Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, binge eating disorder is characterized by an individual suffering from recurrent episodes of binge eating, in which they will eat large amounts of food over a short period of time. During such an episode, someone will feel out of control, and likely eat rapidly and until they feel uncomfortable. In the wake of such a binge, it is likely one might experience guilt, shame, or perhaps even distress. Binge eating disorder is among the newest eating disorders to be formally recognized in the DSM 5; this is an important step because some insurance companies will decline to cover treatment for an illness unless it is accompanied by a DSM diagnosis.

Unlike individuals suffering from bulimia nervosa, someone who suffers from binge eating disorder does not regularly resort to damaging compensatory measures in an attempt to “undo” the effects of a binge eating session. Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder here in the United States.

Physical Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Physical signs that may suggest someone is suffering from binge eating disorder might include:

  • Having a hard time concentrating
  • Noticeable weight fluctuations
  • Stomach cramps
  • Other non-specified gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux and constipation

Behavioral and Emotional Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Emotional signs and behaviors that may be linked to binge eating disorder 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
  • Stealing food
  • Hoarding food in odd places
  • Expressing low self-esteem
  • 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
  • The development of food rituals, such as excessive chewing or not allowing foods to touch
  • Eating alone, perhaps out of embarrassment over how much food one is eating
  • Social withdrawal
  • Withdrawal from usual activities
  • 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
  • Feeling depressed, guilty, or disgusted after overeating
  • Expressing major concern with one’s shape and body weight
  • Having secret, recurrent binge eating episodes in which one feels out of control

Finding Help

Even though binge eating disorder can cause serious damage to the body, it is a treatable illness. If you are looking for recovery groups in New York City and elsewhere in the United States, you can find resources at this link. You can also find support by contacting an eating disorder hotline. But if you are in a time of crisis, you can text “NEDA” to 741-741 at any time to be put in contact with someone trained to handle the situation.

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

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