Binge eating disorder is the most widespread eating disorder. It differs from normal increases of appetite and overeating now and then. The ill people eat large amount of food and still feel hungry. There is a list of symptoms that helps doctors to make a diagnosis. What is important here is that a person having only one of the below signs can still suffer from binge eating disorder. In other words it's not right to think that you don't have binge eating disorder if you don't have one of the symptoms.
1. Recurrent cases of binge eating. It means that a person frequently eats a large amount of food for a short period of time. Most people would eat less in a similar period under similar circumstances. Besides, during this time the person feels that he/she is unable to control the process of eating.
2. Episodes of binge eating are characterized by at least three points of the following:
You eat very quickly (faster than normal)
You eat until you have the feeling of being uncomfortably full
You eat a lot even when you don't feel hungry
You eat alone because you'd feel embarrassed if others saw how much you eat
You feel depressed, guilty, or disgusted after overeating
3. You have evident distress concerning binge eating.
4. Binge eating happens at least 2 days a week for a half of the year.
5. Binge eating doesn't include compensatory behaviors such as purging, fasting, or exercises after overeating.
So, we now have an image of people suffering from binge eating disorder. They eat unusually large quantities of food and they don't stop eating even when they feel they are full. They do it regularly. They feel powerless to stop eating while they are doing it. That's why binge eating is sometimes called compulsive overeating. A person with such problems has an urge to overeat.
The sufferers may overeat when they experience some emotional problems, for example, when they feel hurt, stressed or upset (though causes of binge eating disorder have not been fully studied). Eating makes them feel comfortable but after that they are likely to feel bad. Binge eating disorder can lead to serious consequences for health. The major complications are the diseases that accompany obesity. The sufferers are running the risk of high blood-pressure, heart-attacks, kidney-diseases, and other problems.
Both men and women suffer from binge eating disorders. Most people with such problems are obese, having more than 20 per cent above a healthy body weight. If we compare with other binge eating problems, 1 of 23 cases is anorexia, 3 have bulimia, and 19 are diagnosed with binge eating disorder. 2 per cent of all adults are considered to be affected with binge eating disorder but we shouldn't forget that many people tend not to talk about their problems with overeating and seek help as they feel guilty and embarrassed with themselves. It often happens that even family members and friends don't know that a person has binge eating difficulties
Very often weight and eating problems are a symptom of some underlying emotional difficulty. What you must remember is that there are many effective and constructive ways to cope with everyday stresses and troubles.