Which Eating Disorder is Linked to Eating Too Much?
Eating disorders are serious illnesses that affect tens of millions of Americans at some point over the course of their lifetimes. In spite of the various myths floating around about them, it is important to remember that eating disorders affect individuals of any and all backgrounds. In the past, researchers have been unable to pin down any singular cause behind the development of eating disorders. They now agree that these illnesses do not stem from one singular origin, rather, it is a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors that may put some individuals at a higher risk of developing them.
How Many Types of Eating Disorders Exist?
Several different types of eating disorders exist; each has its own distinct qualities. Different types include but are not limited to: binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, orthorexia, OSFED, and ARFID. A behavior that perhaps does not often come to mind when someone thinks about eating disorders is binge eating. Though this behavior can be a part of several different types of eating disorders, it is a hallmark of binge eating disorder in particular.
This illness is characterized by recurrent episodes in which an individual consumes large amounts of food during eating binges; during one such binge, the individual feels out of control, often experiences guilt or shame in its wake, and does not regularly use dangerous compensatory measures such as purging to combat the previous binge. Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder found here in the United States.
Physical Signs of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder may have physical signs, such as:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Stomach cramps
- Other nonspecific gastrointestinal issues, such as acid reflux or constipation
- Noticeable weight fluctuations
Behavioral and Emotional Signs of Binge Eating Disorder
There are various behavioral and emotional signs that may suggest someone is suffering from binge eating disorder. These may include:
- Discomfort or fear eating around other people
- Taking on diet fads or new food practices
- The presence of empty food containers or wrappers
- The disappearance of large portions of food during short periods of time
- Withdrawal from activities and friends
- Expressing major concern with one’s weight or body shape
- Creating a schedule or other rituals that allow time to binge eat
- Hoarding food in odd places
- Stealing food
- Frequently looking for perceived flaws in the mirror
- Weight fluctuation
- Struggling with low self-esteem
- Food rituals, such as excessive chewing, not allowing foods to touch, or only eating a particular food group
- An interruption of regularized eating behaviors, such as eating throughout the day, taking small portions of food during mealtimes, or skipping meals
Potential Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder
The health risks that come with binge eating disorder tend to be those related to weight stigma and weight cycling. Approximately two-thirds of those who are dealing with BED tend to be average or higher-than-average weight.
While all types of eating disorders may lead to serious mental and physical side effects, they are thankfully treatable. And one’s treatment plan will depend on his or her individual situation. There also are several hotlines you can contact if you are worried about yourself or a loved one. Lastly, 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.