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Common Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from binge eating disorder, be mindful of the common signs of the disorder so that you know when the best time to seek help is. People with binge eating disorder exhibit and experience several of the following symptoms weekly for periods lasting at least 3 months:

  • Frequent episodes of eating more than what may be considered a normal amount of food
  • Rapid eating
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food without being physically hungry
  • Eating with excessive discretion due to feelings of embarrassment at the quantity of food being consumed
  • Feelings of guilt after overeating
  • Weight fluctuation, usually gain
  • Feelings of low self-esteem
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Frequent dieting
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Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

Most people tend to overeat from time to time, or even on a regular basis. Eating large quantities of food on occasion, however, does not necessarily mean that someone has binge eating disorder. Binge eating is fundamentally different from overindulging: It’s a serious condition characterized by recurrent and uncontrollable overeating. People with the disorder often experience feelings of loss of control over their eating, overeating even when they physically feel full. Often bingeing behavior and related habits are ways of coping with unwanted feelings, stress, and anxiety.

Many people who suffer from this disorder have not acquired the proper tools to deal with negative and uncomfortable emotions in a healthy and constructive manner. People suffering from the disorder, therefore, find eating to be comforting and soothing. The binging behavior often tends to be counterproductive, as those who binge usually feel sad, guilty, or worthless after not being able to control their eating 

Behavioral

  • Disappearance of large quantities of food in short periods of time
  • Evidence of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food
  • Eating all times throughout the day with no planned mealtimes
  • Periodic fasting

Emotional and Mental

  • Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and shame directly preceding and following binges
  • Feeling dissatisfied with one’s body size
  • Perfectionistic tendencies

Physical

  • Frequent weight fluctuation
  • Weight gain
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol level
  • Heart disease
  • Joint pain
  • Sleep apnea

Psychological

  • Binge eating is often associated with depression and anxiety
  • People struggling with binge eating disorder often express feelings of distress and shame
  • Loss of control and discipline

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