Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder in which a person loses control over how much food they consume, usually to the point of feeling sick. People suffering from BED generally have guilty, unhealthy feelings about food. Binge Eating Disorder usually leads to plentiful weight gain or obesity, although it can occur in normal-weight people. Binge eating disorder is partly present in another eating disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, only people suffering from bulimia take extreme measures to “make up for” the excessive calories by purging, taking laxatives or excessively exercising. People suffering from BED don’t do those things.

Common Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Regularly loses control over food consumption
  • Eats a large amount of food in one sitting (more than what is considered a normal amount)
  • During a binge episode, eats rapidly
  • Eats until physically sick from being so full
  • Eats when not hungry, depressed or bored
  • Binges in private
  • Feels guilty and ashamed about eating habits
  • Gains considerable weight relatively quickly

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder

Nobody knows for sure what causes BED, although many studies have linked it to low levels of serotonin in the brain as well as depression. It’s unclear if one is the cause of the other or if there is a linked cause of both. Binge Eating Disorder is also related to compulsive behavior. Psychologically, binge eaters feel overwhelmed with pressure, perhaps from family, jobs or society.

Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder can be treated. You should not feel that you are hopeless or bound to continue the unhealthy cycle of binge eating. It’s important to seek help for your binge eating, and speaking regularly with a therapist is a good way to do this. A therapist can help you understand the underlying cause of your binge eating and help you gradually stop this negative and unhealthy way of life. Nutritionists and fitness experts are also extremely helpful for getting people back on track with a healthy food regimen. The program Overeater’s Anonymous is also a very helpful support group with a 12 Step program to help binge eaters, overeaters and compulsive eaters create a healthy relationship with food.

What Should You Do?

First of all, it’s important for you to come out of the dark with your problem. Since binge eating is usually done in private, family members aren’t even aware of the problem sometimes, so it’s a good idea to reach out to somebody you trust to gain support. Next, you can talk to your regular health care provider or research online to find a therapist that can help you. It’s also a good idea to join Overeaters Anonymous, where you can find people who relate, support and hope.

Links and Resources for Further Reading

  • Weight-control Information Network
  • Helpguide.org
  • Womenshealth.org

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