Binge-Eating Disorder Explained
Binge eating disorder is an extremely serious eating disorder in which an individual tends to eat a dangerously large quantity of food in a relatively short period of time; sometimes the person will feel incapable of controlling themselves. Over a long period, binge eating can result in a range of associated medical conditions and changes in behavior and mood. It can also lead to significant weight gain and high amounts of depression. It is important to recognize that many people think they are occasional eaters when, in fact, they are suffering from a severe eating disorder.
People with this condition often find themselves overeating every so often. They may go up to three or four days between binging on food. During these binge-eating episodes, the sufferer may also feel emotionally distraught. The episodes often occur after a person has previously eaten a big meal containing a lot of sugar, carbohydrates, and calories.
There is strong evidence that suggests there is a link between binge eating disorder and high blood pressure. This is because when a person is suffering from this condition, they will frequently eat large quantities of food in a short space of time. As the intake of food increases, extra pressure is placed on the heart, increasing the risk of hypertension. This increased pressure can have a knock-on effect on other bodily systems and cause further health complications. It is important to recognize that obesity and high blood pressure are strongly linked and that the first signs of either condition should be spotted immediately.
Many experts now believe that there is strong genetic evidence linking many different types of eating disorders together. For example, a statistical manual for diagnosis and treatments of autism states that individuals with autism have been reported to be more likely to have a family history of eating disorders. Similarly, a statistical manual for diagnosing and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder states that individuals with this disorder are more likely to have relatives with similar disorders. Similarly, a statistical manual for diagnosing Binge Eating Disorder diagnoses suggests that individuals who suffer from bulimia nervosa may also have relatives who have experienced the same condition.
A number of studies have indicated that people who suffer from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa have a low self-image and are obsessed with their body image. A study carried out in Canada, involving both adults and children, found that those with a poor body image were more likely to develop a binge eating disorder. The study also indicated that those with a poor body image were more likely to engage in dieting. This makes sense as dieting can lead to weight gain and may consequently exacerbate the problem of binge eating disorder.
Another indicator that dieting may exacerbate the problem of binge eating disorder is that many people who suffer from it tend to have very distorted perceptions of weight and shape. They believe that they are overweight or obese when they are not. In addition, many people who suffer from this condition are likely to be highly sensitive to criticism and are easily offended. These individuals tend to avoid situations where they might be criticized or embarrassed and they are reluctant to participate in social occasions where they might be the object of severe criticism.
Researchers conducting research on the link between dieting and eating disorders have also noted that some women tend to have more episodes of binge eating disorder than men. The difference between men and women is likely to be explained by hormonal differences. Men typically develop stronger emotions than women and are more reluctant to reach a conclusion about what they should not eat. Women, on the other hand, generally eat more slowly and more deliberately and tend to make a conscious effort to monitor their weight.
The lack of self-discipline that leads to binge eating disorder can also lead to a relapse if the patient resorts to purging using laxatives, diuretics, or laxative abuse. Research has indicated that many people who suffer from this condition also have a history of alcohol or drug abuse in their families. This may explain why they exhibit the same behavioral patterns seen in bulimics. It is important for family members to try to prevent the recurrence of the behavior since this condition is often genetically inherited and only gets worse with time.