While many of us overeat at times, some people struggle with frequent episodes
of overeating and feeling unable to stop also known as binge eating. Binge
eating is a disorder characterized by frequent consumption of large amounts
of food coupled with feelings of compulsion that makes a person unable
to resist urges.
Binge eating with self-induced vomiting is called bulimia nervosa. Unlike
a person with bulimia, after a binge, a binge eater would not regularly
compensate for extra calories eaten by vomiting, using laxatives or exercising
excessively. Instead, he or she may attempt dieting or eating normal meals
because restricting their diet may lead to more binge eating.
Like individuals with bulimia, binge eaters often talk about feeling out
of control during binge eating episodes, and also feel guilty or embarrassed
after overeating. Signs and symptoms that someone you know may be a binge
eater include eating excessive amounts of food over a short period of
time, eating when not hungry, eating to the point of discomfort or hiding
eating from others.
Binge eating may result in a number of negative health consequences. Many
individuals with binge eating disorders also suffer from depression, and
may also be overweight or obese. However, treatment such as cognitive
behavioral therapy can help reduce episodes of binge eating and help decrease
the guilt associated with binge eating.
The severity of binge eating is best determined by the frequency of bingeing
episodes that occur during a week. Binge eating is a medical condition
that doesn’t get better by itself.
If you think that you or someone you know suffers from binge eating disorder,
please seek medical attention from your primary care provider.
Additional information about eating disorders can be found here: