Binge eating disorder is a severe eating disorder. It occurs when someone consumes unusually large amounts of food and is unable to stop eating.
A person with this disorder will usually overeat. In most cases, he or she will find it hard to stop eating even when they feel full.
Binge eating disorder symptoms
People with this particular disorder experience the following symptoms and signs:
1. Physical symptoms
- Joint and muscle pain,
- Digestive problems,
- Irregular or infrequent menstrual periods in women,
- Lack of adequate sleep and feeling tired,
- Feeling constipated, bloated, as well as developing intolerance to food.
2. Behavioural symptoms
- Eating while in the presence of other people, but gorging when alone,
- Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes,
- Eating even when not hungry or is already full,
- Eating at a very fast rate during binge episodes,
- Continually eating even when uncomfortably full,
- Evading questions about weight and eating,
- Hoarding or disappearance of food,
- Substance abuse, self-harm, or suicide attempts,
- Eating alone or in secret and hiding the evidence. Someone involved in binge eating can hide food and food wrappers around the house,
- Erratic behaviour: For example, he or she can start spending a lot on food or shoplifting food items.
- Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities or increased isolation.
3. Psychological symptoms
- Irritability, anxiety, or depression,
- Desperation to control weight and eating habits,
- Feeling numb while binge-eating, as if you are on auto-pilot,
- Low self-esteem,
- Preoccupied with food, eating, weight, and body shape,
- An increase in sensitivity to comments from other people. Such as comments about body shape, food, weight or exercise.
- More feelings of guilt, extreme distress, anxiety, sadness. During and after every episode of binge eating.
- Shame about physical appearance. As well as expressions of extreme dissatisfaction with the body.
People with binge eating disorder never try to throw up after they have overeaten.
Overcoming Binge Eating
It is important not to hide an eating disorder from your doctor. They need to be able to recommend you receive appropriate help.
Once you open up to your doctor, they will be able to diagnose the type of binge eating disorder you have. These include:
Mild is where you only engage in bingeing 1 to 3 times a week.
Moderate is when it happens 4 to 7 times a week.
Severe is when it happens 8 to 13 times a week.
An extreme binge-eating disorder is when it occurs 14 or more times a week.
Here are some treatment options for this disorder. They include:
Your doctor may prescribe Lisdexamfetamine to help suppress the desire to binge eat. The FDA approves this drug for treating binge eating disorder. Although Lisdexamfetamine may contribute to reducing the number of binge-eating episodes.
It is associated with some side effects, including dry mouth, increased heart rate and sleeping problems.
While those symptoms are not dangerous. Severe side effects such as a stroke, heart attack, and psychiatric problems are possible. But the risk of experiencing them is small.
Another drug that may help in treating this disorder is Topamax (topiramate). It has some serious side effects, including memory problems, difficulty speaking, and sedation.
This individual counselling is aimed at helping to change your thinking and behaviour.
Your psychotherapist will teach you practical techniques to help develop positive attitudes toward food and weight.
You will be instructed on the best ways to respond to challenging situations.
A specialist in nutrition can provide assistance and support. So you can return to your normal eating patterns. A nutritionist will educate you about nutrition. As well as how to plan a balanced diet.
Family and Group Therapy
Your family can play a vital in your treatment by offering unwavering support.
Group therapy can help your family have an understanding of your eating disorder.
They will learn how to recognise its symptoms and signs, thus allowing them to support you better.
Hypnotherapy for binge eating disorders
Hypnotherapy focuses on your ‘unconscious’ mind to remove triggers that control thoughts and behaviour that contribute towards binge eating.
Just like other disorders, binge eating disorder can be treated effectively using the right methods. All you need is total commitment to the treatment option that your doctor recommends for you.