Contributed by- Dr. Snehal Singh
Feeling guilty about overeating last night? Do you often feel this way? Being a foodie is good but overeating is not! If you eat big meals regularly and later feel guilty about it, you need to be careful. This could be BINGE EATING, an eating disorder, experienced by many. In this, you may consume large amounts of food in an uncontrolled manner and then feel guilty about it.
Restricting calories or keeping yourself away from essential foods can cause binge eating. Surprisingly, many health conscious people face this problem. Others become binge eaters due to genetics, hormonal problems, digestive troubles, trauma or emotional issues. Whatever be the reason, binge eating can have a negative impact on your health. It can effect you both physically and mentally and can leave short term and long term impact as well.
Here are 6 health problems caused by binge eating:
In binge eating you have long periods of health-conscious food or eating less followed by overeating, mostly energy rich foods. This directly affects digestion and can cause bloating, indigestion or heartburn. These 3 are the commonest short-term effects of binge eating. You may notice these immediately after binge eating and as your tummy is not used to it, you face more difficulties. If you have repeated constipation, diarrhoea, stomach aches and indigestion, check your eating habits and refrain from binge eating.
One of the most popular physical effects of binge eating is weight gain. During binge eating, you tend to lose control and eat in large amounts. These foods are usually meant to satisfy your taste buds as well as emotional imbalance. You surely will not turn towards salads and health foods. You would be more tempted to have calorie rich, comfort foods, which are often high in fat and sugar. All this, can only add to your weight and increase your risk of other diseases too.
While emotional issues are known to cause binge eating, such overindulgence in food can again cause emotional problems. It can then become a vicious circle, difficult to break. Mood changes, anxiety, irritability, guilt and depression are common mental effects of binge eating. To overcome this, you may want to gain emotional stability and treat conditions that affect your emotional balance.
High lipid levels
Sudden intake of large fatty foods, clubbed with emotional disturbances is a favourable environment for raising lipid levels. While genetics too plays an important role, it may also influence your eating habits and increase your risk for high cholesterol and triglycerides. You may eat clean and lean through weekdays, but if your weekends are calorie rich, it’s time you plan a healthy diet regime!
Diabetes and hormone problems
When you consider the physical effects of binge eating, one of the major health risks is diabetes. As binge eating is also linked to stress hormones, overindulgence in food can affect your hormones. This can increase the chances of metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes, thyroid and hormonal imbalance. Get yourself evaluated for these and find the right treatment.
One of the most significant adverse effects of binge eating, is not getting enough nutrition. Your whole purpose of eating food is in doubt with binge eating. When you indulge in empty calories or high fatty foods with no nutritive value, you are putting your health at greater risk. You need proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals and all essential nutrients for a healthy life. With binge eating, you deprive yourself of nutritional foods; developing an unhealthy pattern of eating less and then eating more, that too unhealthy foods which is dangerous. Check your nutritional levels and treat deficiencies, if any.
Let us now have a look at the long term effects of binge eating on your physical health. Several studies have shown that binge eating can increase your risk of lifestyle disorders like high blood pressure, heart diseases, gall bladder and liver disease, digestive problems and some types of cancers too.
After a binge, the feeling of guilt and depression for having eaten, are the most popular short-term effects of binge eating. This can disturb you to a great extent and cause further lack of self-control. Hence, it is necessary to identify the condition and get it treated right way.
Know your binge eating health risks
If you are a binge eater, you need to make the necessary changes in your diet and lifestyle. Follow a healthy lifestyle, with a balanced diet, good sleep and regular exercises. This can help gain control of your hunger, diet and metabolism, thus reducing your risk of diseases.
Most important, know your health risks and take the necessary action.
- Get your liver function tests and tests for digestive enzymes to check your digestion.
- Check your lipid levels and get the right treatment now.
- For a binge eater, diabetes is a major risk. Check your risk for diabetes.
- Check hormone levels. Know if binge eating is affecting your hormones.
- Get tested to rule out nutritional deficiencies.
Getting the right treatment of binge eating is necessary. Treatment may include relieving symptoms of short term problems. Treatment can be given to control blood sugar, high blood pressure, high lipid levels and hormonal problems.
Now that it is clear that binge eating can do more harm than good, it is best to refrain from binge eating and follow a healthy diet plan. Nutritious diet, regular physical activity, stress management and regular check-ups can protect your health.
Say NO to binge eating! Say YES to a healthy lifestyle!
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