Binge Eating Disorder (Eating Large Amount of Food)
A person with BED will eat large amounts of food in a short period of time. They may also have other symptoms such as: mood swings, anxiety, depression or irritability.
There are different types of BED including bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating disorder. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent episodes of purging behavior. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by excessive preoccupation with body image and restricting dieting behaviors. Binge eating disorder involves the repeated consumption of foods that cause severe distress or interfere with normal functioning.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
The main symptom associated with binge eating disorder is the disturbance in control over one’s eating habits, which results in weight loss despite physical hunger. Other symptoms include:
Weight loss without any physical hunger.
Feeling full immediately after eating, but feeling less satisfied later.
Anxiety or restlessness during or shortly after meals. These feelings usually subside within 1–2 hours.
However, they may persist up to several days. Symptoms of restlessness may include: insomnia; nervousness; difficulty concentrating; irritability; and racing thoughts or ideas (anhedonia).
Frequent eating binges, or feeling out of control during binging behavior. The frequency of eating binges may vary widely among people with BED.
Some people may binge 2-3 times a week, while others binge 2-3 times a day. A person with binge eating disorder will continue to eat even when they’re uncomfortably full. Most people with BED have no feelings of being unable to stop eating or loss of control while eating.
Frequent dieting. People with binge eating disorder go on frequent diets in order to compensate for their large intake of food.
These diets rarely work because a person will binge on the restricted foods as soon as they’re allowed. This behavior usually leads to a worsening of their binge-related behaviors.
Self-loathing and depression, without any physiological cause, during and after a binge. The feelings of depression that result from a binge are sometimes referred to as “FOO syndrome,” which stands for “f*cked-up-o-meter.” Although the person feels depressed, it is not actually a symptom of depression.
A physical cause for the feelings of depression has not been established, except to say that some parts of the brain may be malfunctioning during these events.
Long-term effects of binge eating disorder
In addition to these symptoms, other long-term effects of binge eating disorder include:
Difficulty forming relationships. Binge eating, in general, prevents intimacy in relationships.
Loved ones of people with this disorder may feel neglected. The compulsive over-eating that occurs during a binge causes low self-esteem and self-worth.
Physical problems. People with binge eating disorder may have dental problems or gall stones.
They may also suffer from pancreatitis or obesity.
Emotional stress. A person with BED feels shame after overeating and often turns to food for comfort.
These feelings of shame may lead to low self-esteem and may cause social anxiety or depression.
Feelings of guilt. A person with binge eating disorder feels extreme guilt after a binge, and may turn to dieting or over-exercising as a way to compensate for overeating.
These feelings may lead to suicidal thoughts in some people.
What causes binge eating disorder?
The causes of binge eating disorder are not fully understood, although there are several factors that seem to play a role in this eating disorder. These factors include genetics, biology, and environmental influences.
Genetics. There is evidence that binge eating disorder is at least partly genetic.
If one identical twin is diagnosed with the condition, the other twin has a 60% chance of also having the disorder.
Biology. People with a biological family history of eating disorders are also more likely to develop binge eating disorder.
Environmental factors. Negative environmental factors may also contribute to the development of binge eating disorder.
These could include sexual or physical abuse, as well as a lack of parental supervision or poor parental relationships.
Who is at risk for binge eating disorder?
Anyone can develop binge eating disorder, but certain groups of people are at a higher risk of developing the condition. These groups include:
Girls and women
People with a history of obesity
People with a family history of eating disorders or substance abuse
People diagnosed with binge eating disorder are also more likely to suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. These mental illnesses often go hand in hand with binge eating disorder and may need to be treated in order to achieve effective binge eating disorder treatment.
How is binge eating disorder diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you a series of questions relating to your past health and your family history. Gather any information you have about your family’s dieting habits, obesity problems and attitudes towards food. Your doctor will also ask questions about your own dieting habits and exercise routine.
Sources & references used in this article:
Back on track: confronting post-surgical weight gain by C Bennett – 2006 – Penguin
21st century boys: How modern life is driving them off the rails and how we can get them back on track by KE Stewart, ME Olbrisch, MK Bean – Bariatric Nursing and Surgical …, 2010 – liebertpub.com
Just one more: How journalists frame binge watching by S Palmer – 2009 – books.google.com
Dialectical behavior therapy for binge‐eating disorder by M Boskind-White, WC White – 1991 – WW Norton & Company
Dialectical behavior therapy modified for adolescent binge eating disorder: A case report by R Pierce-Grove – First Monday, 2017 – journals.uic.edu
Getting better bite by bite: a survival kit for sufferers of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders by S Wiser, CF Telch – Journal of clinical psychology, 1999 – Wiley Online Library