Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), is a very common condition in women of childbearing age. What are the symptoms of PCOS?
- Cysts (small fluid-filled sacs) in the ovaries.
- Testosterone imbalance
- Excess body hair
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Irregular periods
- Metabolic syndrome
Here’s what women with PCOS should know about binge eating disorder.
What is Binge eating disorder?
BED is the most common eating disorder. It affects more people than any other eating disorder. It is probably also the most underdiagnosed. As people who have a disordered relationship with food feel ashamed and do not like to talk about it. They will generally look for help online and try out crazy fad diets to lose weight quickly.
A binge generally looks like eating a large amount of food within an hour. This would keep happening once a week for at least 3 months. Those with BED feel that their eating is out of control during a binge and find binges very upsetting. To me, BED used to feel like I was out of control. I used to feel like I on autopilot.
Binge Eating Disorder and PCOS
After being diagnosed with PCOS myself I wondered whether there was any relationship between my binges and PCOS. After doing lots of research it all fell into place. Women with PCOS have disordered satiety hormones. So when we eat we do not feel satisfied. We also tend to suffer from Acne – which is something I struggled with for over 6 years and this damages self-esteem. We all know that when we are feeling bad about ourselves many of us turn to food for comfort and this, of course, leads to guilt, more eating and the cycle goes on. Many women also suffer from either hair loss (which is not something I struggled with), increased carb cravings due to insulin resistance and weight gain due to disordered hunger hormones and sex hormones amongst other things.
Eating disorder recovery takes time and the person suffering from the eating disorder needs to learn new coping tools and mechanisms to manage emotions, identify triggers, and deal with stress without using food or unhealthy behaviours. This is work that I do with my 1:1 clients. I also have shorter courses available that you can do as self-study.