Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is defined by eating huge amounts of food in a short period of time. A binge occurs when a person consumes an excessive amount of food in a two-hour period. Binges are often accompanied by a trance-like condition, guilt and shame, and weight gain. Unlike bulimia, BED normally does not involve any purging/compensatory behaviors.

Overview

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a form of eating disorder that is now officially recognized. It affects around 2% of the world’s population and can lead to other health problems associated to diet, such as high cholesterol and diabetes. When you have binge-eating disorder, you may feel ashamed of your eating habits and promise to stop. However, you are so compelled that you are unable to ignore the desires and continue to binge eat. Treatment for binge eating disorder is available.

Binge Eating Disorder

Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

• Consuming exceptionally enormous amounts of food in a short period of time, such as two hours.
• Feeling out of control when it comes to your eating habits
• Eating even if you’re not hungry
• Eating a lot of food in a short period of time during binge episodes
• Eating till you’re stuffed to the gills
• Eating alone or in secret on a regular basis
• Feeling depressed, disgusted, humiliated, guilty, or disturbed because of your eating habits
• Constant dieting, possibly without achieving weight loss

Unlike bulimia, you do not consistently compensate for extra calories consumed by vomiting, using laxatives, or exercising excessively after a binge. You can either diet or consume regular meals. However, restricting your diet may lead to binge eating.

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder

The causes of BED remain unknown but there are a number of risk factors: 
• Genetics. There is also substantial evidence that the condition is passed down through the generations.
Gender. Women are more likely than males to have BED. It will affect 3.6 percent of women in the United States at some point in their life.
Changes in the brain’s structure. There are signs that persons with BED may have structural alterations in their brains that cause increased sensitivity to eating and a loss of self-control.
Your physical stature. Obesity affects over half of those with BED, and 25–50 percent of patients seeking weight loss surgery match the BED criteria.
• Self-esteem. Body dissatisfaction, dieting, and overeating all play a role in the disorder’s progression.
• Overeating. Binge eating is frequently reported as the initial symptom of the disease by those who are affected. This involves binge eating as a child and during adolescence.
• Emotional adversity. Abuse, mortality, being separated from a family member, or being in a car accident are all risk factors. Bullying based on the weight in childhood may also play a role.
• Other mental health issues. Almost 80% of persons with BED have at least one other mental illness, such as phobias, depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, anxiety, or substance misuse.
Stress, dieting, bad sentiments about body weight or form, food availability, or boredom can all contribute to binge eating episodes.

Complications of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge-eating disorder can lead to a variety of complications, including:
• Deplorable living conditions
• Difficulties operating at work, at home, or in social circumstances
• Social exclusion
• Obesity
• Obesity-related medical diseases, such as joint pain, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and sleep-related breathing disorders

The following psychiatric conditions are frequently connected to BED:
• Depression
• Bipolar illness
• Anxiety
• Substance abuse problems

Prevention of Binge Eating Disorder

If you suspect a friend or loved one has a binge eating issue, encourage them to adopt healthier habits and get professional help before things become worse. If you have a child suffering from this disorder, you should promote and reinforce positive body image regardless of their size or body structure and speak to their pediatrician about your concerns. This will allow the pediatrician to look for early signs of an eating disorder. 

Diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder

According to the DSM-5, three or more of the following symptoms must be present for a healthcare provider to diagnose BED:
• eating at a considerably faster rate than usual
• eating until you’re stuffed
• consuming enormous amounts of food without even being hungry
• Feelings of humiliation and shame prevent you from eating with others.
• Sentiments of self-loathing or hatred
• People with BED frequently express great dissatisfaction and anguish over their eating habits, body shape, and weight.

Treatment of Binge Eating Disorder

Medications (SSRIs and Vyvanse) and psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy, are used to treat binge eating disorder. Guided self-help is effective. To find the correct treatment for you, talk to your doctor about your unique treatment options, which could include any of the following or a mix of medication and therapy.