Binge eating disorder is one of the most common eating disorders in the world right now. Previously seen as just being greedy, it is now recognized for the condition that it is. However, sufferers still feel ashamed about that they do, they still hide it and in many cases they still suffer from stigma associated with it. In this guide we’ll look at binge eating disorder treatment, causes, definitions and more.
Binge Eating Disorder
The majority of people with binge eating disorder are obese. But not all of them. This is key, because many people are dismissive of binge eating issues if the person is of an average build. They don’t think that a problem exists, and that can lead to the problem getting worse.
Binge eating disorder is also connected to other issues, many of which are more serious. One of the most common illnesses associated with binge eating disorder is depression, but everything from bipolar disorder to anxiety disorders and substance abuse problems may also be causing the binge eating.
What is Binge Eating Disorder: Definition
Binge eating is defined as an eating disorder whereby the sufferer overindulges, eating until they feel uncomfortable and far surpassing the amount of food they should be eating. Unlike overeating, where someone eats a lot throughout the day, binge eating disorder is characterized by occasional episodes of massive consumption.
A binge eater may eat little to nothing for most of the day, only to pig-out at night. They often eat alone because they are ashamed; they tend to feel guilty afterwards; and they may eat at a rapid pace. The type of food they eat can vary, but they ted to focus on energy dense foods that are generally unhealthy.
Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms
The symptoms of binge eating disorder generally include overeating. This may or may not be done when the binge eater is alone, but they offer feel a great deal of guilt afterwards. They may even tell themselves that they will never do it again and that this final piece of food will be their last. They may plan to diet and to eat smaller amounts henceforth.
But the very next day they are back to their binge eating ways. This is the life of a binge eater. It is troubling. It is difficult to live through. And because of the excessive consumption in a short space of time, as well as the unhealthy foods often consumed, this can be a very unhealthy condition.
Binge Eating Disorder Quiz
If you answer yes to more than half of the following questions in this binge eating disorder quiz then you may be a binge eater and you should seek help for this issue:
- Do you eat most of your daily calories in a single sitting?
- Do you eat until you feel uncomfortable, as opposed to when you feel full?
- Do you feel ashamed/guilty after these eating sessions?
- Do you try to eat alone?
- Do you try to eat at night?
- Do you feel depressed before and after?
- Do you find yourself eating out of “boredom”?
- Do you eat when you’re not hungry?
These are the questions you need to answer. You should disregard weight, previous history and other things that you might commonly associate with binge eating disorder and focus just on the eating.
Binge Eating on Medication
There are medications that trigger an insatiable hunger and causes excessive eating. In some cases it may be that the medication triggers a depression of sorts and that this is causes the binge eating. But in most cases it’s a direct result of the medication making the patient feel like there is a constant emptiness in their stomach and a hunger that just can not be sated.
Binge Eating Disorder Treatment and Therapy
There are medications for binge eating disorder (discussed further below) and there are also supplements that can be used to curb the appetite. However, one of the best treatments for this disorder is to simply focus on underlying causes.
Mood changes, depression, stress and anxiety are some of the main causes for binge eating, so one of the best courses of treatment is to try and bring the levels of tension, stress and depression down. A lack of sleep may also be a major trigger, so that is another issue that should be addressed.
Anything from SSRI medications, counseling sessions and sleep therapy, to a range of alternative therapies can help to raise the mood and may therefore be able to help with binge eating disorder. You can get help for binge eating disorder by visiting a therapist or by going to see your doctor.
If that’s just not an option, for whatever reason, then there are also methods you can try yourself. You know yourself better than anyone. You should know what the triggers are and what the underlying issues are. So, focus on those, focus on your mood, and the binge eating disorder may disappear.
How to Stop Binge Eating
As mentioned above, you should focus on the underlying issues first. Diet is often seen as the answer, but this can be very difficult when the cause of the been eating has not been addressed. You will need to diet. You will need to focus on eating small meals throughout he day, on cutting down on sugar and fat and on exercising, but because binge eating involves eating when you’re not hungry and doesn’t therefore revolve around the natural process of feeling hungry, eating and feeling satisfied, then the other issues need to be addressed first.
One you start to tackle the tension, stress, depression and whatever else is going on, then you need to focus on eating healthier and occupying the mind as well as the body. More exercise works, as does giving you mind something to do, such as with a new hobby. Once you have tired out the body and the mind and don’t allow space for all those guilty thoughts and all those cravings, then you can stop binge eating.
Cause of Binge Eating Disorder
There is no direct and obvious cause for binge eating disorder. It may be caused by hormonal issues and certain imbalances. It may also be triggered by stress, depression and other psychological issues. There are too many potential causes and too many different triggers for there to be any single cause.
That’s why it’s important to diagnose each individual case and to get to the bottom of that case before prescribing the best course of treatment.
Binge Eating Disorder Medication
There are a number of medications that can help with binge eating disorder. There is a risk of these being abused though, partly because they can trigger addiction and abuse, and partly because they may be sought out by people looking for dieting short-cuts.
Some of the medications that ay be able to help with binge eating disorder include Topamax (topiramate) and Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine). Generally SSRI medications are well tolerated for binge eating disorders because they can suppress the appetite, level the mood and also address any underlying mental health issues that may be causing the disorder.
These medications are not prescribed freely and they should not be taken lightly. So, discuss the issues with your doctor first and they will prescribe the medication that they think is best for you and your situation, taking your symptoms and your history and physiology into account.