Symptoms, causes, and management for binge eating disorder Health

Symptoms, causes, and management for binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorder is a condition wherein one frequently consumes large portions of food and cannot stop eating. We have had days when we overeat, especially during a holiday or special occasion. But that is not the same as binge eating disorder. A person with a binge eating disorder may feel embarrassed about overeating and vow to stop but may be unable to fight their compulsion. However, certain treatments can help a person overcome binge eating disorder.

Typically, people with binge eating disorder experience some emotional and behavioral symptoms. These include:

Eating even when not hungry

Frequently eating alone or secretly eating

Not stopping till one is uncomfortably full

Eating very fast

Eating unusually large portions of food in a short duration

Feeling ashamed, depressed, upset, or guilty about overeating

Unlike a person dealing with bulimia, in binge eating disorder, one does not typically compensate for the extra calories by excessively exercising, using laxatives, or vomiting. Instead, a person tries to eat typical meals or put oneself on some fad meal plans to shed some pounds, but it only results in more binge eating. One can understand the severity of the problem by determining how frequently one experiences the binging episodes.

The causes of binge eating disorder are not understood, but some factors can aggravate one’s likelihood of developing this disorder. These include:

Binge eating disorder is more prevalent in women than men, predominantly because of the underlying biological factors.

Those with the disorder have increased dopamine sensitivity, a chemical responsible for the feelings of pleasure and reward. Some studies suggest that it is inherited.

Altercation in the brain structure
Studies suggest that people with binge eating disorder
may have some alterations in brain structure, resulting in an aggravated response to food with little to no self-control.

Body image
People suffering from binge eating disorder have a negative body image that aggravates the development of this condition.

Binge eating
Those with binge eating disorder report a history of binge eating as the first symptom of the condition, especially during their childhood or teenage years.

Emotional trauma
Some life events, like separation, death, or car accident, are prominent risk factors. Childhood bullying may also add to it.

Other psychological conditions
Every 8 in 10 people with binge eating disorder have one or the other psychological disorder like depression, phobia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Binge eating episodes may be triggered by negative feelings related to the body, boredom, availability of food, or stress.

Certain treatments can help a person get rid of unusual overeating by overcoming a binge eating disorder. One can find effective treatments that help manage one’s eating behaviors to overcome binge eating disorder. Depending on the case, the doctor may advise prescription options, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.

Prescription treatment
Doctors can prescribe some options that can be helpful in the treatment. These may include anti-anxiety or antidepressants, or remedies to monitor appetite and compulsions. Sometimes, doctors may prescribe certain ADHD treatment options as well.

Interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapy can help with binge eating disorder treatments. It focuses on assessing and changing negative thought patterns that add to unwanted behaviors.

Coping with binge eating disorder
Beyond outside support and treatment, one can also do some things to control and avoid binge eating episodes. These include:

Avoiding boredom
A person is more likely to indulge in binge eating when bored. So, one must find ways to spend time with productive and enjoyable activities.

Maintain a food journal
One can practice writing down everything one eats to watch for a pattern.

Focus on the food
Never eat while watching a movie, TV program, or reading a book. It is best to turn off all the devices and have a meal without distractions. This helps one understand the quantity of food one eats.

Remove all the binge foods from the pantry
Get rid of foods that trigger binge eating episodes. If one does not see the food one binge on, the urge to eat will also reduce with time.

Understand the hunger pattern
Some people binge eat when they get over-hungry. So, understand the hunger cues and focus on eating a healthy snack or meal before getting to the point of being over-hungry.