Binge Eating Disorder Is Different From Overeating

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Overeating is a compulsive issue which can bring many health issues, emotional issues, and even issues in relationships to a person’s life. Twelve step groups have been created to help people overcome their issues with food, eating, and overeating. Through these groups individuals are able to recognize the powerlessness they have over eating and food, then find a way to create normalcy in their diet. Overeating is often emotionally tied to trauma, abuse, or low self-esteem. People are taught from a young age that food is therapy, eating to celebrate, eating to mourn, eating to self-medicate, and eating to self-punish.

Binge eating disorder is different from overeating or emotional eating. As the disorder has gained mainstream notoriety, more research is being dedicated to the severe eating disorder which can cause serious health implications and harm quality of life. Research has found that there is a chemical disconnect between the stomach and the brain in people with binge eating disorder. Once someone with binge eating disorder starts eating, they cannot recognize when they are full or when they have had enough food. Whereas someone with a chronic overeating problem may have a compulsion to continue eating, they have the ability to feel full and recognize fullness. This is not the same for people with binge eating disorder.

Side Effects Of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder can cause significant damage to the heart, liver, and kidneys, which are all needed for regulating the intake of large amounts of food. Psychologically, binge eating disorder can cause anxiety and depression. Asia One reports that most often, binge eating disorder is co-occurring with an anxiety disorder- not just symptoms of anxiety, but a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

  • Weight gain 
  • Metabolic issues including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor body image
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Does Binge Eating Include Purging?

Overeaters tend to compensate for their overeating through dieting, exercise, or restrictive trends. Overeating and other eating disorders are different, however, as is binge eating disorder from other eating disorders. Though someone with binge eating disorder will experience remorse, guilt, and shame after a binge eating episode, they will not attempt to compensate for the intake of food. Compulsive exercise, purging, or restriction are not traits of binge eating disorder.


Is binge eating disorder treatable? Treatment is available for binge eating disorder. There are methods of therapy, diet, and nutrition which can help reset the stomach-mind connection while healing the underlying causes for compulsive binge eating. Avalon By The Sea offers a unique treatment program for binge eating disorder through our primary mental health treatment facility, one of California’s few. For a confidential assessment and more information, call us today at 888-958-7511.

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