In talking about body image this week, we’re going to discuss 3 very harmful things people do to their bodies. Binge Eating, Bulemia and Anorexia are all eating disorders….not just “bad eating habits”. Each has devastating effects on the body and some effects that can be life-threatening. Here is a brief overview of each:
Binge Eating Disorder
- Frequent periods of eating large quantities of food in a short amount of time.
- Feeling out of control with the eating, and then feeling ashamed or remorse by the behavior
- Eating when you’re not hungry
- Eating in secret (hiding wrappers of food, eating in the middle of the night so no one sees you)
- Most people who suffer from binge eating also have symptoms of depression
- People struggling with binge eating often feel distress, shame, and guilt over their eating patterns.
- Consequences of this eating pattern can be: High blood pressure; high cholesterol; heart disease, diabetes; gallbladder disease.
Bulemia Nervosa Disorder
- Regular intake of food and losing control over the amount of food that is eaten.
- Regular behaviors of self-induced vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, fasting &/or compulsive exercise
- Showing extreme concern with body weight and shape.
Here are some warning signs of Bulemia: the earlier detected the better chance for recovery:
- noticing large amounts of food disappearing in short period of time
- noticing frequent trips to the bathroom after meals
- discoloration of the teeth
- unusual swelling of the cheek or jaw area
- characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss
- intense fears of weight-gain, becoming “fat”, even though they are underweight
- denial about how under-weight they are
- loss of menstrual period in girls and women post-puberty
Warning Signs of Anorexia: again, earlier found, the more successful treatment can be:
- refusal to eat certain foods for fear of gaining weight
- denial of hunger
- development of food rituals (only will eat food of certain colors, in a certain order, rearranging foods on a plate, etc…)
- avoids mealtime or has an excuse that allows them to always avoid mealtime or situations with food
With all of these eating disorders, it can create heart problems, digestive problems, bone problems, among other severe health risks. Not to mention the emotional toll and depression associated with them as well. If you or a loved one are struggling with any of these disorders, please get help immediately.
*Information adapted from the National Eating Disorders Association. For more information about NEDA, click here
Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.