Just like anorexia and bulimia, binge eating disorder (BED) is also a serious mental illness. While this does not involve over-exercising, self-induced vomiting, and other methods to prevent weight gain, it causes a range of serious health problems. BED may involve irregular fasting or repetitive dieting, with feelings of shame and guilt after a binge. As people with BED often consume an unusually large amount of food, they are often overweight or obese.
Sufferers of BED are usually disappointed with their habit and may become depressed. In fact, studies have shown that those with BED have many health issues which include stress, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. They also feel negative about themselves, which may cause them to miss school, work, and other social situations.
Health and Medical Consequences
Unhealthy weight gain is the common health consequence. Binge eating disorder help centers note that this can result in obesity, which raises the risk for other medical conditions. High blood pressure or high cholesterol is one common risk, which can lead to a risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Other repercussions include:
- Gallbladder disease
- Kidney problems/failure
- Certain cancer types
Some people with BED also have other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. Eating disorder thoughts may leave them feeling overwhelmed, which results in a feeling of unable to cope without binge eating.
Getting Professional Help
Those with BED can get help from an eating disorder treatment center or a specialist in eating disorder. The path to recovery can be challenging, but overcoming the illness is possible. A high level of commitment, along with the right team, can help sufferers replace unhealthy habits with helpful coping strategies. There are different ways to treat BED and may include nutritional advice or psychotherapy.
Early intervention is important to overcome the problem. Delays in seeking professional help can lead to serious consequences for both the sufferer’s physical and mental health. Full recovery is most likely if the person gets early help.