Binge Eating Disorders: 6 Signs to Watch Out For

May 7th 2016

Binge eating disorder is a common but little-known illness. It is characterized by periodic but frequent times when the person eats too much. If you think you may have binge eating disorder, seek medical help soon because this disease can have long-term effects on your health.

Unusual Eating Over a Short Time

One thing that differentiates binge eating disorders from other eating disorders, such as anorexia, is it tends to happen in short but frequent bursts. Many people binge over the span of an hour or two, rather than overeating all the time. These episodes are often triggered by feelings of loneliness, sadness or anxiety.

Eating to Physical Discomfort

Almost everyone eats too much at times, but people with binge eating disorder frequently eat to the point of physical discomfort. This is partially because they tend to eat quickly, but they also ignore physical signals they have eaten enough.

Feeling Out of Control

One of the most significant symptoms of binge eating disorder is feeling out of control, ashamed and embarrassed about eating habits. Binge eating becomes a compulsion, and embarrassment may cause people suffering from it to eat in secret and hide food purchases.

Frequent Failed Dieting Attempts

The nature of binge eating disorder often causes weight gain, and many people try to cover it up by dieting regularly. However, these diets are usually unsuccessful because the patients are still binging in secret. Some people manage to lose weight for a little while, but they often gain it back quickly. Weight loss is difficult and not everyone who struggles with it suffers from an eating disorder, but it can be a sign when it appears with other symptoms.

Eating When You Are Not Hungry

Most people only eat when they feel hungry, but people with binge eating disorder eat for psychological reasons. This often results in them ignoring a lack of hunger or feeling full.

Rapid Eating

Another telltale sign of binge eating disorder is eating at an unusually rapid but sustained pace. People with this disorder may eat at a normal pace around other people but eat quickly when alone. This allows them to consume a large quantity of food in a short time, which is one of the hallmarks of binge eating disorder.

Conclusion

Binge eating disorder is one of the most common eating disorders, but many people are unaware of its symptoms. It also often only happens occasionally, so it can be difficult to recognize. People suffering from binge eating disorder can be a healthy weight, although many are overweight. The disorder is often linked to other mental illnesses, such as depression, but those are not always present. Everyone overeats on occasion, but if you or a loved one have these symptoms on a regular basis, talk to a doctor or psychologist for help.

Sources

MayoClinic.org "Binge-eating disorder: Symptoms" http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/binge-eating-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20033155
NationalEatingDisorders.org "Binge eating disorder" https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder
HelpGuide.org "Binge eating disorder" http://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder.htm
WebMD.com "Symptoms of binge eating disorder" http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/eating-disorders/binge-eating-disorder/binge-eating-disorder-symptoms

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