Binge Eating Disorder

BED is a type of eating disorder characterized by excessive eating in a short space of time even when not hungry. However, binging episodes do not follow with purging (i.e. self induced vomiting), nor are laxatives or diuretics used.

WHAT CAUSES BED?

There is not one but many factors that might cause BED. They are not always easy to identify but they might include any of the following:

  • Frequent concern over weight gain
  • Engaging in diets
  • Poor confidence
  • Emotional distress
  • Family dynamics (e.g. pressure) and attitude towards body image and food
  • Stress e.g. sudden change, loss, disappointment, death, abuse
  • Genes

WHO GETS BED?

Both men and women can suffer for this condition. Most common age range is between 20 and 40. Most people with BED are overweight or obese, however others might be at a regular weight.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF BED?

Symptoms will vary and can go completely unnoticed. However, the following are quite common:

  • Eats excessive amounts in a very short space of time even when not hungry
  • Feels out of control
  • Eats until uncomfortably full
  • Frequent diet with poor progress, resulting in weight gain
  • Prefers eating alone or in secret
  • Feels guilty and/or ashamed
  • Signs of Anxiety, Depression, Obsessive compulsive disorders

THE EFFECTS OF BED

Physical and psychological effects might include:

  • Weight gain
  • Malnutrition
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Diabetes
  • Stress, anxiety
  • Poor confidence
  • Social withdrawal
  • And many more effects that could lead in some severe cases to developing diabetes, obesity, certain cancers

HOW DOES BED AFFECT FAMILY LIFE?

The secret life of the binge eater is often very difficult for families to understand which can lead to frequent misunderstandings and arguments, especially during meal times.

HOW IS BED TREATED?

BED needs specialist help to treat both the psychological causes and its physical side effects. This is a process that can take time and will depend largely on the motivation levels of the person with BED to want to change. A multidisciplinary team composed of a medical doctor, a psychotherapist, a nutritionist amongst other experts will be required. Depending on levels of severity, either outpatient or inpatient treatment maybe advised.

Seeking help can be difficult and filled with a lot of ambivalence. At MEEDA, we are here to help provide support and guide you in the best way possible. You can contact us or request a short talk over our Online HotLine.

CAN I RECOVER FROM BINGE EATING?

Full recovery from BED is possible and many do recover in just a few months with the right professional help.