Eating Disorders In The 2slgbtqia+ Community
Folks in this community are disproportionately experiencing eating disorders. 2SLGBTQIA+ adults and adolescents are more likely to experience eating disorders and disordered eating behaviours in comparison to their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts.
Factors That May Lead to Developing an Eating Disorder:
- Fear or experience of rejection
- Internalized negative beliefs about oneself due to expression or identity
- Body image ideals within some 2SLGBTQIA+ cultural contexts
- Experiences of violence & post-traumatic stress disorder
- Discrimination or being a victim of bullying due to sexual orientation & /or gender identity
- Discordance between ones biological sex and gender identity
- Antibisexual discrimination
Gay Men and Eating Disorders:
- Gay men are more likely to have fasted, vomited, taken laxatives or diet pills to control their weight in the last 30 days
- Thought to only represent 5% of the total male population but among males who have eating disorders, 42% identify as gay
- 7 times more likely to report binging & 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males.
Lesbian Women and Eating Disorders:
- Adult lesbians have more frequent clinical diagnoses of binge eating disorders than heterosexual women.
- Binge eating occurs at a higher rate than any other sexual orientation group
- Weight dissatisfaction exhibited greater body dissatisfaction than heterosexual women
Bisexual Folks and Eating Disorders:
Transgender Folks and Eating Disorders:
How Is Binge Eating Disorder Different From Bulimia Nervosa
People who have bulimia nervosa routinely try to prevent weight gain after binge eating by vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or exercising excessively. People with binge eating disorder may occasionally try these strategies to avoid weight gain, but it is not a regular part of their binge-eating behavior.
Living With Binge Eating Disorder
People with binge eating disorders often experience negative consequences on their physical and mental health. Some of the ill-effects of this condition include:
Physical Health Problems
Obesity: People with binge eating disorders are at a high risk of obesity.
Heart disease: Binge eating can lead to heart disease and other health problems.
Diabetes: People with binge eating disorders are also at an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Gallbladder disease: Binge eating can damage the gallbladder, leading to diseases like gallstones.
Sleep apnea: People with binge eating disorders are at risk of developing sleep apnea. It is a condition that causes them to stop breathing during their sleep.
Mental Health Problems
Poor self-esteem: People with binge eating disorders often have low self-esteem and negative body image.
Depression: Many people with binge eating disorders are also diagnosed with depression.
Anxiety: People with binge eating disorders may also suffer from anxiety disorders.
Eating Disorders: Binge eating can lead to the development of other Eating Disorders. Such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
NOTE: When you have a binge eating disorder, it feels like the whole world is on your shoulders. Youre ashamed of yourself and feel guilty all the time. You may be so embarrassed that you hide your condition from family and friends. This can make you feel very isolated and alone.
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Cbt Is Recommended Ideally Within A Group Setting Treatment Would Involve
- Psychoeducation about food and food choices,
- Identifying triggers to binge eating
- Introducing regular eating patterns
- Addressing concerns about body, weight and shape
- Developing skills and alternative coping strategies for dealing with triggers to bingeing and
- Learning how to reduce and recover from lapses.
How To Help Someone With Binge Eating Disorder
If you suspect that your family member or friend may have binge eating disorder, let them know youre worried about them. Its a delicate conversation, and you should talk about your concerns and your loved ones struggles in a comforting, understanding way. Tell your loved one that BED is a real psychological problem that is treatable with talk therapy and medication. Be supportive, show your compassion, and encourage them to seek qualified, professional help.
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What Is An Eating Disorder
An eating disorder is a medical diagnosis based on your eating patterns. It involves medical tests on your weight, blood and body mass index .
An eating problem means any relationship with food that you find difficult. Not every eating problem will be diagnosed as a disorder.
Eating disorders are a diagnosed type of eating problem.
Diagnosing an eating disorder
Food is one of the many mediums through which our emotions and distress can be expressed.
Understanding feelings and behaviours linked to certain eating disorders can be helpful. This is true even if you don’t have a diagnosis. Or, if you prefer to consider your experiences in a non-medical way.
There can be complications in getting a formal diagnosis:
- If your problems with eating aren’t easy for your doctor to categorise, they might not give you a diagnosis.
- You may have a very difficult relationship with food which affects your mental health, but doesn’t fit into any current diagnoses.
- You may be experiencing more than one eating disorder, or symptoms from multiple disorders.
New Insights Into How Eating Disorders Alter The Brain
THURSDAY, July 1, 2021 — Behaviors associated with eating disorders can make real changes to the brain, new research shows. The findings could help explain why these serious disorders are often chronic — and may also point the way to new treatments.
Eating disorders â such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating disorder â can result in severe complications, including death. Related behaviors include binge-eating, purging and restricting food intake.
“This work is significant because it links biological and behavioral factors that interact to adversely impact eating behaviors,” said Janani Prabhakar, of the translational research division at the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health .
The study “deepens our knowledge . . . and will give researchers and clinicians better information about how, when, and with whom to intervene,” said Prabhakar, who was not part of the research team.
The researchers, led by Dr. Guido Frank of the University of California, San Diego, discovered that eating disorder behaviors change the brain’s reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these behaviors.
The NIH-supported study included nearly 200 women with different eating disorders and different body mass indexes associated with different eating disorder behaviors. Another 120 women without eating disorders also participated.
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What Are The Types Of Eating Disorders
Common types of eating disorders include:
- Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating. People with binge-eating disorder keep eating even after they are full. They often eat until they feel very uncomfortable. Afterward, they usually have feelings of guilt, shame, and distress. Eating too much too often can lead to weight gain and obesity. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
- Bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa also have periods of binge-eating. But afterwards, they purge, by making themselves throw up or using laxatives. They may also over-exercise or fast. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight.
- Anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia nervosa avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. Anorexia nervosa is the least common of the three eating disorders, but it is often the most serious. It has the highest death rate of any mental disorder.
What Are The Treatments For Eating Disorders
Treatment plans for eating disorders are tailored to individual needs. You will likely have a team of providers helping you, including doctors, nutritionists, nurses, and therapists. The treatments may include:
- Individual, group, and/or family psychotherapy. Individual therapy may include cognitive behavioral approaches, which help you to identify and change negative and unhelpful thoughts. It also helps you build coping skills and change behavioral patterns.
- Medical care and monitoring, including care for the complications that eating disorders can cause
- Nutrition counseling. Doctors, nurses, and counselors will help you eat healthy to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
- Medicines, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers, may help treat some eating disorders. The medicines can also help with the depression and anxiety symptoms that often go along with eating disorders.
Some people with serious eating disorders may need to be in a hospital or in a residential treatment program. Residential treatment programs combine housing and treatment services.
NIH: National Institute of Mental Health
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How Is Binge Eating Disorder Treated
Beating binge eating disorder is not about willpower.
Sometimes medications such as lisdexamfetamine will be prescribed to suppress the desire to binge eat. It is the first FDA-approved drug to treat moderate to severe binge eating by curbing the binge eating episodes. You also need the help of a specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
They may use an approach called cognitive behavior therapy, which focuses on what you do and how you feel. It can help you change your thoughts about eating and understand what triggers your binges.
Your therapist may suggest that you include your family in counseling so they can learn about the disorder, spot sources of stress at home, and know how to support you. Family support is very important to treatment success. It is important that they understand the eating disorder and recognize its signs and symptoms.
Ask your doctor or therapist about finding a support group in your area. It can help to talk to other people who know what you’re going through.
You also may need help with other conditions, such as depression or anxiety. A doctor may prescribe an antidepressant, a drug to help manage the urge to binge , or other medications. A new medication, naltrexone hcl/bupropion hcl , helps with weight loss.
Why Is It Bad To Binge Eat
If you overeat once in a while, it will leave you with a bellyache, and the adverse effects are temporary. But if you binge eat regularly, that leads to serious consequences physical, emotional, and social.
Binge eating disorder is a serious condition that severely interferes with ones health and happiness. Unlike people with bulimia, binge eaters dont purge or try to compensate for their eating by exercising. As a result, they put on weight. Binge eating disorder is often associated with obesity and can have other long-term effects like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
But the impact of excessive eating is not limited to physical threats. It results in psychological issues like feelings of worthlessness, self-hatred, anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and social isolation. It all creates a vicious cycle and makes you powerless, so binge eating disorder may also impact your career, finances, and relationships, and you may find it difficult to function in daily life due to the severity of this illness.
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Other Specified Feeding And Eating Disorder
If you get an OSFED diagnosis, you have an eating disorder. However, you don’t meet all the criteria for anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.
This doesn’t mean that your eating disorder is less serious.
OSFED just means that your disorder doesn’t fit into current diagnoses. Getting a diagnosis of OSFED can help you access treatment and support.
You can experience any feelings, actions or body changes linked to other eating disorders.
Previously, OSFED was known as âeating disorder not otherwise specifiedâ .
For more details, see Beat’s information about OSFED.
âI was assessed by my local eating disorder service and was given a diagnosis of EDNOS. I managed to get my eating back on track. I continue to work on the feelings with the help of my therapist and am very much in recovery.â
What Are Behavioral Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms
Exactly what people do during a binge eating episode varies from person to personits a lot different from simply overeating at dinner. Not everyone experiences all of these symptoms, and you may have others that arent mentioned here. If you occasionally eat your breakfast in a rush to get out the door, that would not signify binge eating disorder. Its when you display multiple eating behaviors and generally feel out of control in these moments that could signal a problem.
Even so, a few behaviors stand out as binge eating disorder symptoms, according to the NEDA. They can include:
- Eating large amounts in brief periods
- Eating in a rush
- Avoiding events where people will be eating
- Eating on intense impulse, rather than on a schedule
- Restricting what you eat in public and bingeing when youre alone
- Creating lifestyle schedules or rituals around binge eating, such as avoiding activities with friends to make time for binge eating or rituals like not allowing foods to touch
- Criticizing your body cruelly and relentlessly
- Trying numerous fad diets
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Why Do Some People Binge Eat
Experts don’t know the exact cause of binge eating disorder. It’s likely a combination of things, including genetics, family eating habits, emotions, and eating behavior, like skipping meals. Some people use food as a way to soothe themselves or to cope with difficult feelings.
Binge Eating Disorder At A Glance
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Reasonable Exercise Plans For Someone Recovering From Binge Eating Disorder
For those struggling with binge eating disorder, their exercise patterns tend to mirror their eating patterns falling prey to an all-or-nothing tendency. With food, this involves a restriction/binge cycle and for exercise, this all-or-nothing tendency usually shows up as a cycle of no pain/no gain exercise and then being sedentary.
Night Eating Syndrome: So Much More Than Just A Bedtime Snack
Night Eating Syndrome was first recognized in 1955 by American psychiatrist, Dr. Albert Stunkard. NES is an eating disorder in which the affected individual wakes several times in the middle of the night and is unable to fall back asleep without eating, even though he or she is not actually hungry. The food eaten is often unhealthy and calorie-dense.
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Bed Research: What Do We Know
Since Binge Eating Disorder was first mentioned in the second edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1987, research on BED has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. In fact, in 2013, BED was added to the latest, fifth edition, of the DSM as its own diagnosis.
What Are Physical Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms
During a binge episode, you might not notice anything other than the drive to keep eating. But afterward, a host of physical symptoms may begin. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Nutrients,2 these can include:
- Stomach discomfort, pain, or cramping
- Nausea or feeling ill
- Constipation or feeling blocked
- Weight gain
If the eating pattern continues, you might notice that your bodys hunger and fullness signals change, too. If you are less sensitive to those signals, it can affect your ability to stop eating during a binge episode.
Its important to know that even though weight gain is a symptom, not everyone with binge eating disorder is overweight and most people diagnosed with obesity dont have binge eating disorderBED can develop at any weight. Since people with BED often take great pains to hide their eating behaviors, you may not even know if a friend or loved one is struggling with this.3
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How Can I Get Help
It’s hard to know how many people may binge eat. Because people often feel guilty or embarrassed about out-of-control eating, many don’t talk about it or get help.
Because of these feelings, many people don’t get treatment for binge eating until they’re older. But getting help early makes it more likely that a person can get better before it causes health problems related to weight gain.
People with binge disorders are best treated by a team that includes a doctor, dietitian, and therapist. Treatment includes nutrition counseling, medical care, and talk therapy . The doctor might prescribe medicine to treat binge eating, anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.
If you binge eat, these tips can help:
- Don’t skip meals. You are more likely to overeat if you get too hungry.
- Practice mindful eating. Pay attention to what you eat and notice when you feel full.
- Identify triggers. Make a plan for how you can avoid or manage things that trigger bingeing.
- Be active. Regular exercise can feel good and help you manage your weight.
- Find ways to cope with strong feelings. Express yourself through music, art, dance, or writing. Talk to a friend or trusted adult, or try yoga, meditation, or taking a couple of deep breaths to relax.
You may find that it helps to surround yourself with supportive family members and friends. It’s best to avoid people who make negative comments about eating or weight because they can make you feel worse.
Getting Help For Binge Eating Disorder
If you think you may have binge eating disorder, see a GP as soon as you can.
They’ll ask you about your eating habits and how you’re feeling, and check your weight and overall health.
The GP should refer you to an eating disorder specialist or team of specialists if they think you have binge eating disorder or another eating disorder.
It can be hard to admit you need help with an eating disorder, so bringing a friend or loved one with you to your appointment may help.
You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from eating disorders charity Beat by calling its adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.
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