Eating Disorders
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Binge Eating: Warning Signs, Physical Consequences, and Risk Factors

Compulsive eaters and overweight binge eaters also experience uncontrolled eating, sometimes kept secret. Both groups often experience depression and/or other psychological problems.


Danger Signals:

1. Episodes of binge eating

2. Eating when not physically hungry

3. Frequent dieting

4. Feeling unable to stop eating voluntarily

5. Awareness that eating patterns are abnormal

6. Weight fluctuations

7. Depressed mood

8. Social and professional successes and failures attributed to weight gain or loss


If you or a loved one have these warning signs it is important to seek the help of a trusted to professional for help in getting treatment. If left untreated, binge eating and over eating can have serious physical consequences.


Physical Complications:

1. Weight related hypertension and/or fatigue

2. Nausea

3. Weight gain

4. Increase in risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer (for obese individuals only)


Risk Factors:


Although anyone can develop an eating disorder, there are factors that can increase one’s risk of being diagnosed.


  1. Family history: If you have parents or siblings who have or had an eating disorder, you are much more likely to develop one yourself. Researchers agree this could be the result of behavior learning, genes, or chemical changes in the brain.
  2. Psychological issues: Most with binge-eating disorder are typically overweight and are acutely aware of their appearance. This awareness is usually coupled with feelings of shame. These individuals may have trouble coping with emotions such as boredom, anger, depression, worry, stress, and trauma.
  3. Dieting: Individuals with binge eating disorder typically have a long history of dieting which could date back to early childhood. The hunger associated with extreme diets may trigger binge eating episodes.
  4. Age: Individuals generally develop binge eating disorders in their late teens and early 20’s.
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