Binge Eating and Consequences for Your Body
Food has become a thorn in many people’s sides. Really, a lot of this is not about food, but the type of food we have available to us in the modern world. When it comes to binge eating, addictive man made foods affect us in such a way as to cause to drastically overeat, not because our bodies need food but for dysfunctional reasons.
Eating disorders, as bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating, are life-threatening, serious conditions that affect a person’s physical, emotional and mental health.
They all stem from an addiction to the dopamine (a “feel good” hormone) released in the reward center of the brain; an addiction which is just as strong as that of alcohol or drugs.
Bearing grave consequences on relationships, productivity, and health, eating disorders are real, distressing and overwhelming. They affect every organ in the body and can result in chronic diseases and adverse reactions.
What is binge eating?
Binge eating is the most common of all eating disorders which affects people, regardless of age, gender or race. Characterized by eating a great of food excessively and frequently beyond the point of fullness, this psychological illness acts as a diversion to avoid the real root of our problems, such as fear of rejection or failure, depression, anxiety or guilt. It is recurrent and can lead to serious health issues if not resolved early on.
People sometimes find it hard to differentiate between binge eating and Bulimia Nervosa, and while they may be similar in symptoms and side effects, the difference between them is that those suffering from Bulimia will force themselves to purge after their binging episode.
With binge eating disorder, however, there’s no purging, but there may be periods of intermittent fasting and recurring diets as a result of the guilt and shame.
Behavioral signs and symptoms
• Eating large amounts of food even when full
• Frequent dieting without weight loss
• Hoarding food
• Eating alone
• Loss of control that affects school, work, and relationships
• Self-hatred, anxiety, depression and shame
• Gastrointestinal distress, bloating and heartburn
• Fatigue and lethargy
• Social isolation and low self-esteem
• Weight gain and obesity
• Sleep apnea (breathing that stops several times through the night)
• Cardiovascular diseases
• High blood pressure
• Type-2 diabetes
How can binge eating be treated?
Recent studies have proven that those seeking treatment respond well with treatment and improve considerably. Conquering it may be a daily endeavor, but with these tips, you can regain control of your eating and life.
1. Be brave.
The only one who can change your eating habits is you, so muster your courage and ask yourself these questions:
• Am I hungry?
• Why am I eating?
• Are my motives other than enjoying food and nourishing my body? Loneliness? Anger? Depression?
The sooner you’re truthful with yourself, the sooner you can find a solution.
2. Evaluate the purpose of your excessive eating.
Food is necessary for healthy development, meeting the body’s requirements and enjoyment as well. If the reason for eating is anything else besides that, then you have to re-evaluate your lifestyle decisions.
3. Don’t diet.
Dieting entails limiting yourself which leads to deprivation, which, leads to bingeing. It’s a vicious cycle so don’t bother. Instead, make healthy eating habits a part of your daily routine.
4. Seek help.
A GP experienced in the treatment of eating disorders should be the first person whose help you should seek. Once a diagnosis is reached, there are several healthcare professionals who can work with you to find the reasons behind your eating behavior and reconnect with your body’s signals of fullness and hunger.