Binge eating is one of several eating disorders characterized by intake of unusually large amounts of food on a regular basis. Such individuals have to deal with compulsive overeating. They consume huge amounts of food and feel powerless about this desire to eat. They simply cannot control the urge to eat too much.
Binge eating disorder generally begins in late adolescence. It may also affect people in an early adulthood. In such case the disorder follows a previous major diet. An episode of overeating does not last longer than two hours. Some people, however, may consume huge amounts of food all day long. It is normal for these people to continue eating even though they feel full and also in case when they are not actually hungry.
Binge Eating Clinical Characteristics
The main characteristics of binge eating are frequent episodes of uncontrollable food consumption, feeling rather distressed/upset during and after binge eating and absence of vomiting, fasting or even over-exercising, typical behaviors of people suffering from other eating disorders.
Furthermore, people suffering from binge eating binge more than twice per week for at least 6 months. They also eat more rapidly than normal and continue eating until they are completely full. Eating alone is another characteristic of the disorder. This prevents others from actually seeing how much such individuals eat. Rapid weight gain is another scenario that eventually takes place.
Individuals struggling with binge eating feel guilty, are frequently ashamed of themselves and may even become depressed. Even though they actually worry about the effects of this overeating on their bodies, they simply cannot control the urge and usually succumb the uncontrollable desire to eat.
Emotions may have great influence on the onset of binge eating. Namely, some people start binge eating due to stress or different emotions associated with a variety of events they have experienced.How to Differentiate Binge Eating from Other Eating Disorders?
Every eating disorder has a specific pattern of eating.
Even though both, bulimia and binge eating include consumption of too much food, people suffering from bulimia use laxatives or induce vomiting to get rid of the food and prevent gaining weight. People with bulimia also do their best to burn off extra calories. This is why bulimia patients do not suffer from additional weight gain and they also do not lose weight.
As for anorexia, this eating disorder typically features with severe restriction of food intake. These patients starve themselves and lose too much weight. Compulsive exercising is another characteristic of patients suffering from anorexia.
All in all, no matter what eating disorder a person is suffering from, he/she needs to be treated since all of the mentioned illnesses may have detrimental effects on the body and person's mind.