Binge eating disorder (BED) is mainly characterized by uncontrollable overeating that could result in weight gain as well as other emotional and physical problems. It’s likewise associated with poor self-esteem and shame.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that individuals suffering from BED experience more stress and health risks than those who don’t. During an episode of binge eating, an individual consumes abnormally huge amounts of food. While binge eaters might feel unpleasantly full following a binge eating episode, they won’t attempt to compensate for their massive caloric intake, unlike those who suffer from bulimia.
Likewise, while BED could result in various health issues and emotional problems such as depression, there are effective treatment options for binge eating that could help in improving your quality of life by reducing those associated risks.
Obesity Risk and Binge Eating Disorder
Consuming huge amounts of food could result in weight gain (and obesity), which is a serious health issue. Plenty of studies have found that binge eaters are also obese and have an increased risk of developing health issues related to obesity, such as high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, muscles and joint pain, and gallbladder disease.
In addition, women with BED and are obese have an increased risk of infertility and irregular menstrual periods, as well as potential issues during pregnancy, including high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and risk of cesarean birth.
Emotional Issues and Binge Eating Disorder
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) states that not all health issues related to BED are associated with obesity, as plenty of risks are actually more related to emotional and mental health.
For example, depression is one of the most common mental issues related to BED that could both be a consequence of the disorder or a risk factor. Binge eaters also typically struggle with guilt and shame for their behavior and poor self-image.
The Secret Struggle
While binge eaters are distressed, it’s common for them to keep their struggles in secret. More often than not, they’re closet eaters or those who eat when no one’s around and typically hide proof of their eating habits from others.
Sometimes, their feelings could become so intense that it interferes with their sleep, daily activities, relationships, and quality of life. It leads them to self-destructive behaviors and in some cases, even suicide.
Hope for Reducing Health Issues Due to Binge Eating Disorder
To safeguard your overall health — and to avoid the physical and emotional risks of binge eating disorder from completely ruining your life, you need to get proper treatment as soon as possible. As it is with other eating disorders, like anorexia and bulimia, treatment should address not only the physical, but also the mental health complications of BED. Finding a professional in your area is the best possible solution.
Getting proper and prompt treatment is the most effective way to start your healing journey. Although this journey can be extremely difficult, you’ll eventually get there.