Can you binge eat without purging?

In this guide,  we will address the query, “ can you binge eat without purging?” and other related queries on this subject including the difference between binge eating and purging, types of purging, eating disorders associated with binge eating and purging and finally,  signs and symptoms of binge eating and purging disorders.

Can you binge eat without purging?

Yes, you can binge eat without purging. Binge eating is a symptom of a binge eating disorder. This is a disorder predominantly characterized by episodes of excessive and uncontrolled eating over a short period of time. 

Purging which refers to measures intended to remove food from the body to prevent weight gain is a symptom of the eating disorder bulimia nervosa.

What is the difference between binge eating and purging?

The difference between binge eating and purging is that while binge eating is a behavioral symptom of an eating disorder, purging can be both a symptom of bulimia nervosa and a disorder known as purging disorder. 

What are the different types of purging?

Purging or efforts to remove calories from the body can take different forms. These include:

Vomiting 

Vomiting is one of the most commonly known forms of purging. It entails an individual sticking their fingers down the throat to stimulate gag reflex and remove stomach contents. 

This form of purging tends to be accompanied by complaints such as sore throat, inflammation of the esophagus, gastric reflux and vomiting of blood. 

Excessive exercising

This form of purging involves the individual spending a huge amount of time exercising with the aim of burning calories from a binge. It involves exercise which interferes with other significant activities and over prolonged time periods. It can go unnoticed as exercising is generally seen as a positive habit. 

Diarrhea

Misuse of laxatives and sometimes diuretics are used to achieve diarrhea as a method of purging. The use of these drugs can damage the intestines causing the individual to become dependent on the stimulants. It can also cause malnutrition. 

What eating disorders are associated with binge eating and purging?

The eating disorders associated with binge eating and purging are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and purging disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight and accompanied by behavioral measures to ensure this is accomplished. It can either be restrictive eating only or restrictive eating mingled with purging.  

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by frequent episodes of binge eating, followed by compensatory mechanisms of purging to prevent weight gain. It is an eating disorder which features both binge eating and purging behavior.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of binging without compensatory measures to follow, that is purging. A binge entails eating large quantities of food, rapidly and over a short period. 

There is also a feeling of lack of control which can be distressing to the individual. In many cases but not all, BED results in overweight or obesity.

Purging disorder

Although not listed as an official disorder by the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), it is an eating disorder characterized by purging without binging. In other words, it can be thought of as bulimia nervosa without excessive and uncontrolled eating.

What are some of the signs and symptoms of binge eating and purging disorders? 

Some signs and symptoms can be able to tell us whether we or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder. 

Signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder 

  • Discomfort when eating around people.
  • The disappearance of food in large amounts over short periods.
  • Hoarding and hiding food in unusual places
  • Frequent fad dieting
  • Guilt and embarrassment after binging
  • Obsessive thoughts over food

Signs and symptoms of purging disorder

  • Russell’s sign where calluses form on the knuckles
  • Frequent diarrhea and abdominal cramps
  • Excessive exercising and fasting
  • Fear of weight gain 
  • Esteem issues based on weight and bodily appearance

If you believe you’ve suffered or are suffering from any form of disordered eating, please seek professional help at the earliest opportunity by reaching out to an organization such as NEDA.

Conclusion

In this guide,  we have addressed the query, “ can you binge eat without purging?” and other related queries on this subject including the difference between binge eating and purging, types of purging, eating disorders associated with binge eating and purging and finally,  signs and symptoms of binge eating and purging disorders.

References

https://www.verywellmind.com/bingeing-and-purging-22148

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/bed

https://www.verywellmind.com/purging-disorder-4157658

Krause’s Food and Nutrition Care Process (14th Edition 2016) by Mahan, L. Kathleen, Raymond, Janice L.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.