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Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder: Help, Support and Overcome

Binge Eating Disorder Overview

One eating disorder which is closely associated with mental health is binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating. People suffering from this health condition exhibit a loss of control over the consumption of food. They consume food uncontrollably, in huge quantities, even when they are not hungry. Eating rapidly, usually in private, an attempt to hide the binge episodes, and the feeling of shame and guilt after binge eating are some of the common characteristics of this condition. According to a survey, almost 3.5% of women and 2% of men in the United States have been diagnosed with this condition. Recent research has shown that people suffering from this eating disorder suffer from various health issues. Some of these are depression, suicidal thoughts, troubles related to normal sleep, joint and muscle pain and digestive disorders to name a few. There are strong chances of gaining weight in this condition which increases the risk of health complications such as diabetes, heart related diseases, high blood pressure and gallbladder disease.

Help and Support for Binge Eating Disorder

Though there are speculations about the main causes of binge eating disorder, stress and depression are considered the primary reason behind it. Research has shown that strong emotions of boredom, anger, low self esteem or sadness may trigger off binge eating. Experts feel that it is a genetic disorder. Research is still going on to find out the role of metabolism and brain chemicals in the development of this eating disorder. Sometimes, even unhealthy methods of dieting may contribute to binge eating which results in a gradual health breakdown.

 

Some people confuse overeating at certain occasions to be a binge eating disorder, when it is not so. People with binge eating disorder not only overeat but they do so frequently, throughout the day. In this case, eating food is no longer associated with hunger or satisfaction but is carried out as an activity, mostly to give vent to some emotions. In most cases, these emotions are negative in nature and patients try to relieve themselves from these feelings through consuming food. Hence, the quantity or nature of food is not taken into consideration which increases the risk of ailments. But the reaction after binge eating is of frustration and guilt. People with this disorder feel ashamed to eat socially and try to hide their eating habits. Physically, they experience sudden craving for some food item and psychologically they feel anxious and depressed about the situation. Impulsive behavior is also common in this condition. These symptoms along with a physical and mental evaluation and history of the patient helps a doctor in the diagnosis of this disorder.

Overcome Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is curable with psychotherapy, nutritional counseling or medication depending on the needs of the patient. At times, a combination of both behavioral therapy and drugs is recommended to the patients for best results. Psychotherapy involves CBT, Interpersonal therapy and Dialectical behavior therapy whereas common drugs prescribed for this condition are antidepressants and anticonvulsant drugs. These drugs may result in certain side effects such as burning sensation or trouble in the thought process. The treatment usually takes a long period of time till the patient acquires healthy eating patterns. Family and support groups play a vital role in establishing faith in the treatment and finally help the person to get rid of binge eating disorder. 

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