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Binge-eating disorder

  • Overview


    Binge-eating disorder is a severe condition characterised by the frequent consumption of large amounts of food and an inability to stop eating.

    While many people occasionally overindulge, such as during holiday meals, for some individuals, this behaviour becomes a regular occurrence and feels out of control, indicating a potential diagnosis of binge-eating disorder.

    Individuals with this disorder often feel embarrassed by their overeating and may make promises to stop, yet they cannot resist the compulsive urges to continue binge eating. Fortunately, treatment is available to help those with binge-eating disorders.

  • Symptoms


    You can be an ordinary weight person even though most persons with binge-eating disorders are fat or overweight. The following are behavioural and emotional indicators and symptoms of binge eating disorder:
    Eating a lot of food quickly, like more than two hours.
    Having the impression that your eating habits are out of control.
    Eating despite being full or not being hungry.
    Eating quickly when having a binge.
    Eating until you’re sated but not satisfied.
    Eating alone or covertly a lot.
    Feeling down about your eating, disgusted, humiliated, guilty, or upset.
    Dieting is typical but may not result in weight loss.

    If you have a binge-eating disorder, you do not vomit, use laxatives, or exercise excessively to compensate for the extra calories you consume after a binge. Instead, you may attempt to regulate your eating habits or stick to a regular meal schedule. However, restricting your diet could trigger more binge eating. The frequency of binge-eating episodes during a week determines the severity of the disorder.

  • When to see a doctor


    If you are experiencing any symptoms of binge-eating disorder, you must seek medical assistance immediately. Ignoring the problem can result in the infection persisting for years, and the severity of the issue can vary from short-lived to recurring.

    You should not hesitate to speak with your medical care provider or a mental health professional about your binge-eating symptoms and emotions. You must take the necessary steps towards successful treatment of binge-eating disorder. If you are hesitant, confide in someone you trust, such as a friend, loved one, teacher, or faith leader, who can offer you the support you need to seek treatment.

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  • Causes


    The exact causes of binge-eating disorder are currently unknown. However, several factors can increase the risk of developing this condition, including genetics, biological factors, long-term dieting, and psychological issues.

  • Risk factors


    Binge-eating disorder is more commonly found among women than men. While this disorder can develop in individuals of any age, it typically manifests during the late teenage years or early twenties.

    Your chance of getting binge-eating disorder may be affected by the following factors:
    Family background. If your parents or siblings have (or have had) an eating disorder, you are far more likely to do so. This may suggest that inherited genes increase the chance of developing an eating disorder.
    Dieting. Many people who struggle with binge eating disorders have tried dieting in the past. In particular, if you are experiencing signs of sadness, dieting or reducing calories during the day may make you want to binge eat.
    Mental health problems. Many people suffering from binge eating disorders have negative thoughts about their abilities and accomplishments. Stress, a negative body image, and the availability of favourite binge foods can all trigger bingeing.

  • Prevention


    If you are experiencing symptoms of binge eating, seeking professional help is crucial, as there is no guaranteed way to prevent binge-eating disorder. Talk to your medical care provider for guidance on where to find support.

    If you suspect that someone you know is struggling with binge eating, it’s essential to encourage them to seek professional help and adopt healthier habits before the situation worsens. In the case of children, promote a positive body image and consult with their primary care provider if you have any concerns. They can help identify early warning signs of an eating disorder and prevent its development.

  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 07/08/2023