Type III Diabetes: The Binge Eater’s Diabetes

The real physical tragedies we endure from BED are mistakenly not the extra pounds we tote around with. The true physical damages lay in a less visible area, inside our bodies. Our body is actually an extremely delicate system that needs a very specific recipe of nutrients, minerals and water in order to function properly. Also necessary for maintaining an efficiently running body is the inclusion of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. “Binge eaters have been known to habitually eat one type of food more often than other types, depending on personal preference. Binge eaters tend to choose unhealthy, fatty, sugary or processed products”. [7] Not only are we ingesting all the wrong types of foods, we are screwing with the proper flow of important components causing our bodies to become disease stricken. Whether we are obtaining too much or too little of all the right things, bottom line is we are messing with the harmony of our system causing ourselves to become sicker than just is the head.

In addition to the well-known outcome of becoming obese, research suggests that BED could cause some of the following complications: [8]

  • Subcutaneous abdomen injectionType 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease and strokes
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep)
  • Osteoarthritis (a disease where the joints wear down, causing stiffness and pain)
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Irregular periods and infertility in women
  • Pregnancy problems, such as high blood sugar during pregnancy, high blood pressure, and increased risk for cesarean delivery (C-section)

The first disease on this list (and most commonly acquired from BED) is type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is when “the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Insulin is necessary for the body to be able to use glucose for energy”. [8] Acquiring type II diabetes from weight gain is a misconception. Actually, those at a normal weight with type II diabetes are twice as likely to die from it compared to their overweight counterparts.[9] It is genetics and lifestyle attributions that contribute to this disease.  “Research has shown that drinking sugary drinks is linked to type 2 diabetes” [8]. I particularly don’t like sugary drinks. What I do like is cupcakes, ice cream, cookies and pretty much any other type of sweet treat. Since I don’t like sugary drinks though does that mean I am safe? I wouldn’t go that far. Using common sense the difference between sugary drinks and non-sugary drinks is, drumroll please, SUAGR. And sweets are, well, sweet because of sugar. I think it would be safe to assume that any sugary item in excess is a huge contributor to of type II diabetes.

The increased risk of diabetes as a cause of  sugar consumption, has definitely crossed my mind, and with utter disgust. I’ve always thought what could be more embarrassing than getting diabetes because I had one too many cupcakes in life?  In my eyes there should be a third type of diabetes, “Type III Diabetes: the Binge Eaters’ Diabetes”.  The one you get from living a super unhealthy, binge crazed lifestyle. What could be more appalling than facing friends and family, being if anything mildly overweight (like a pound our two), to explain I have type II diabetes? It would be considered the equivalency of a cigarette smoker getting lung cancer, or an alcoholic having liver damage. While their vices cause (a good percentage of the time) irreplaceable damage, so could ours.

Motivationally speaking, being aware of the complications that BED causes inside and out, it would be in our best interest to try harder than we already do to put a stop to it. It is extremely frightening to think that we spend time, energy, money, sweat and tears on causing these damages to our bodies. Is there anything uglier than purposely wreaking havoc on our, very beautifully created, biological system? Probably not.

“What’s the whole point of being pretty on the outside when you’re so ugly on the inside?”
Jess C. Scott, I’m Pretty

[7] “Binge Eating Disorder.” WIN –. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013.

[8] “Diabetes Basics.” Diabetes Myths. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 May 2013.

[9] “Normal-Weight People With Type 2 Diabetes Have Higher Death Risk: Study.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 07 Aug. 2012. Web. 31 May 2013.

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Trigger Happy

When John Lennon wrote, Pistol in a plate on the served table“Happiness Is a Warm Gun”, I think what he meant to write was “Happiness is a Warm Freaking Plate of Chocolate Chip Cookies”. That is how us binge-eaters see it. Plain and simple, food brings us happiness. Initially, this is our thought process. However, in the wake of the binge we are left feeling the very opposite of happiness.

If we could curb our craving to one or even two cookies we would be ok. Heck at that point we wouldn’t really even be binge eaters, would we? But we don’t. We can, but we don’t. The reason we don’t put our hands to our side and step away from the plate of cookies is because of a little term known as “trigger foods”. Trigger foods “can be described as any food that, when eaten, makes one crave more of either that particular food or just food in general. This often leads to a binge – a period of uncontrolled and compulsive overeating.” [6] A trigger food can be any type of food. In my experience my trigger foods tend to be the ones that I have vowed to restrict from my diet. Generally foods that fall into this category are sweet treats, chocolate, and carb dense foods. By not allowing certain foods in my diet I tend to crave these foods the most. Typically, I try to extinguish the idea of giving in, but it will build and build until I feel like I may absolutely explode. Upon giving in, the floodgate busts open and I am left feeling uncomfortably full, disgusted embarrassed, tired, and lonely. Binge eating is a very lonely place, but we will save that for another post.

In my case, I would say that avoiding my trigger foods is far from helpful. Avoiding them at all costs only makes me rebel. So I do the exact opposite. I accept that I want it, that I am going to have it, and that I am going to have it in moderation. By doing this I stay in control. When the urge to continues to strike I distract myself. I sit down read a book, go for a run, walk the dog, meditate, take a bath, whatever I can do to otherwise engage my mind before it kicks into overdrive on the binge highway. This takes practice, and it is not 100% flawless, but eventually it does get easier to do. I look at it this way, allowing a treat of about a 100 or so calories into my daily diet is better than restricting, becoming frustrated and bingeing out on say 15-30 the amount of calories. Yes, 15-30. The typical binge is anywhere from 1500-3000 calories. [5] Take the risk to make a change. It does work, and while we may suffer a bit in the beginning, the end result of being in control is the sweetest treat of all.

To think food actually brings happiness is a silly notion

References

[6] Horowitz, Erica. “What Is a Trigger food?” About.com Women’s Issues. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2013.