Binge Eating Disorder - Symptoms
If you have
binge eating disorder, you:
- Eat an extremely large amount of food within a
2-hour period (a binge) at least 2 times a week on average for at least 6
- Feel unable to control how much you eat during a
- Feel very unhappy about binging.
If you have binge eating disorder, you also have three (or
more) of the following symptoms:
- You eat more quickly than normal during a
- You eat until you are painfully full.
- You binge
when you are not hungry, to reduce stress or to comfort
- You eat alone because you are embarrassed about how much
food you eat.
- You feel upset, guilty, or depressed after a
Common personality traits found in those who have binge
eating disorder and other
eating disorders include low self-esteem and excessive concern about body
size and shape.
Binge eating disorder is different from
bulimia, because people with binge eating disorder do
not regularly vomit or use other ways to get rid of calories. For more
information on bulimia, which also is called "binge-purge disorder," see the
Some people eat very
little during the day but eat very large amounts of food in the evening and at
night. This is called
night eating syndrome.
Many people who
have an eating disorder also struggle with depression or
anxiety disorders. It can be difficult to treat binge
eating disorder if these other conditions are not also treated.
Frequent binge eating can cause you to gain a large amount of weight, even
though you might try to restrict your food intake between binges. People with
binge eating disorder often try to follow strict diets. But dieting does not
stop the binging for the long term and might actually make the problem worse.
You might feel so discouraged at times that you stop trying to
control your eating disorder altogether. One binge might merge into the next,
with no period of normal eating in between.
Although you might not
have all of the symptoms of binge eating disorder, even a few symptoms can be a
sign of a problem that needs treatment. If you have any of these symptoms, or
someone you know does, talk to a doctor, friend, or family member
about your concerns right away.