Most people who are suffering from binge eating disorder will be obese and overweight when compared to people of similar age. However, this alone cannot be considered as a definitive symptom of binge eating disorder. Rather, the health condition tends to exhibit many behavioral and emotional symptoms as well. Some of those indicators that you must look for are listed below.
- Eating an excessive amount of food at extremely frequent intervals such as after every one or two-hour gap.
- Eating a full course meal even if you are not hungry.
- Rapid eating pattern, especially during the binge eating periods.
- A feeling that your eating pattern is out of control.
- The temptation to eat until you are uncomfortably full.
- Frequent eating when alone or without drawing the attention of people around you.
- Frequent dieting, but no results.
- Feeling anguished, depressed, guilty, or ashamed about your eating habits.
Some people may try to restrict the number of meals or diet frequently. This may, however, worsen the situation since they tend to eat even more. The severity of your binge eating disorder can be determined based on the number of your binge eating episodes in a week.
Unfortunately, the cause of binge eating disorder is not yet discovered. Nevertheless, biological factors, genetics, long-term dieting, psychological issues, etc., can increase the risk of developing binge eating disorder. Note that a vital factor that can put you at higher risk of binge eating disorder is your family history. In other words, you are likely to be affected by this disorder if any of your family members have or had the same health issue.
Binge eating disorder can lead to several physical as well as mental health issues. Some of those complications are listed below
- Poor life quality.
- Social isolation.
- Inability to perform well at work, social gatherings, and in personal life.
- Medical condition such as heart disease, joint problems, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), insomnia, breathing disorders, sleep apnea, etc.
- Lack of self-confidence.
- Bipolar disorder.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is highly recommended to consult a primary care doctor. For proper diagnosis, your doctor may conduct psychological tests that include a discussion on your eating habits. Apart from this, blood test, urine test, physical exam, a sleep disorder center consultation, etc., will be conducted to rule out the chances of other diseases.
When it comes to treatment, doctors may craft an eating regime for you focusing on healthy eating habits. The first step will be to reduce the number of binges. In addition, psychotherapy sessions including interpersonal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, etc., will be recommended depending on the complexity of the disorder. Some medications and behavioral weight-loss programs can also help you to cope up well and fast.