Leigh Center

Binge eating is one of the newest health crises affecting the American public. It involved eating way more than is healthy or necessary in a single sitting, and it can become a deadly addiction. What are the dangers?

Your Brain On Dopamine

The after effects of binge eating are physically painful, so why do people do it? Binge eating makes the stomach full, which is pleasurable, and it also causes the brain to release dopamine. Quite simply, dopamine makes you feel good.

Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter released by the brain when recreational drugs or tobacco products are taken. Instinctually, the body wants to repeat any process that results in a huge dopamine reward.

The Insatiable Hunger

After the first binge eating session, a person will have to eat even more food in one sitting in order for the brain to release dopamine again. That means an extra large meal that caused a dopamine high once will have to be replaced by two extra large meals in the future.

After just a few sessions of binge eating, this habit becomes a mental addiction. Soon, a person is eating a day’s worth of calories in one meal.

The Slow Killing Of The Body

The American diet is already excessively sugary, and binge eating exacerbates the problem. When you eat too many calories in one sitting, the blood sugar level surges and crashes. This cycle is damaging to the pancreas, which tries to regulate blood sugar. Eventually, the pancreas stops working and the person develops type II diabetes.

Left untreated, diabetes slowly kills the body limb by limb. Simple cuts on toes and fingers become gangrene and necessitate amputation. Blindness is common, and hemodialysis becomes a way of life. A binge eating habit is just as deadly as a heroin one.