Sorry It's been a couple of weeks since my last blog. Uni deadlines have gotten in the way and not even the Coronavirus can stop that..... 🤷♂️
I'm back now though but deciding what to write about this week was a bit of a mission so for some inspiration I went to google and did a deep dive. I wanted to know what people we're focusing on at the minute and it was a bit of a surprise but the topic of binge eating was at the top of the list.
People seem to be really struggling at the minute. The lock-down and pandemic appears to be triggering people's mental health and coping strategies which is resulting in some people developing unhealthy relationships with food as a way of coping.
So for this week I'd like to talk to you about that and give you a little heads up about what you should know on the topic of Binge eating.
What is A binge eating disorder?
Binge eating involves two key features:
• Eating large amounts of food within a short period of time. Usually within a couple of hours.
• Feeling out of control and unable to stop eating
The reasons for developing A Binge Eating Disorder will differ from person to person. Research says that It can occur in people of all ages and genders, across all groups and from any cultural backgrounds.
Unlike other eating disorders A person suffering with A binge eating disorder will not engage in throwing up after their binge.
Unhealthy Binge Eating Habits
A binge eater will repeatedly engage in episodes of ever eating, often in short spaces of time.
In these eating sessions they will lose all self control leaving them unable to stop and resulting in physical discomfort and harmful feelings of guilt and shame.
People with binge eating disorders often express feelings of embarrassment, shame and guilt not only because of their eating sessions but with their attitude and behaviour during these eating sessions.
They are often triggered at times of stress, emotional discomfort and boredom. They use eating as a way of coping with difficult emotions and events. It is a very personal issue to some so often sufferers are very secretive about their disability. Their Embarrassment leads to them isolating themselves so they can engage in binge eating without people knowing.
Having an awareness about Binge Eating Disorders, It's diagnosis and related factors can make a make a huge impact on a persons care and recovery.
Early intervention and treatment has been proven to work far more effective than if the diagnosis was delayed allowing the disability to get a firm grip on the person.
Early signs of A binge eating disorder include;
• Feeling tired and not sleeping well
• Feeling bloated, constipated or developing an intolerance to food
• Overly focused on eating, food, body shape and weight
• Extreme body dissatisfaction and embarrassment about the way they look.
• Feelings of extreme distress, sadness, anxiety and guilt
• Issues with self esteem and confidence
• Increased sensitivity to comments relating to food, weight, obesity and engaging in healthy activity.
• Depression and anxiety
What are the signs of binge eating?
• Hiding food and food wrappers around the house
• Avoiding questions relating to their overeating and nutrition
• Out of character behaviour (e.g. shoplifting food or spending large amounts of money on food)
• Self harm & increased risk of substance abuse
What are the risks?
• Osteoarthritis - a painful form of degenerative arthritis in which a person’s joints degrade in quality and can lead to loss of cartilage
• Chronic kidney problems or kidney failure
• High blood pressure and/or high cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease
The earlier a person seeks help the better the chance of recover. GP’s are usually a good place to start in seeking help. They will be able to refer the person to suitable organisations that will be able to provide effective advice and treatment.
The internet can also be a good starting point to find help. There''s plenty of organisations online that can be contacted (anonymously if needed) that give really amazing help and advice to those who need it..... I've listed a few at the bottom for anyone who wants them.
If you or someone you know is struggling with eating habits please don't feel alone. The most important thing to remember with any mental health issue is that you don't have to deal with it on your own. If you can talk to others about it that's great. If not I've included some links to helpful websites that will be able to give you some really good help & advice.