Binge Eating Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and More

Binge Eating Disorder
Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

What is Binge-Eating Disorder (BED)?

Binge Eating Disorder is the compulsive overeating where people eat great amounts of food at the same time has the feeling of powerlessness to stop from eating. People having this disorder usually do this in secret. Signs and symptoms of the disorder usually start in early adulthood or late adolescence.

Having this disorder may likely make you feel embarrassed about consuming and vowing to stop. You feel that compulsion to just eat and can’t resist the impulses and carry on binge eating. There are treatments in helping people with binge eating disorder.

Symptoms of BED

Behavioral Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating

  • Incapable to halt eating or regulate what you are eating
  • Quickly eating great amounts of food
  • Eating even when already full
  • Hiding or storing food to eat later in secret eat a lot when you’re alone
  • When you’re around people, you eat normally
  • You eat throughout the day, not following mealtimes

Emotional Symptoms of Compulsive Overeating

  • During times of stress , your way of relief is thru eating
  • Feeling embarrassed for what you are eating
  • Feeling numb while your bingeing
  • No matter how you eat, you won’t achieve satisfaction
  • After overeating, you feel guilty and depressed
  • Desperate when it comes to eating habits and weight control

Causes of BED

Usually it takes a mixture of different things to develop this eating disorder, taking into considerations the individual’s emotions, genes and experience.

1. Biological Causes of Binge Eating Disorder
Abnormalities biologically can also be a factor in binge eating. The Hypothalamus (portion of our brain that is responsible for controlling appetite) may have been sending incorrect messages about appetite and fullness. Having low levels of serotonins may also be a factor in compulsive eating.

2. Social and Cultural Causes of Binge Eating Disorder

The social pressure of being thin can surmount to the shame felt by binge eaters and may fuel their emotional eating. Few parents unknowingly set binge eating thru their children by offering food as a comfort or as a means of reward. Sexually abused children and children who are exposed from serious comments about their body and weight are vulnerable to binge eating.

3. Psychological Causes of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating and depression are somewhat connected. A lot of binge eating individuals are either depressed or have gone through depression. Contributory factors may include loneliness, low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction.

Diagnosis of BED

Binge eating is the same to Bulimia, another form of eating disorder. But, individuals who binge eat; don’t limit themselves of the extra calories they eat. That is why most people who are binge eaters are often overweight.

To diagnose an eating disorder, your physician may recommend:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood and urine tests
  • A psychological evaluation

Treatments for BED

There four types of treatment for individuals with binge eating disorder.

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is a form of treatment where they teach you on how to change unhealthy habits to healthy ones and limit bingeing episodes. Samples of psychotherapy are interpersonal psychotherapy, dialectical therapy and cognitive therapy.

2. Medications
Antidepressants and anticonvulsants such as Topamax when combined with psychotherapy may help in reducing* symptoms of binge eating.

3. Behavioral Weight-Loss Programs
Taking weight-loss programs for binge eaters are done through medical supervision to make sure that nutritional requirements are properly met. Weight-loss programs when combined with cognitive behavioral psychotherapy may greatly help in addressing binge triggers.

4. Self-Help Strategies
Many individuals with the disorder sometimes find self- help internet programs, videos, books, pamphlets or support groups. But, professional treatment along with psychotherapy and medications may still be needed.

Prevention For BED

Though there is no certain way in preventing binge eating disorder, if you notice that you have the symptoms, seek out the help of professionals. Physicians and health care provider can guide you on where to seek help.

If you know people with binge eating disorder, direct them to healthy behaviors and treatment before the condition worsens.

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Author

Expert Author : Jessica Ann Barazon (Consumer Health Digest)

Jessica Ann Barazon is a renowned health writer and enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement, ADHD, parenting, mental health, fitness and weight loss. She is especially interested in feminist ethics and psychology. Aside from writing she also loves food, dogs, fashion and travel.