Health Effects of Binge Eating
We have all tried binge eating, especially after a party to finish off the leftover pizza or take a bite at the extra piece of dessert. However, for binge eaters, binge eating is an everyday affair and more so a compulsive habit.
Binge eating, as doctors say is a compulsive disorder in which an individual continuously keeps eating at frequent intervals, irrespective of being hungry or not. It’s a progressive disorder that shows up mostly in adolescents and gradually starts taking a toll on health due to overeating food. So how does it affect your health? Let’s find out...
Weight gain and obesity
Binge eating is the most common form of eating disorder and therefore, quite certainly one of the key reasons behind obesity. You are bound to put on weight when you eat food uncontrollably. Statistics reveal that most binge eaters never make a healthy choice of foods. They feast on pizzas, cheeseburgers, fries, chocolates, chips, cookies, cakes, pastries, etc. which cause weight gain in no time.
The fried, junk food items are enriched with saturated fats and cholesterol. When your diet consists of just these foods, then there’s no escape from having high cholesterol.
High blood pressure
People with binge eating habits also have elevated levels of blood pressure due to obesity and high cholesterol. Furthermore, their lifestyle is pretty much sedentary, which is also a contributing factor of high blood pressure.
Uncontrolled cholesterol levels along with high blood pressure and obesity make them vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases like atherosclerosis. A heart attack can happen any time, if these risk factors are not taken care of.
How much and how long can your stomach digest all those unhealthy foods that one consumes during a binge eating episode? Gastrointestinal problems like acidity, heartburn, indigestion, loose motions, and constipation is quite common among binge eaters.
Type 2 diabetes
According to American Diabetic Association, an individual who engages in obsessive eating or binge eating is at high risk of having diabetes and they are often unaware of this truth. There is a direct correlation between the two which is explained as- the body loses its ability to produce enough insulin or the cellular system ignores the insulin required to control blood sugar. The condition is aggravated when eating carbohydrate loaded sugary foods.
As said before, binge eaters rarely eat healthy foods. The chips, fries, cookies, pizzas, desserts, etc. are less nutritious. Eventually, the person would be suffering from one or more vitamin and mineral deficiencies along with several other associated health disorders.
Personal and behavioral changes
Binge eaters usually suffer from depression due to the fact that they are unable to control eating food. The health complications along with obsessive eating habits bring about hormonal changes that lead to extreme sadness, anxiety and several mental changes like the feeling of guilt, low self-esteem, worthlessness, lack of self-confidence, etc. Being overweight along with being a binge eater is can lead to social anxiety. Such people tend to isolate themselves from social picnics and feasts that involve dining and sharing food.
Succumb to bad addictions
In order to overcome depression, anxiety and behavioral challenges, they are likely to become victim of alcohol and illegal drug abuse.
Some more health hazards of binge eating
Sleep problems- overdose of sleep or lack of sleep (especially in night time binge eaters)
- Sleep apnea
- Muscle and joint pain, arthritis
- Bone deterioration, could be osteoporosis
- Kidney disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Certain types of cancer
- Lack of sexual desire
These are some of the health effects of binge eating. If you or someone you know is suffering from binge eating seek help. There are many therapies, medications as well as support groups for binge eaters that help them overcome their compulsion to binge.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: March 26, 2015