Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Eating Disorder

Signs and Symptoms of Compulsive Eating Disorder

A compulsive eating disorder, also known as binge eating, is the consumption of huge amounts of food and the inability to stop such behavior. Compulsive eating disorder is the most common of the eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia. Health experts believe that compulsive eating disorder may be caused by physical, emotional or sexual abuse, depression and an obsession with dieting and body image (body dysmorphia). Certain signs and symptoms may reveal if someone has a binge eating disorder.

Excessive Food Amounts
Someone with a compulsive eating disorder will eat a large amount of food at one sitting. They will eat quickly, stuffing food into their mouths as fast as possible. Secretly stashing food away is also a sign of compulsive eating. The compulsive eater may collect empty food containers and hoard them away. They eat until they are past being full and may become nauseous. Hunger has nothing to do with the compulsive eater. They eat whether they are hungry or not. Most compulsive eaters are overweight as they do not purge the food they eat, but some binge eaters may have a normal weight.

Depression
A person may experience distress during and after compulsive eating. Bouts of depression may surface and lead to more binge eating. She may feel guilty or disgusted with herself for the lack of self-control when eating. She may want to eat alone because she is ashamed of the way she eats and how much she eats.

Obsession
Someone with a compulsive eating disorder obsesses about food. They will think about food constantly, anticipating the next meal and what will be consumed. This is an unhealthy obsession that the sufferer feels powerless to control. Food dominates their life, and they feel they cannot escape it.

Illness
People with a compulsive eating disorder may develop diseases and complications from their unhealthy lifestyle, including diabetes, gall bladder attacks, high blood pressure, intestinal problems, heart disease, panic attacks and sleep apnea. If you or someone you know suffers from a compulsive eating disorder, seek out medical help. A physician can prescribe medications, and there are excellent organizations available for therapeutic modalities, including OA (Overeaters Anonymous).