Even if we’re on a diet plan, we’re all guilty of binge eater from time to time, especially when it comes to those special occasions – family get-togethers, dining out or attending special events. You know what I’m talking about – that bloated, uncomfortable feeling in the stomach, sometimes resulting in stomach-ache, after a huge meal.
Lots of us do it once in a while. But occasionally overeating is not Binge Eating Disorder. The National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders (ANAD) describe this disorder as: “Characterized by insatiable cravings that can occur any time of the day or night, usually secretive, and filled with shame.”
According to the UK National Health Service (NHS), they define this affliction as “Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person feels compelled to overeat on a regular basis through regular binges”. The general rule of thumb is given as at least once a week over a prolonged period of 3 months or longer.
So What Causes is Binge Eating?
Experts are not clear on the exact causes of eating disorders generally, and this includes binge eating. But it’s generally accepted that it has a lot to do with mental health. Emotional and mental health factors certainly play a part, such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety or stress. A person’s genes, psychology, and background can also play a major role.
Other causes can be feelings of low self-esteem or body-image, or feelings of anger, boredom or loneliness. This sort of eating has also been recognized to develop complying with a rigorous diet. If the person’s diet included missing meals or skipping certain food groups, this could trigger binge eating disorder.
Although they may share the same symptoms, binge eating and bulimia are different. With bulimia, individuals binge consume but then attempt to clean up (flush out) the food they have consumed after that. This is either done by vomiting, using diuretics or laxatives. Binge eaters do not remove the food they consume.
Who’s at Risk?
Binge Consuming Problem can impact anyone despite age, sex or weight. ANAD reports that binge eating is now the number one eating disorder amongst adults in the USA, affecting 3-5% of women (about 5 million) and 2 % of men (3 million). And unlike Anorexia or Bulimia, it is an ‘equal opportunities’ disorder, roughly affecting the same numbers of men and women.
What are the Risks?
Binge eating can be linked to psychological problems, such as feelings of distress, depression or anxiety. People suffering from this disorder feel that they cannot control what, or how much they eat – and the problem only gets compounded as this behavior of consistent overeating continues.
The apparent physical effect of continual over-eating is weight gain – yet it does not end there. Weight problems is a typical after-effect, as it is reported that two-thirds of people struggling with binge eating are also overweight. The knock effects of being overweight and obese are then, of course, the potential weight-related issues of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Binge eating can be successfully treated. The first step is to get it diagnosed. This is usually done by a medical professional or medical care professional that asks ideal inquiries about your emotional health, eating behaviors, how you believe as well as feel regarding food and also your body image.
To address the psychological aspects of the disorder, the next step could be a series of self-help or guided self-help programs (self-help plus regular meeting with a professional) or even specialist group intervention. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can also be used to interfere with the negative thought patterns one might have that trigger binge consuming. In some cases, medication can also be prescribed.
To overcome the physical problems of weight gain or obesity, a safe, structured diet plan or weight loss program can be drawn up and followed.
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