All You Need To Know About Binge Eating Disorder: Does It Need A Treatment?

Frequently consuming unusually large amounts of food in one sitting and feeling that eating behavior is out of control is a sign of Binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorder or BED is a type of eating and feeding disorder that is now officially considered for diagnosis. Around 2% of people who are affected by this can also cause other health issues linked to diets, such as high cholesterol levels and diabetes.

This disorder is not related to only food but is also related to psychiatric problems. It is typically developed among people due to their way of dealing with deeper issues or another psychological condition, such as anxiety or depression.

Frequently consuming unusually large amounts of food in one sitting and feeling that eating behavior is out of control is a sign of Binge eating disorder.

What are the symptoms of Binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder is a state when people tend to eat a lot of food in a short amount of time even if they aren’t hungry.

Though there are other aspects of this too which are commonly related to emotional stress or distress that often plays a role in triggering a period of binge eating disorder. It is also reported that the person might feel released or relieved during a binge but at the same time, they might also feel ashamed about it. 

Some of the symptoms of BED are-

  • Eating much more rapidly than normal
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts even if you are not hungry
  • Eating alone due to feelings of embarrassment and shame
  • Feeling of guilt or disgust with oneself
  • People with BED often feel extremely happy or distress about overeating, body shape, and weight

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What are the causes of Binge eating disorder?

Though the causes of BED are not fully known it is considered that a variety of genetic, environmental, social, and psychological risks are associated with its development.

Some of the common causes that are seen are due to an underlying disease or gorging into a social environment more than before, like overindulging at a holiday celebration or consuming a lot of calories in preparation for an athletic event such as a marathon.

Other causes include:

Genetics- It can be related to genetics too. People with BED often have increased sensitivity to dopamine, a chemical in the brain that’s responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure. And this is an evidence that the disorder is inherited

Gender- It is more common in women than in men, according to studies. In the United States, 3.6% of women experience BED at some point in their lives, compared with 2.0% of men. 

Emotional trauma- Emotional trauma is also a common cause of BED. Cases like stressful life, such as abuse, death, separation from a family member, or a car accident, are risk factors.

Body size- Body size matters a lot in BED cases as about 50% of the people with BED have obesity and around 25–50% of patients seeking weight loss surgery meet the criteria for BED. Weight problems can both be a cause and a result of the disorder

Changes in the Brain- Changes in the brain indicate that people are with BED. The certain changes in the brain structure result in a heightened response to food and less self-control

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What are the treatment options available?

The treatment of BED highly depends on the cause’s severity of the eating disorder, as well as on individual goals. The major treatment targets of BED are the severity of the eating disorder, as well as individual goals. 

While, there are some therapy options available for Binge eating disorder which include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, weight loss therapy, and medication. But these are carried out based on cases. 

In some cases, just one type of therapy may be required, while others may need to try different combinations until they find the right fit

What are the health risks involved?

BED comes with several health risks of significant physical, emotional, and social problems.

According to reports, up to 50% of people with BED have obesity and the disorder can be solely responsible for gaining weight and developing obesity. This later on eventually increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

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