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What Is Binge Eating Disorder Caused By

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Genetic And Environmental Factors Related To Eating Disorders

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Eating disorders tend to run in families, and female relatives are the most often affected. That is why genetic factors are believed to play a role in the disorders.

But, other influences, both behavioral and environmental, may also play a role. Consider these facts from the American Psychiatric Association:

  • Most people with binge eating disorder are adolescent and young adult women. Yet this disorder can also affect older women and males of any age.

  • People pursuing professions or activities that emphasize thinness, like modeling, dancing, gymnastics, wrestling, and long-distance running, are more prone to this disorder.

Identify Your Triggers With A Food And Mood Diary

One of the best ways to identify the patterns behind your binge eating is to keep track with a food and mood diary. Every time you overeat or feel compelled to reach for your version of comfort food Kryptonite, take a moment to figure out what triggered the urge. If you backtrack, youll usually find an upsetting event that kicked off the binge.

Write it all down in your food and mood diary: what you ate , what happened to upset you, how you felt before you ate, what you felt as you were eating, and how you felt afterward. Over time, youll see a pattern emerge.

Bed Holistic Health And Weight Loss

Overweight binge eaters represent a collision of two traditional treatment worlds: eating disorders and weight control. 30-40% of those seeking weight loss treatment meet the criteria for BED. In a residential weight control treatment setting, this link between overweight/obesity and binge eating is striking. Our mean BMI is 43.3 and data suggest that 43.7 % of our participants have BED. A host of co-morbidities results from this combination of eating pathology and obesity.

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Binge Eating Disorder And Tips To Manage The Condition

Binge Eating Disorder is a form of eating disorder when a person regularly consumes more food than intended. It is also commonly referred to as compulsive overeating.

People who are diagnosed with BED consume food excessively until they are uncomfortably full without purging. The aftermath of their episode is usually an overwhelming sense of guilt or shame and can result in an extended period of self-loathing. Regular bingeing can also lead to various health issues such as weight gain and heart disease. However, BED is more than just about food. It is a recognised psychological condition that is best treated with a plan designed by a medical professional.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been an increase in binge eating cases in Singapore, with Singapore General Hospital seeing a 15% uptick in cases as compared to pre-pandemic. According to KK Womens and Childrens Hospital, Despite the medical complications and relatively high prevalence, eating disorders are not referred early for effective treatment due to the lack of specificity of the initial presentation and the range of clinical presentation.

In this piece, Yahoo Life SEA outlines six helpful strategies on how to reduce episodes of binge eating which one can incorporate into their daily lives to support their recovery.

1. Seek medical help

2. Meal planning

3. Food journaling

4. Practising mindfulness

5. Setting a meal schedule

6. Forget about dieting

What Are Some Tips For Success If You Are Living With Binge Eating Disorder


Tips for success

The following are some ideas that may be beneficial to help control or prevent binge eating:

  • An important way to decrease the urge to binge eat is to recognize your own hunger cues. Possible signs of hunger include:
  • Stomach growling
  • Irritability/crankiness
  • Low blood sugar
  • Try using a hunger scale of 1 to 5 with 1 = lack of hunger and 5 = starving. Try responding to hunger when you are at a 3 = urge to eat is strong. Sometimes waiting until you are at a 5 can trigger binge behavior.
  • Cleanse your home of all binge foods. If there are particular problem foods that you usually binge on, try not to have those foods in your home. If a spouse or family member insists on having those foods around, insist that they hide them from you. You can also have your spouse or family member give you a designated portion of these binge foods, so you feel less deprived. It is helpful to eat these foods when you are not alone.
  • Identify triggers. For example, dont meet someone at a bakery if thats your weakness! Skip the all-you-can-eat buffets or potluck dinners where the temptation to overeat is overwhelming. Try to engage in more non-food social activities as much as possible.
  • Make eating a singular activity. Avoid doing multiple activities while eating, such as working in front of the computer, watching TV, driving, or reading. You want to be mindful about what you eat and how the food tastes.
  • Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/05/2019.

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    Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

    Treatment for BED can be crucial in reducing the lifetime prevalence of the disorder, that is, reducing the likelihood one will struggle with BED behaviors for their lifetime.

    As with most eating disorders, the number one, evidence-based treatment recommended is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . One study notes that CBT has higher abstinence, is well-tolerated, and maintains remission for 1 or 2 years . CBT focuses on the impact that beliefs and thoughts have on subsequent feelings and behaviors, encouraging individuals to alter their core beliefs and thoughts in a way that then alters their behaviors.

    Dialectical Behavior Therapy is also recommended, as it was created for individuals that struggle with emotion regulation, which is also correlated with BED. DBT focuses on how one can regulate their emotional states, tolerate distress, exist within the present moment, and communicate needs to others. All of these skills work effectively to reduce BED symptoms as well as the symptoms of disorders that often co-occur with BED.

    Regardless of the theoretical orientation to treatment, the key is to receive treatment at all. Of course, be a conscious consumer and do not be afraid to ask your treatment team if they are using the most up-to-date, evidence-based treatments and, if they are not, why they are not. Even so, the likelihood of individual achieving remission of BED symptoms and recovery increases with any type of mental health treatment.

    Webinar: Understanding The Facts About Binge Eating Disorder

    Presented by: Allan S Kaplan MD MSc FRCP is currently a Senior Clinician/Scientist, Chief of Research at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and Vice-Chair for Research and Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto. He is also Director of the Institute of Medical Science, School of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Medicine. He was the inaugural Loretta Anne Rogers Chair in Eating Disorders at Toronto General Hospital and is currently Senior Scientist, Toronto General Research Institute. He received his medical, psychiatric, and graduate school training at the University of Toronto. He has worked in the field of eating disorders for 30 years, has lectured widely on various topics in the field, published 150 peer-reviewed articles, two books, 50 book chapters, and over 200 abstracts. He is the Past President of both the Academy for Eating Disorders, the largest organization of eating disorder professionals in the world and the International Eating Disorder Research Society. He has been a continuously funded peer-reviewed investigator since 1992 and has received grant support from the National Institute of Mental Health in the USA and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in Canada.

    There are also three types of therapy that can be especially helpful in the treatment of BED. These therapies are:

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    Bed & Bariatric Surgery Or The Sleeve

    Countless individuals struggle with Binge Eating Disorder throughout our nation though many suffer in silence due to the fears and stigmas that surround this painful disorder. A common physical effect that can result from BED is obesity, which can result from consuming a greater amount of food than is needed over time.

    Breaking 5 Myths Of Binge Eating

    What Causes Binge Eating? | Eating Disorders

    Binge Eating Disorder is the most common of all the eating disorders but incongruently, with the least treatment options for the sufferers. Until recently, BED was not even recognized as an actual disorder and could not be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by The American Psychiatric Association.

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    Renegotiating Binge Foods In Bed Recovery

    Many individuals who struggle with binge eating also may have particular foods that trigger binge episodes. Foods that are higher in carbohydrates and fats can cause the release of the hormone serotonin in the brain, which can induce pleasurable feelings. For this reason, people who are dealing with binge eating disorder often gravitate towards foods with these components, either for comfort or as a means of escaping from difficult situations.

    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.

    People with binge eating disorder are more likely to have other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder , and ADHD.

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    Tip : Support Yourself With Healthy Lifestyle Habits

    When youre physically strong, relaxed, and well rested, youre better able to handle the curveballs that life inevitably throws your way. But when youre already exhausted and overwhelmed, any little hiccup has the potential to send you off the rails and straight toward the refrigerator. Exercise, sleep, and other healthy lifestyle habits will help you get through difficult times without binge eating.

    Make time for regular exercise. Physical activity does wonders for your mood and your energy levels, and its also a powerful stress reducer. The natural mood-boosting effects of exercise can help put a stop to emotional eating.

    Get enough sleep every night. When you dont get the sleep you need, your body craves sugary foods that will give you a quick energy boost. Sleep deprivation may even trigger food addiction. Getting plenty of rest will help with appetite control and reduce food cravings, and support your mood.

    Connect with others. Dont underestimate the importance of close relationships and social activities. Youre more likely to succumb to binge eating triggers if you lack a solid support network. Talking helps, even if its not with a professional.

    Manage stress. One of the most important aspects of controlling binge eating is to find alternate ways to handle stress and other overwhelming feelings without using food. These may include meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.

    Emotional Or Psychological Trauma


    Those who experience trauma, whether they seek professional help or not, often find ways to cope with their experiences on their own. Binge eating behaviors may be one way that people cope with their trauma, according to research published in Psychiatry Research. The pleasure derived from eating masks the negative emotions that come from traumatic experiences. As a result, trauma can be a risk factor for this eating disorder.

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    Interview With Carolyn Costin

    Interview with Carolyn Costin: I had been recovered from anorexia nervosa for a while and my friends knew this so when a young girl with anorexia needed help people sought me out. When I saw this person it was like I knew the inside of her mind. She felt understood and she got better. Then I got another referral and she got better too. Soon people all around my town and the surrounding cities started referring to me. It was only then, that I knew I had to do this work.

    Mindful Eating And Bed

    When it comes to eating, binge eating disorder may appear to be a food-related problem only. However, mindfulness teaches the practice or state of conscious awareness of oneself, the present moment, thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. Integrating mindfulness techniques in binge eating disorder treatment has been shown to reduce binge eating, improve nutritional outcomes, improve weight management, as well as enhance diabetes management.

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    Anxiety Depression & Other Co

    78.9% of those with BED experience a co-occurring diagnosis, as BED behaviors can be a maladaptive coping skill or increase symptoms of other mental disorders such as depression or anxiety.

    Anxiety Disorders: Many individuals that struggle with clinical anxiety present with disordered relationships to food. This could be a result of using food to cope with emotional dysregulation. It is also likely that the opposite is true and that the shame, guilt, secrecy, and feelings of loss of control that occur with binge eating result in increased anxiety symptoms.

    Mood Disorders: Mood disorders, such as Major Depressive Disorder or Bipolar Disorder, are experienced by 46.4% of those with a BED diagnosis. This is unsurprising, as, similar to anxiety disorders, many individuals seek to cope with uncomfortable emotional states using food. This correlation may also occur due to an individuals self-view and self-worth being impacted by their binge eating behaviors. Binge eating episodes can also lead to feelings of hopelessness or despair as one feels they cannot control their behaviors.

    Other Co-Occurring Diagnosis: The relationship between BED and other diagnoses are similar to those with mood and anxiety disorders, with the disorders fueling one another. Some other disorders that commonly co-occur with BED include impulse control disorders and substance use disorders.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Binge Eating Disorder

    What Causes Binge Eating Disorder?

    It is characterized by repeated episodes of uncontrolled bingeing and feelings of extreme shame and distress. It usually begins in the late teens to early twenties, although it can occur at any age. It is a chronic disease and can last for many years.

    Like other eating disorders, it is more common in women than in men. However, it is the most common type among men. An episode of binge eating is characterized by eating larger than normal amounts of food in a relatively short period of time, this behavior is accompanied by feelings of distress and lack of control.

    For a doctor to diagnose it, the following symptoms must be present:

    • Eating much faster than normal.
    • Eating until uncomfortably full.
    • Eat large amounts without feeling hungry.
    • Eating alone due to feelings of shame.
    • Feelings of guilt or disgust with oneself.
    • Subjective loss of control over how much or what to eat.

    People often experience feelings of extreme unhappiness and distress due to their overeating, body shape and weight, although some may occasionally overeat, such as at Thanksgiving or at a party, this does not mean they have binge eating disorder, despite having experienced any of the symptoms listed above.

    To be diagnosed, people must have had at least one binge episode per week for a minimum of three months. Severity ranges from mild, which is characterized by one to three binge episodes per week, to extreme, which is characterized by 14 or more episodes per week.

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    Take Our Quiz And See

    Food addiction can show itself in many different ways. We thought we lacked willpower or self-discipline. Many of us had self-discipline in other areas of our lives, but not with food. Or if we sometimes restrained our eating while on a diet, it never lasted very long.

    We heard people express feelings of low self-esteem, fear, doubt, insecurity, shame, guilt, and hopelessness around their relationship with food. We hated to admit that we had a problem and that we were not normal with food. Over time we became aware that these were symptoms of food addiction.

    Overeating Vs Binge Eating

    Both may involve mindless behavior. You eat too much without thinking about why. But there are real differences.

    General examples of overeating are:

    • Having more than one dessert after dinner
    • Finishing a whole bag of popcorn while watching a movie

    When you eat too much because of a stressful event such as a romantic breakup, it’s sometimes called “emotional eating.”

    Examples of binge eating are:

    • Sneaking a large bag of candy into your room and finishing it in secret
    • Eating a whole cake in one sitting, and then feeling guilty
    • Finishing three burgers, even when youâre already uncomfortably full

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    Green Coffee Bean Extract

    With caffeine and chlorogenic acid, green coffee bean extract is made from regular coffee beans before they are roasted. Chlorogenic acid slows the rate at which the intestines process carbohydrates, while caffeine boosts metabolism. Research shows that green coffee bean extract may be able to promote weight loss . As a dietary supplement, take 50 to 200 mg up to two times a day, unless a doctor advises against it. Use a milligram scale to measure the supplement accurately.

    Causes Of Binge Eating Disorder

    Binge Eating

    Although binge eating disorder is often linked to underlying emotional problems, the exact cause is unknown. However, there are some risk factors that can increase the likelihood of someone developing the disorder:

    • Family history of eating disorders, depression or substance use.
    • Gender binge eating disorder is more common in women than men.
    • Increased sensitivity to dopamine the chemical in the brain thats responsible for feelings of reward and pleasure which makes eating more rewarding and pleasurable than for people without the disorder.
    • Psychological issues or low self-esteem.
    • History of dieting.
    • Body size weight problems may be both a cause and result of the disorder.
    • Negative body image.
    • Childhood bullying due to weight.
    • Significant loss or trauma.

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    How Is It Diagnosed

    You often wont know a person has an eating disorder by looking at them. And it can be difficult to tell if someone has binge eating disorder because they may hide their behavior due to shame or embarrassment.

    To receive a diagnosis, a mental health or healthcare professional will often start by asking about your symptoms, how often you have them, and your medical history.

    If you start with your primary doctor, they may refer you to a mental health professional or someone that specializes in eating disorders.

    A doctor may also order blood, urine, or other screening tests to check for health conditions that can be caused by binge eating disorder.

    According to the DSM-5, you must have at least 3 symptoms of binge eating disorder for a diagnosis to occur. These symptoms should typically be present at least once a week for 3 months.

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