A lot of us when asked like to describe themselves as ‘Foodie’. There’s a feeling of fulfillment that one receives when tasty savory food lands in our mouth. And we end up binge eating. There’s nothing wrong with binging on food occasionally. But the problem arises when this binge eating takes a drastic turn. The excessive eating of food gets transformed into an excessive Binge eating disorder which has terrible impacts on our health.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
The repeated inability to control the consumption of large amounts of food at one go and in one sitting is called binge eating disorder. Worldwide it affects 2% of the population. Here the individual’s eating behaviour is out of control. The person continues to eat massive chunks of food mostly unhealthy during the day as well as indulges in binge eating at night. People suffering from BED eat a lot of food even when they’re not hungry. The person experiences a sense of relief during compulsive eating and a feeling of shame or hopelessness afterwards.
Binge Eating Disorder sometimes also goes by the name of compulsive eating disorder or obsessive eating disorder. This binge eating disorder brings emotional, physical and social health risks with itself. Almost 50% of people who are suffering from BED are obese. Obesity increases the risk of getting a heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
There are a variety of reasons causing binge eating disorder like:-
People with BED become increasingly sensitive to Dopamine. This is a chemical in the brain responsible for releasing feelings of reward and pleasure. The person gives in to the impulse of pleasure easily.
BED is more commonly seen in women rather than men. In general, 3.6% of women experience BED at some point in their lives as compared to 2% in men. This might be because of underlying biological factors.
- Emotional trauma
People who have undergone some kind of emotional trauma like abuse, got separated from a dear family member, childhood bullying based on weight can also contribute to emotional trauma. As the person is emotionally hurt, they indulge in an emotional eating disorder.
- Body image
People having BED tend to view their bodies negatively. They are dissatisfied with the body they have. And end up choosing the path of overeating disorder as they think that nothing will ever change.
The Symptoms of binge eating disorder are:-
- Eating rapidly more than what’s required than normal.
- Eating till one becomes uncomfortably full.
- Eating too much at one go without feeling hungry.
- Feelings of embarrassment and shame become the reasons for eating.
- Experiencing feelings of guilt and disgust with oneself. The individual practises self loathing.
So what can be done to overcome binge eating disorder?
- The treatment of binge eating is possible depending upon its severity which varies from individual to individual. The treatment might focus on binge eating behaviors, self-body image, excessive eating, mental health, or in some cases the combination of all these.
- Therapy involves improving cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, weight loss therapy, and medication.
- A medical professional or mental health professional can provide advice on selecting an individual treatment plan. They can help in choosing the right program that suits you and especially targets the main reason which is causing the binge disorder.
No matter what treatment strategy is used one should keep in mind that overcoming binge eating is possible. All it requires is some consistent efforts. It is important to have a healthy lifestyle and make better dietary choices.