Binge Eating

Binge eating is a very serious eating disorder, which is commonly known as binge eating disorder. Basically, in this disorder, a binge eater consumes large amount of food. It is a disorder in which a person regularly does overeating and no matter how hard they try to control their urge to eat, they fail to do so.

There can be many symptoms of binge eating, few of them are:

  1. Over-weight or obese
  2. Consumption of large amount of meal usually in between specific hours. Like overeating every 2 hours.
  3. Having an internal feeling that no matter how hard you try you’re just unable to control your eating
  4. Consumption of food even when not hungry at all
  5. Eating rapidly
  6. Regretting about eating habits but still cannot work accordingly

Above mentioned were a few of the symptoms of binge eating. However, there is another eating disorder which is known as bulimia and chances are people may get confused in between binge eating and bulimia. In bulimia also, there is usually overeating but with compensation. Bulimics individual tend to eat more but then they compensate it by taking emetic drugs to induce vomiting, ingestion of laxative or getting involved in vigorous exercise. However, in binge eating, there is no compensation after eating.

A binge eater may try to diet to get control over their eating habits but in doing so they get extremely depressed and this results in over binge eating. The severity of binge eating depends upon how frequently the episodes of a binge are taking place. For those individuals who are experiencing these symptoms, it is very much crucial for them to pay a visit to their doctors because these symptoms will not resolve on its own, seeking medical help on time is the only way to help a binge eater. Another important information related to binge eating is that eating habits tend to get worse if left untreated.

People may wonder what are the factors that make an individual to eat this much but the fact is, there are unknown causes of binge eating. However, it may be due to:

  1. Family history, there can be defects in the gene and these genes are transferred from parents to offspring. Therefore, the habit of binge eating tends to run in the family.
  2. Biological factor
  3. Long-term dieting, when a person restricts his/her desire to eat when on diet, there are increased chances that when that person will get an opportunity of meal cheat they tend to overeat.
  4. Psychological factor, this usually happen when a person has low self-esteem or when they are in stress or going through extreme boredom. These psychological conditions can make an individual to eat more.

Above mentioned few of the causes are also the risk factors. Those individuals who fall under these categories are more prone to suffer from binge eating disorder.

Since in binge eating, there is over-consumption of food and this will obviously affect the calorie intake. Therefore, there are loads of complication associated with binge eating. Few of the following of the complications are:

  1. Poor body image, this can be due to increased weight and obesity.
  2. Social isolation, when a person doesn’t feel confident about his/her body, their confidence is usually shattered and they do not feel comfortable in gatherings. Therefore, it can lead to social isolation.
  3. Obesity which is obviously due to over-consumption of calories.
  4. Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), when a person overeats the cardiac sphincter which is located in between esophagus and stomach does not close properly and there is increase chance of backflow of gastric content into the esophagus. This can cause symptoms like heart burn.
  5. Diabetes Type 2, obese and overweight people are more prone to acquire diabetes type 2 due to insulin resistance.

No matter how severe this condition seems, but there is always certain treatment option available to help an individual to manage their illness. The main objective of treatment is so to manage the eating habits and help an individual to lose weight. Following are the treatment options available for a binge eating:

  1. Psychotherapy, since a binge eater suffers psychologically due to low self-esteem therefore, it is crucial to begin psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can consist of 3 types of therapy which include:
    1. Cognitive behavioral therapy, this therapy will work in order to treat the mood swings, bad mood, depression which can trigger binge eating. This is one of the ways through which an individual can have a better sense of control over their eating habits.
    2. Interpersonal psychotherapy, to improve the way how you get along with others. It can improve your relations with family, co-workers, and friends. This therapy also tends to boost communication skills.
    3. Dialectical behavior therapy is done to help individual to learn how to manage stress and improve their emotions.
  2. Medications, which stimulate the central nervous system and treats depression can help in controlling the satiety. Thereby, helping so as to control binge eating habits.
  3. Weight loss program, it has been observed that most of the binge eater had tried to lose weight on its own. Therefore, a proper weight loss program is important to help them regulate their calorie intake and calorie expenditure.
  4. Lifestyle modification, an individual should be told that they have to stick to their medical regimen and stay compliant to their treatment plan.

Cases of obesity are rising at a pretty greater pace and this can impose a serious risk to the health of an individual. Binge eating can affect the overall health of an individual and therefore it is a matter of concern. Those who are aware of the fact that they are indulging in binge eating should take strict measure to help themselves and if not possible then seeking medical help can help them treat their condition.

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