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Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder - Heart Disease

written by: micsan07 • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 8/22/2010

Binge eating disorder and heart disease are often found together. Binge eaters tend to be overweight which in turn puts them at greater risk of heart disease. Getting treatment to help the binge eating habit can help to prevent heart disease through healthy eating and weight management.

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    Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder - Heart Disease

    It's a fact that binge eating disorder and heart disease can go hand in hand. Unlike bulimia and anorexia, where individuals often appear of average weight or are very thin, individuals with binge eating disorder tend to be heavier weighted. They may even be obese.

    With heavy weight gain and obesity, the binge eating disorder sufferers run the risk of developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart conditions. Any and all of these conditions can seriously affect an individual's health.

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    The Circle That Can Cause Heart Disease

    Binge eaters often consume very large portions of food at a seating on a regular basis. They tend to eat quickly when by themselves, eat while their minds are on other things like television or homework, and don't stop putting food in their mouths when they feel full.

    Binge eaters don't eat because they want to become overweight. They eat because they have an emotional response to food and feel out of control. They may feel as if food brings them comfort or acceptance and then, once they've eaten, the guilt, the frustration, and anger move in and they get upset at themselves for eating so much.

    Being stressed, frustrated, upset, hurt, angry, jealous, and other emotional triggers may lead to more binge eating which can lead to more weight gain and risk of heart disease. It's a circle of unhealthy behaviors and feelings that feed on each other and often causes the unhealthy cycle to continue.

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    What Binge Habits Need To Be Broken To Prevent Heart Disease

    In order to know how to help the binge eating and heart disease caused by it, overeating problem parameters need to be addressed.

    • Bingers usually do so at least a few times a week over a period of six months and more.
    • Most will eat their portions quicker than individuals without binge eating disorder.
    • They will eat until they are very full and uncomfortable, sometimes even almost in pain.
    • Even when they are not hungry, they will eat huge amounts of food.
    • They eat alone to avoid being embarrassed or ashamed.
    • After binging, there is a wide range of strong emotions. They may experience shame, disgust, guilt, or depression.
    • They gain excessive weight as they intake many more calories than they expend in exercise.

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    Professionals Can Help To Break Bad Eating Habits

    Binge eating disorder sufferers should have access to professional assistance. There are cases where binge eating is caused by imbalances or brain chemistry, things that are beyond their control. Professionals like physicians, nutrition experts, and counselors can work together as a team to help sufferers manage their weight through better eating habits and controlling their feelings.

    Food plans, learning healthy eating habits, and exercise can become part of a daily routine where binge eaters can relearn healthy habits that can fight weight gain naturally and deflect heart disease conditions.

    Learning to have a respect for food and not use it as a crutch or allow an emotion to trigger a binge eating episode is very important to the success of a healthy eating regimen.

    Therapists may be able to find patterns in relationships with the family that can help the binge eater resolve eating habits. Family influences might be modified to assist in healthier habits and regain confidence in themselves.

    It's all about changing unhealthy patterns to patterns and habits that the binge eater can live with to attain their goal of a healthier, better lifestyle.

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    Tips For Binge Eaters to Kick the Habit

    While professional help can help to make the transition from unhappy binge eater to confident healthy eater a safe process, the individual can also make a few lifestyle changes to help themselves.

    Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and family. Many eating disorder sufferers are happily relieved when they see how willing close friends and family are to help in any way they can. A supportive and encouraging team that is always close by can mean the difference between having a difficult transition time and a more comfortable one.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don't skip it. There are studies that show people who take the time to eat breakfast are usually thinner than those who do not eat breakfast.

    Get rid of junk food, empty carb foods, and any food that is not healthy in the house. Clean the cupboards and the refrigerator and replace with healthy, fresh foods that will tempt the palette and help reduce weight gain.

    Don't diet. Eat foods that are enjoyable and moderate the portions. Eat with family members and friends who are aware that new eating habits are being developed to attain a healthier weight to avoid heart disease.

    Exercise. Find someone who is willing to take a brisk walk daily, the family dog may be a perfect candidate. Skip the escalator or elevator and find the stairs. Start parking at the far end of the parking lot and walk in instead of cruising to find a close parking space near a store entrance. Moving more and eating healthy is always the best way to better weight maintenance and improve heart health.

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    References

    Eating Disorder Expert - Heart Problems and Eating Disorders: http://www.eatingdisorderexpert.co.uk/HeartProblemsAndEatingDisorders.html

    Kids Health - Binge Eating Disorder: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/binge_eating.html?tracking=T_RelatedArticle#

    Help Guide - Binge Eating: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/binge_eating_disorder.htm

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