Binge eating disorder

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Anorexia disease may seem a familiar word for most people especially those who often keep an eye on the entertainment industry. Figure of an extremely thin person might be the first image that popped up when coming across the ‘anorexia’ word and most people would know that anorexic people often starve themselves to get their desired body weight that is deemed as unhealthy. Anorexia is not only a common eating disorder. In this article, we will be focusing on binge eating disorder which is also debilitating for a person who experiences it. Finding a doctor would be the key to healing from this condition.

Binge eating disorder is in contrast with anorexia eating disorder. While those with anorexia would avoid eating food at most times, binge eating disorder is characterised by a person eating food in a larger amount than normal for a short time and lasts for quite a long period. Episodes of binge eating disorder may occur every week over the three months.  Binge eating disorder is much more than eating a ridiculous amount. It is often accompanied with feeling guilt or shame after the binge eating habit.

Binge eating disorder on the surface may seem only to be causing physical health problems such as obesity but the underlying issue associated with this disorder is mainly related with psychological issues, social, culture and biological factors. Definite causes of binge eating disorder is unknown but a person is likely to acquire this eating disorder 1) if a person or their family has history of mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression, drug or alcohol abuse, anxiety disorder 2) a person has been judged for their eating habits, body weight or how they look, 3) physical and sexual abuse, 4) a person with perfectionism or obsessive personality or 5) childhood obesity Thus, making binge eating disorder classified as a mental health problem. This eating disorder is more common in women and is much prominent among those in their 20s.

Main symptom of binge eating disorder is consumption of food in a gigantic amount in a short time and often accompanied with inability to stop eating although the person is already full. Other symptoms that may indicate a person with this eating disorder is eating even if they are not feeling hungry, eating in a very fast manner, often seem to eat alone and feeling negative feelings such as depressed, shame, guilt or disgusted after binge eating. Those regularly practising such habits are likely to have a binge eating disorder.

Aside from obesity being one of the most visible complications of binge eating disorder or being the most common reason for a person to fall into the disorder, there are other complications associated with the eating disorder. This includes:

  • Aching muscles
  • Neck, shoulder or lower back pain
  • Endocrine problems such as hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cortisol hormones imbalance, menstrual issues
  • Heart diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart failure
  • Sleep apnoea that may cause life-threatening condition
  • Osteoarthritis

Since binge eating disorder is a mental health issue, it is important for a person to get the help they need. Meeting a healthcare professional can help a person to get the treatment they need and support that could be offered. Treatment usually includes therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), medications such as antidepressant and other treatment to help losing weight which may include diet adjustments, behavioural weight loss therapy or medicine to help speed up the weight loss process. It is necessary for those with binge eating disorder or a person you know that is struggling with such disorder to get medical care immediately as it can help to prevent complications and for them to lead a healthier life both mentally and physically.

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