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The Dangers Of Binge Eating

bingeBinge eating is a type of eating disorder that involves eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time. A person who binge eats often cannot stop eating and doesn’t know why they’re eating. Everyone overeats from time to time, especially at holidays or on special occasions. But those who binge eat do so much more often. Those who binge eat might feel embarrassed about it and try to stop, but they find that the compulsion to eat so much food is too strong for them.

Causes

No one is sure why people develop binge eating disorder, but there are a few things that may contribute to it. It’s possible environmental factors, genetics, long-term dieting, and psychological conditions may all relate to binge eating.

Those who have a family history of eating disorders are more likely to develop one. Another contributing factor is having a negative body image or feeling negative about their own accomplishments. This can lead to trying to make themselves look “better” even if they already look good. Those who have a long history of dieting or trying to lose weight can also end up with a binge eating issue.

Finally, people who are in their teens or early twenties may be more at risk of developing an eating disorder due to social pressures.

Symptoms

Those who have a binge eating disorder may exhibit some of the following symptoms:
• Being overweight
• Eating a huge amount of food in a short period of time
• Expressing an inability to control their eating
• Eating when they’re not hungry
• Eating very quickly
• Eating alone
• Hiding the amount of food they eat
• Feeling guilty about eating
• Feeling depressed
• Dieting all the time without really losing any weight

Those who binge eat usually don’t vomit or purge. Most try to limit the amount of food they eat at regular meals even though they later binge eat a huge amount of food.

Do you need to see a Doctor?

Those who have any of the symptoms of binge eating should speak to a doctor or a nutritionist as soon as possible. While someone with binge eating can try to control it themselves, one of the major symptoms is an inability to do so, and it often requires help. Working with a psychiatrist is also often necessary to help determine the cause of the disorder.

Treatment

Treatment for those who binge eat focuses on reducing the number of eating binges. It can also focus on losing weight and working on improving one’s self-image. Psychotherapy is often involved since the issue isn’t necessarily one of the body but of the mind. Interpersonal psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy can all be used to help those who binge eat.

There are a couple of medications that can be taken, too, including antidepressants and anticonvulsant topiramate.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.