complete medical history and fully evaluate a client’s signs and symptoms. In many situations, parents are concerned and bring their children to see a healthcare provider. In other situations, clients may visit their doctors or visit clinics on their own. Note that anorexia nervosa is more common in females than males, and it’s more common in younger women than older women. 

Symptoms such as lightheadedness, dizziness, abdominal pain, and amenorrhea can be worrisome and spur clients or their families to schedule an appointment with a provider. During a visit, a healthcare provider might also notice dry skin, nail damage, or hair loss related to the eating disorder. A clinical examination might reveal hypotension, bradycardia, or tachycardia as well.

Providers usually order lab tests to gather more information about their clients. The lab tests can assess blood count, check for malnutrition, and rule out substance abuse. Many tests are typically conducted to rule out other conditions that could possibly lead to certain symptoms that overlap with those associated with eating disorders.

ICD-10 F50.01 – Anorexia Nervosa, Restricting Type

Anorexia nervosa, the restricting type associated with the F50.01 ICD-10 code, is characterized by severe restrictions of food consumption. People with this condition might be obsessive about counting calories. Skipping meals could help them achieve their calorie goals for the day. Further, a restricting type of anorexia nervosa can involve avoiding certain types of foods, such as carbohydrates. In some cases, people might avoid foods with certain colors or textures.

ICD-10 F50.02 – Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating/Purging Type

Anorexia nervosa, the binge eating/purging type classified by the F50.02 ICD-10 code, is slightly different. It also involves placing extreme restrictions on food. However, it’s associated with binge eating and purging, too. It can be thought of as a combination of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Purging can be done through vomiting or by taking laxatives or diuretics. A laxative can soften stool and stimulate the bowels to move, while a diuretic reduces the buildup of fluid in the body. Sometimes, people may take enemas to clean out their bowels. All of these products have a medical use, but those with anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia nervosa use them incorrectly to achieve their goals.

ICD-10 F50.00 – Anorexia Nervosa, Unspecified

If it is difficult to determine which type of anorexia nervosa a client is dealing with, then the ICD-10 code of F50.00 could be used. This code indicates anorexia nervosa, unspecified. With some clients, conditions can develop and change as clients progress through different types of situations. The exact situation might be vague, but it’s clear that the client has anorexia nervosa. Remember that ICD-10 codes for certain clients can change as more information is gathered or as the client evolves with care.

ICD-10 Codes for Other Types of Eating Disorders

There are related eating disorders that are associated with different ICD-10 codes.

  • F50.2: Bulimia nervosa
  • F50.8: Other eating disorders
  • F50.81: Binge eating disorder
  • F50.82: Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder
  • F50.89: Other specified eating disorder
  • F50.9: Eating disorder, unspecified

ICD-10 F50.2 – Bulimia Nervosa

The ICD-10 code for bulimia nervosa, F50.2, is frequently used by healthcare providers. Bulimia nervosa involves binge eating followed by purging or other ways of getting rid of calories. People with bulimia are often preoccupied with their body shapes and weights, and they may be afraid to gain weight. In some situations, they lose control and end up binge eating, and after those incidents, they take steps to counteract their excessive eating. Those steps could involve vomiting, taking laxatives, restricting calories, and/or using dietary supplements to lose weight. 

People with bulimia nervosa don’t necessarily follow a specific schedule. Severe bulimia can involve purging at least once a week for at least several months.

If bulimia nervosa isn’t treated, it can lead to physical problems, such as malnutrition, excessive weight loss, damaged teeth and gums, swelling, and a sore throat. Some of those conditions are the result of an abnormal frequency of vomiting. 

Note that people with bulimia nervosa might not be underweight. In fact, people with this condition can be average weight or overweight.

ICD-10 F50.8 – Other Eating Disorders

If it’s clear that a client has an eating disorder, but that disorder doesn’t fall under any specific category, the ICD-10 code of F50.8 can be used. This category can be useful since not every client has the exact symptoms that allow their disorders to be easily classified. Each individual’s presentation is unique.

ICD-10 F50.81 – Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating involves eating a large amount of food. It’s not the same as eating a lot at a special dinner, for example, because it involves the loss of control. People who binge eat cannot always control what they eat or how much they eat. Regular binge eating, generally classified by weekly episodes for several months, can be difficult to deal with. It can contribute to obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other related health issues.

ICD-10 F50.82 – Avoidant/Restrictive Food /Intake Disorder

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder is also known as ARFID. It’s categorized by the ICD-10 code of F50.82. While people of any age can exhibit ARFID, it’s commonly found in children. If children have ARFID, they have trouble eating different kinds of food. In fact, their aversion to food can be so strong that they sometimes have little interest in eating anything at all. Often, they don’t claim to be hungry and don’t seem to enjoy eating.

In other situations, people with ARFID may be afraid of eating. Perhaps they’ve had an experience with choking or vomiting after eating, or maybe they’ve simply thought about the possibility of something bad happening while eating. This fear can prevent them from trying new kinds of foods, and it can keep them from enjoying the experience of eating.

Another category of people with ARFID includes those who have very extreme reactions to certain kinds of foods. They might not like yellow foods or foods with bumps, for example, or they might be averse to specific smells. These people have a hard time deviating from their routines and trying anything new.

ARFID can lead to a number of symptoms, such as weight loss, constipation, abdominal pain, lethargy, and dizziness. If children don’t eat a well-balanced diet due to ARFID, puberty may be delayed. ARFID can be related to trauma, outside influences, and anxiety.

ICD-10 F50.89 – Other Specified Eating Disorder

The code F50.89, which represents some sort of other specified eating disorder, can be utilized when a case doesn’t fall within specific criteria of other conditions. There are times when clients have symptoms and show behaviors that aren’t typical of other eating disorders like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Alternatively, perhaps a client has a combination of symptoms. By using this code, a healthcare provider is communicating that the eating disorder isn’t a classic case of a particular condition. As such, the client may require a different approach to treatment than what may otherwise be typical.

ICD-10 F50.9 – Eating Order, Unspecified

As we’ve established, there are times in which an eating disorder is present, but it’s difficult to determine exactly what type of eating disorder it is. In this case, the ICD-10 code of F50.9 may apply to the situation; it stands for an eating disorder, unspecified.


Fortunately, there are many treatments for conditions associated with the ICD-10 codes for anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders. Options include cognitive behavioral therapy, education, guidance, social support, and in some cases, medicine. It’s often recommended that families get treatment together when children are dealing with eating disorders. 

In regard to bulimia, certain medicines have been shown to help many people. That medicine is prescribed in combination with other treatments rather than on its own. The situation is complex and multi-faceted, so medicine alone is generally not sufficient.

In more extreme situations, a stay at a hospital or clinic might be advised. A hospital stay would address very significant physical problems associated with an eating disorder while visiting a clinic might be a gentler approach that could be ideal for some people. There are many clinics that specialize in treating eating disorders, and they could involve overnight stays or allow clients to visit for the day.

Use AutoNotes

To make your practice more efficient and to help you write up notes after meeting with clients facing eating disorders, consider using AutoNotes. It’s an AI progress notes tool that can help you generate personalized notes and treatment plans for each of your clients. 

Any data entered into the system is stored on a HIPAA-compliant Google Cloud platform, and very tight restrictions are in place to protect information. Further, AutoNotes removes personal health information in order to safeguard healthcare professionals and their clients.

When you use AutoNotes, you’ll notice how quickly you can complete your notes after working with clients. The AI-based service takes the information you enter and turns it into a comprehensive report. It usually only needs a few sentences to generate an extensive treatment plan with goals and specific objectives. Using ICD-10 diagnoses allows AutoNotes to be more specific and individualized. More importantly, you have the opportunity to make any changes to notes before you print them or export them as PDFs. The control over the final product belongs entirely to you.