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Binge Eating Causes and Risk Factors

Binge Eating Causes and Risk Factors
Binge eating disorder
Causes and Risk Factors

What causes binge eating?
Although there is no specific known cause of binge eating disorder, several factors may increase the likelihood of binge-eating disorder development. Whereas anorexia typically affects teenagers and young adults, binge eating affects an older age group: those 46-55. Both blacks and whites are affected equally by binge eating. And, for every two men who have binge eating disorder, three women have it. Other risk factors for developing binge eating include:

Emotional disorders - Many binge eaters experience emotional problems before binge-eating: they may feel stressed, angry, sad, have sleep difficulties, and have anxiety. Additionally, while many binge eaters are diagnosed with depression, or have been depressed previously (up to 50%), depression may or may not cause binge-eating. Depression could also result from binge-eating disorder. Binge-eaters may also be impulsive, and thus feel a lack of control over their behaviour. Or, they may be more likely to abuse alcohol. Additionally, they may feel more isolated from their community and so, do not talk about their emotions with others

Dieting - Unhealthy dieting practices may contribute to binge eating. These include skipping entire meals or not eating enough food each day in an attempt to lose weight. After doing this, some binge-eaters begin bingeing.

Genetics - A family history of binge eating is linked to binge eating disorder. Members of the same family are frequently diagnosed with the disorder.

Complications of binge eating disorder
Numerous complications are associated with binge-eating disorder. These complications are not just emotional, but physical as well. Physical complications of bingeing may occur over time due to accumulated weight gain. These physical problems are also associated with being overweight or being obese. Possible complications of binge eating include:

  • Cancer
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Headache
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Menstrual complications
  • Type 2 diabetes

Because binge eating is associated with many other health complications, it's important to recognize the symptoms so that you can help yourself or a loved one. Doing so can lead to treatment of a possible binge eating disorder, and any underlying causes of it (e.g. stress or anxiety). Read on to learn about identifying binge eating signs in our next section on Bingeing Symptoms.

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Tags: being overweight, complications, Cholesterol, Depression, menstrual, treatment, age group, symptoms, Diabetes, Headache, fatigue, dieting, Anxiety, attempt, affects, Stress, Cancer, muscle, weight, heart
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