Binge Eating Disorder, BED, is a condition of compulsive eating where a person has no control over how much or how often they eat. Consuming an excess amount of calories that are not necessarily healthy calories can cause health problems. Though someone with BED can be healthy and active, their chronic consumption of food is still problematic and concerning. BED is linked to a wide variety of health problems and puts people at a higher risk for developing them.
Endocrine disorders: The endocrine system includes the glands responsible for producing necessary hormones in the body. Hormones help regulate growth, function, and things like metabolism. Endocrine disorders can include: diabetes, Addison’s disease, Cushing’s syndrome, Graves’ disease, Hypothyroidism
Circulatory disorder: Circulatory disorders are the result of problems in the heart and parts of the circulatory system involved with heart function like blood vessels and blood. A circulatory disorder damages the ability for blood to flow through the heart and to tissues in the body, also inhibiting the supply of oxygen. Circulatory disorders can include: high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, aneurysms, thrombotic disorders, congenital defects.
Respiratory disease: Respiration effectively is necessary for breathing. Difficulty breathing can lead to heart problems and a decreased supply of oxygen, which further causes complications. Respiratory diseases can include: asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough, pulmonary fibrosis, lungs cancer, lung disease, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism.
Gastrointestinal disease: A gastrointestinal disease effects the whole gastrointestinal system which is critical for consuming, ingesting, and digesting food. The gastrointestinal tract includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Gastrointestinal diseases can include diseases of each major organ as well as the rectum and the anus.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
BED is primarily characterized by episodes of eating food to the point of discomfort. The National Eating Disorder Alliance describes symptoms of BED as including:
feeling loss of control during a binge episode
experiencing guilt, shame, or distress afterward
lack of compensatory action such as excessive exercise of purging
Despite the attention received by more well known eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder. Binge eating disorder receives an equal amount of socially placed stigma as other eating disorders. Commonly compared to occasional overeating, binge eating disorder is a real and harmful disease.