Do you feel as though you lose control of yourself when you eat sometimes? Does it make you feel depressed? You may have a binge eating disorder.
About Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is a condition in which people eat large amounts of food quickly on a regular basis. Usually, they feel uncomfortable afterwards because they have overeaten.
Binge eating disorder is not like other eating disorders. There is no purging or vomiting after eating such as in the case of bulimia. Those with this condition do not do it to lose weight. They seek to satisfy a need other than their fueling their body.
With this disorder, individuals gain a lot of weight quickly. This is why 50% of people with binge eating disorder are obese or overweight.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
It can be difficult to identify binge eating disorder because it’s much different from just overeating. Almost everyone eats more than intended at times. People who suffer from this condition do it often and suffer from mental and physical side effects.
The following are some of the symptoms of binge eating disorder:
- They eat quicker than usual.
- They eat until they cannot eat anymore.
- They eat when they are not hungry.
- They often eat alone because they are embarrassed by the quantity of food they are eating.
- They feel depressed, disgusting and guilty when they are finished.
Approximately 2% of adults in the United States suffer from this disorder – that’s about 4 million Americans.
The Causes of the Condition
Research aren’t sure what causes binge eating, but they suspect it has to do with abnormal activity in many parts of the brain. From research on other eating disorders, they believe the causes may be similar to them.
Depression – Those who suffer from depression are often more susceptible to binge eating. They turn to food for comfort because they feel as though no one else is available to them, and food is always available.
Dieting – People who diet deprive themselves of foods, and then they overindulge themselves when they have the chance.
Genetics – There’s evidence binge eating disorder runs in families. Usually, more than one person in a family suffers from the condition. This could be because there are certain chemicals being produces in sufferers that cause them to seek large quantities of food.
Addiction – Many people who suffer from this disorder also have an addictive personality. They abuse alcohol, drugs, and gamble. They exhibit impulsive behavior, which is why they often can’t control how much they eat.
The Effects of This Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder leads to many mental and physical side effects.
- They suffer from high stress levels because their eating is troublesome.
- They have trouble sleeping at night because of anxiety and high levels of sugar and caffeine in what they eat.
- They feel as though there is no hope for their uncontrollable eating and they dislike the way they look, so they contemplate suicide.
- They don’t want to be seen by anyone, so they miss work and school.
- They may prefer eating to going out with friends, or going to work or schools. This leads to depression and financial hardships.
- Many people who suffer from this eating disorder end up with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, heart disease, some types of cancer, anxiety disorder, depression, or personality disorders.
Many people do not realize their eating is the problem. They blame the circumstances of their life on eating too much. Some people will learn they are suffering from a medical or mental health issue and not realize it’s the binge eating that has caused it. This is why it’s important to speak to a medical professional honestly about your eating habits.
Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder
People do not have to live with this condition. Treatment is available from mental health professionals since a large part of the disorder has to do with how you think about food. Many people receive nutritional guidance and psychotherapy to combat their food habits. Those who suffer from depression or anxiety disorder may find help from antidepressants. Appetite suppressants are sometimes prescribed for those who really need it.
No one has to succumb to binge eating disorder. Help is available.