Long Term Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

Long Term Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder here in the United States. Today we will review the long term effects of binge eating disorder. This illness has a few hallmarks, which are:

  • A repeated pattern of incidents in which someone binge eats. During an eating binge, someone loses control as they eat a large amount of food over a short period of time. 
  • In the wake of such an incident, it is likely that someone will feel emotions such as guilt, distress, and even shame. 

Long Term Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

In the long term, binge eating disorder can wreak havoc on someone’s body and mind. Physically speaking, someone who binge eats repeatedly over a long period of time will put themselves at a higher risk of:

  • Type 2 diabetes (from insulin resistance)
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Heart disease

There are many more potential physical complications that can affect someone who has been suffering from binge eating disorder for a long time. Additionally, there are various mental issues that can come with extended periods of binge eating. These may include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Relationship issues
  • Financial problems
  • Career hardships
  • Increased body image issues

Other Health Consequences

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, other health-related issues associated with binge eating are those related to:

  • Weight stigma
  • Stomach rupturing, a life-threatening emergency 
  • Weight cycling, also called yo-yo dieting

Signs to Look Out For

  Because of the potential severity of binge eating disorder, it is important to be on the lookout for potential emotional and behavioral signs that someone is suffering from binge eating disorder. These may include:

  • A fear of eating in public
  • Evidence of binge eating, such as the presence of many food containers and wrappers or the disappearance of significant amounts of food over relatively short periods of time
  • Frequent dieting
  • Eating alone, perhaps out of embarrassment over how much food one is eating
  • Social withdrawal
  • Withdrawal from usual activities
  • Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted after overeating
  • Expressing major concern with one’s shape and body weight
  • Stealing food
  • The creation of a lifestyle or other rituals to allow time to binge eat
  • Any new food practices or diets, such as cutting out whole food groups or picking up veganism or vegetarianism
  • Hoarding food in odd places
  • Expressing low self-esteem
  • Frequently looking in the mirror for perceived appearance flaws
  • Disrupted eating behaviors, such as not having planned mealtimes and eating throughout the day, skipping meals, sporadic fasting, repetitive dieting, or taking small portions at “regular” meals
  • The development of food rituals, such as excessive chewing or not allowing foods to touch
  • Having secret, recurrent binge eating episodes in which one feels out of control

How To Find Help

While binge eating disorder is a serious illness that can even prove to be fatal, it is important to always remember that it is also treatable. If you live in the United States, you can use Eating Disorder Hope’s interactive map to locate eating disorder treatment resources in every state. It is also important to acknowledge that no two people’s recovery journeys from an eating disorder will look the same.

You can also contact an eating disorder hotline for help. Or, if you are in a crisis situation, you can text “NEDA” to 741-741 and reach a properly trained volunteer. 

Additionally, we are here to help you here at Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists. You can reach us via phone (866-525-2766), email, or by filling out our contact form.

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