What Is Binge Eating And Its Effects On Your Health
While overeating on occasion is not going to hurt you, binge eating can have negative effects on your health. If you find yourself eating out of control, you may be a victim of binge eating disorder, which is not good for your health.
Those with binge eating disorder often have feelings of depression, guilt, and disgust with themselves. Binge eating has adverse effects on your health and it doesn’t have to be this way if you can get a handle on your eating behaviors.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is extremely common. There are three main features to the disease.
- The individual doesn’t starve himself or herself or vomit after binge eating as is often seen in other eating disorders.
- Feeling extremely upset or distressed after binging.
- Having episodes of uncontrollable eating behaviors.
Binge eating usually starts in your teens or in your early adulthood. It often follows a period of dieting. During a binge-eating episode, you might even eat when you are not even hungry and may even eat after you are completely full. It might feel comforting for a short period of time, but then it turns into nothing more than self-loathing and remorse.
Signs Of A Binge Eating Disorder
If you have binge eating disorder, you may be ashamed of yourself and embarrassed by your eating behaviors. You may try to hide your eating pattern and instead eat secretively. This can make it difficult for loved ones to recognize you are sick. Binge eaters look like everyone else. Most binge eaters have a normal body mass index; however, some are obese or overweight.
- Eating constantly throughout the day and not just at mealtimes
- Eating normally when others are around but devouring food when you are alone
- Stockpiling or hiding food in order to later eat secretively
- Eating when you are already full
- Eating large amounts of food over a short period of time
- Having an inability to control what you’re putting into your mouth.
Emotional signs of compulsive overeating or binge eating include the following:
- Feeling desperate to control your eating habits and weight
- Feeling depressed, disgusted, or guilty after eating too much
- Never feeling satisfied no matter how full you are
- Feeling emotional numbness while binge eating
- Being embarrassed over your eating habits
- Feeling the stress of tension that is only relieved by eating more food
Some causes of binge eating disorder include the following:
- Biological risk factors. These are the biological effects that can contribute to eating too much. The hypothalamus (which controls appetite) may not send you the right messages about fullness and hunger. There appears to be a genetic mutation that may be behind some people’s binge eating disorder that results in their compulsive overeating behaviors.
- Psychological risk factors. There is a strong link between binge eating and depression. Many binge eaters are either depressed or have been depressed in the past. Other binge eaters may have difficulty controlling their impulses and cannot adequately express their feelings. Not being satisfied with your body and the way it looks, feelings of loneliness and social isolation and low self-esteem are all issues that can result in binge eating.
- Cultural and social risk factors. There may be social pressure to be skinny that can add to the shame that a binge eater feels that adds to their emotional overeating. Sometimes, parents contribute to binge eating by using food to reward, dismiss, or comfort their children. Kids who are constantly criticized about their weight and their bodies are prone to binge eating.
The bottom line is that binge eating disorder leads to an array of social, physical, and emotional issues. Those with binge eating problems often have more health problems, such as suicidality, difficulty sleeping, stress, and issues around their physical health.
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