Binge Eating Disorder – Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Binge eating disorder involves compulsive urges to eat foods in large quantity. It is a common condition in which a person eats large amount of foods constantly without being able to control the habit. Though everybody has the tendency of overeating once in a while due to various reasons, when the overeating becomes too constant with lack of ability to control it, binge eating is usually present.

Due to incessant overeating, the disorder has lots of consequences that could affect the behavioral, psychological and physical wellbeing of the affected person. Some of the consequences of binge eating are hypertension, depression, heart diseases, joint pains and arthritis, insomnia, obesity, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, non-insulin dependent diabetes, gallbladder disorders, muscle pains and fatigue.

Symptoms of binge eating disorder

  • Inability to control what is being eaten
  • Eating even when physically full
  • Lack of satiation even after consuming large quantity of foods
  • Loss of sensation when overeating
  • Shameful stockpiling of foods in secret in order to eat them later when people are not present
  • Persistent uneasiness or pain that can only be relieved by eating
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating constantly at a faster pace than normal
  • Feeling unhappy, depressed, disappointed or disgusted due to one’s excessive eating habit

Causes of binge eating disorder

Factually, the exact causes of binge eating disorder are not fully known yet. However, there are certain risk factors that contribute to its development.

  • Psychological factor

Low self-esteem, undesired body self-image and depression can make a person develop binge eating disorder as such individual tries to compensate for the psychological issues.

  • Biological factor

Genetic factors and hormonal disorders have the tendency of making an individual overeat. A person with family members who have or had binge eating disorder is at higher risk of having the same problem.

  • Social factor

As more people crave for model-like body structure, binge eating has been on the increase. Many people skip meals while trying to become thin and this may make them overeat when their body reacts later to the skipping of meals.

Notably, women and young adults in their late teens and early twenties are more susceptible to developing binge eating disorder.

Treatments of binge eating disorder

If you are suffering from binge eating disorder, you must go for treatment from professionals as soon as possible.  These are the ways by which binge eating can be treated:

Medications

To reduce the urge to overeat, medications such as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, antidepressants and anticonvulsant topiramate can be administered to sufferers of binge eating disorder. However, these medications have side effects such as insomnia, dizziness, dry mouth and kidney stones.

Psychotherapy

There are different types of psychotherapy methods often used to treat people with binge eating disorder.

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy – to help the person learn behaviors that will alleviate the symptoms of the disorders.

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