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What Is The Meaning Of Binge Eating Disorder

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Five Causes Of Binge Eating

Binge Eating Disorder – What is it?

Treating this eating disorder requires a foundational understanding of the causes of the behaviors. That information can help an individual better understand the disorder in order to seek effective treatment. It can be difficult to determine the causes of binge eating disorder because of its nature as a psychological condition that acts similarly to an addiction. However, there are factors that can contribute to behavior.

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.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder And What Are The Symptoms

People with BED may eat a lot of food in a short amount of time, even if they arent hungry. Emotional stress or destress often plays a role and might trigger a period of binge eating.

A person might feel a sense of release or relief during a binge but experience feelings of shame or loss of control afterward .

For a healthcare professional to diagnose BED, three or more of the following symptoms must be present:

  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating until uncomfortably full
  • eating large amounts without feeling hungry
  • eating alone due to feelings of embarrassment and shame
  • feelings of guilt or disgust with oneself

People with BED often experience feelings of extreme unhappiness and distress about their overeating, body shape, and weight (1,

  • 8 ).

An episode of binge eating can be triggered by stress, dieting, negative feelings relating to body weight or body shape, the availability of food, or boredom .


The causes of BED are not fully known. As with other eating disorders, a variety of genetic, environmental, social, and psychological risks are associated with its development.

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Effects Of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating leads to a wide variety of physical, emotional, and social problems. Youre more likely to suffer health issues, stress, insomnia, and suicidal thoughts than someone without an eating disorder. You may also experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse as well as substantial weight gain.

As bleak as this sounds, though, many people are able to recover from binge eating disorder and reverse the unhealthy effects. You can, too. The first step is to re-evaluate your relationship with food.

What Is The Connection Between Binge

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Binge-eating disorder is often co-morbid bipolar disorders, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and, to a lesser extent, substance use disorders.

In order to cope with our feelings, sometimes we might reach out for food to alter our mood. This might explain the link between other mental health disorders and binge-eating.

Additionally, referring back to the criteria for diagnosis, binge-eating disorder often comes with feelings of depression afterwards. That might suggest some kind of relationship between the feelings associated with other mental health disorders and binge-eating behaviours.

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So What Can You Do About It

The good news is that over-the-top eating that only happens once in a while wont necessarily morph into a disorder.

You usually must have a predisposition towards an eating disorder to develop one, says Albers. For instance, people with certain personality traits might be more at risk, like if youre a perfectionist or feel like you always need to be in control, the NEDA says.

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Regardless, if youre concerned about your eating habits or are worried that you might have a disorder, talk with your doctor.

Bingeing on a regular basis, feeling bad about your binges or like your eating is out of control, and using binges to cope with stress or other negative emotions are all red flags.

He or she may refer you to a mental health professional, who can help you work through your food issues with therapy.

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.

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Changing The Mindset To Overcome Binge Eating

Since binge eating behaviors are unique to each person, it is important to develop a treatment just as unique. Understanding the underlying causes of the disorder, how it manifests, and other factors, contribute to developing an effective natural treatment to alleviate the behaviors and help the individual become more healthy.

Look For Signs And Symptoms

Health & Nutrition : What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

A number of eating disorders are currently recognized by psychologists, with the three most common being anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating. They manifest in different ways, meaning their signs are also different from each other.

  • Signs of anorexia nervosa
  • Severely below a healthy weight without believing themselves to be underweight
  • Habits like calorie counting, highly restrictive/limited food intake, induced vomiting after eating, laxative or diuretic abuse or excessive exercise
  • Body image is determined by ones shape and weight
  • An obsession with being thin and losing weight even if theyre already below a healthy weight
  • Signs of bulimia
  • Recurring binging episodes where one feels little control/unable to stop eating until painfully full, followed by unhealthy purging behaviors to prevent weight gain
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Self-esteem is dependent on body image
  • Signs of binge eating disorder
  • Eating large amounts of food until painfully full, regardless of actual hunger
  • Lacking control over binging, but feeling corresponding guilt, shame or disgust in regards to the behavior of binge eating
  • Not following the act of binge eating with some form of purging behavior, thereby leading to obesity

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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.

What Is Binge Eating

Binge eating involves consuming large quantities of food very quickly, even when not hungry, and to the point of being uncomfortable. Almost everyone overeats once in a while, but it can also become a disorder.

Binge eating disorder is a serious but treatable condition that involves recurrent episodes of consuming large quantities of food. BED was formally added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013.

In addition to eating large food in excess and to the point of discomfort, the condition is also characterized by feeling out of control when eating and a sense of shame or guilt over the behavior.

Episodes of overeating that are classified as binge eating can significantly and negatively impact your health and well-being, making it especially important to identify the signs and symptoms of binge eating and get help if necessary.

  • Feelings of disgust, guilt, or sadness
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment

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Acceptance And Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and DBT both tend to focus on managing difficult thoughts and feelings.

They both differ from CBT, which focuses more on changing thought and eating patterns themselves.

ACT is different from DBT primarily because it uses a different approach to managing difficult feelings.

As mentioned above in the ACCEPT technique, DBT tends to train individuals in using certain tools to handle emotions.

While ACT does greatly emphasize acceptance in its methodology, and while both ACT and DBT emphasize mindfulness

ACT overall trains individuals to handle difficult thoughts and feelings by identifying their values.

A value is highly individualized, but every person has certain values. This means the value is more important than feeling good.

A person is trained to evaluate their actions on whether they are acting towards their values, or just trying to feel good.

This can help a person manage their difficult thoughts and feelings by taking a new perspective.

Kids Binge Eating And The Rise In Obesity In American Children

What Are the Risk Factors for Binge Eating Disorder?

The response to this epidemic has sent many mixed messages to families, who may feel unsure about how to handle their growing children. Could a country that is hyper-focused on obesity in our youth, in combination with a culture that is saturated with a disillusioned media, be leading to a rise in eating disorders in younger generations?

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What Can I Expect In Recovery

If you feel stuck in a cycle of binge eating, take heart: Most people can overcome this disorder with treatment. It’s possible for you, too.

Most importantly, be patient with yourself. People with binge eating disorder often blame themselves. As you work toward recovery, you may have setbacks. Those bumps in the road aren’t unusual as you gradually gain more control over your eating.

How Does Binge Eating Disorder Affect A Woman’s Health

Many, but not all, women with binge eating disorder are overweight or obese. Obesity raises your risk for many serious health problems:12

  • High cholesterol
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Certain types of cancer, including breast, endometrial , colorectal, kidney, esophageal, pancreatic, thyroid, and gallbladder cancer13
  • Problems with your menstrual cycle, including preventing ovulation, which can make it harder to get pregnant

People with binge eating disorder often have other serious mental health illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse. These problems can seriously affect a woman’s everyday life and can be treated.

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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.

If I Take Medicine To Treat Binge Eating Disorder Can I Breastfeed My Baby

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Maybe. Some medicines used to treat binge eating disorder can pass through breastmilk. Certain antidepressants can be used safely during breastfeeding.

Talk to your doctor to find out what medicine works best for you. Learn more about medicines and breastfeeding in our Breastfeeding section. You can also enter a medicine into the LactMed® database to find out if the medicine passes through breastmilk and about any possible side effects for your nursing baby.

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Body Before You Binge Eat

Before you binge eat you will start to lose control.

During this phase, your neocortex starts to get shut down by your limbic brain.

In other words, your thinking self gets shut down by your animal self.

This is called tunnel vision.

In tunnel vision you will start to feel like you must binge eat.

These cravings will feel impossible to ignore, for cultural and even hormonal reasons.

Your body will begin to tighten to resist the cravings, but you wont be able to.

Soon your body will be under so much tension and stress that the only way to release the stress will be to binge eat.

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms

There are many ways that binge eating disorder can impact a person’s life. Often binge eating disorder can cause weight gain, and in terms of physical health, it is associated with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. People may also find that their mood is impacted binge eating disorder is linked to low self-esteem and lack of confidence, depression and anxiety. As with other eating disorders, its likely to be changes in behaviour and feelings that those around them notice first, before any physical symptoms become noticeable.

While binge eating disorder can affect anyone, the condition tends to be more common in adults than in younger people, often starting in someones 20s or older. It may develop from or into another eating disorder.

A potential effect of binge eating disorder is that the person will become overweight or obese. Obesity is linked to serious physical health risks, and can affect multiple areas of an individuals life. It is important to keep in mind that the diagnosis of binge eating disorder is not limited to overweight individuals it is possible to suffer from binge eating disorder and be within the healthy weight range.

Although not an eating disorder, Beat are passionate about ensuring that the complexity of obesity is understood. Beat have addressed campaigns aimed at weight loss and language used in relation to obesity in our campaign: Public Health, Not Public Shaming.

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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.

Can You Cure An Eating Disorder

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Theres a lot of debate around eating disorder treatment and whether or not eating disorders can be cured.

Some believe that people always have eating disorders and they simply learn to live with and manage them. Others believe that eating disorders can be cured completely.

In many cases, its up to the individual to decide how they want to view themselves and their recovery. Some find it empowering to say that theyve fully recovered, whereas others find it more realistic to say that theyre in recovery or are recovering.

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How Is Binge Eating Disorder Diagnosed

Your doctor or nurse will ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history. It may be difficult to talk to a doctor or nurse about secret eating behaviors. But doctors and nurses want to help you be healthy. Being honest about your eating behaviors with a doctor or nurse is a good way to ask for help.

Your doctor may also do blood, urine, or other tests for other health problems, such as heart problems or gallbladder disease, that can be caused by binge eating disorder.

Heres An Example Of How The Dbt Accept Technique Teaches People How To Help Manage Stressful Feelings

Lets say you get a call from your boss.

Your bosss voice is tense and your boss says that you need to come in to the office and be at your desk in exactly 60 minutes.

Your heart starts to race.

Do you go use food to cope with these intense emotions? Or do you ACCEPT?

  • Activities distract yourself with activities like reading
  • Contributing some how make someones life better, for example even something simple as saying happy birthday to someone on facebook
  • Comparisons put things in perspective has this situation happened before?
  • Emotions Do something to counter negative emotions. If you are feeling anxious, go on a walk. If you are feeling depressed, go watch funny cat videos
  • Pushing away its okay to push the thought out of your mind. Say to yourself that you will come back to the thought when you are ready
  • Thoughts Use a mantra to overcome negative thoughts.
  • Sensations Some how use your sense to de-stress splash your face with water, take a bath, listen to music, etc

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Who Is More Likely To Develop Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder can occur in people of average body weight, but it is more common in people who have obesity, particularly severe obesity. However, it is important to note that most people with obesity do not have binge eating disorder.

Binge eating disorder is more common in younger and middle-aged people. However, older people can be affected, too.

Binge eating disorder is common among people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.3,4 The distress of having diabetes, which requires a constant focus on weight and food control, may be the reason for this link. In some people, binge eating disorder contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes, both through excessive weight gain and increased risk of metabolic abnormalities. Binge eating disorder can also make it harder for people with diabetes to control their blood glucose, also known as blood sugar.

For some people, painful childhood experiencessuch as family problems and critical comments about your shape, weight, or eating habitsare linked to developing binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder runs in families, and researchers have identified a genetic component as well.

How Do Eating Disorders Affect Health And Emotions

Binge Eating Disorder Definition: What Is BED?

Eating disorders can cause serious problems throughout the body.

Anorexia can lead to health problems caused by undernutrition and low body weight, such as:

  • low blood pressure

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, other signs of disordered eating include:

  • Significant weight fluctuations over time
  • Strict routines and rituals related to food and exercise
  • Feeling shame or guilt related to eating
  • Constant and distressing thoughts about food, body image, and weight
  • Feeling like you cant control yourself around food or eating compulsively
  • Exercising, fasting, restricting food, or purging to make up for bad foods you ate

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