About Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is one of several eating disorders in which an individual consumes unusually large amounts of food. Even though every person has at least once in his/her lifetime experienced overeating, with people suffering from binge eating disorder the problem repeats and they chronically consume way too much food.
There are many symptoms and signs that can confirm a person is suffering from binge eating disorder. He/she consumes large amounts of food, such people eat even though they are full and they always eat rapidly during an episode of binge eating. Furthermore, they may feel that their eating behavior is out of control. Additional problems include depression or anxiety. Such individuals are also prone to frequent dieting but without any obvious weight loss. They can be caught eating secretly and often eat alone. People suffering from binge eating disorder may be of normal weight or obese.
The actual cause of binge eating disorder remains unknown. Scientists believe that the disorder develops due to many factors. Biological factors that can contribute to binge eating include inherited genes (some people are more susceptible to eating disorders) and alteration of certain brain chemicals. Certain psychological and emotional factors also induce the disorder. An individual may have low self-esteem and can hardly control impulsive behaviors or have difficulty managing moods. And finally, binge eating disorder may develop as a consequence of environmental factors.
Therapy for Binge Eating Disorder
The goal of the treatment for binge eating disorder is to reduce eating binges and improve emotional well-being of the patients. Another goal of the treatment may be weight loss (only in obese patients). It is essential to pay attention to all negative emotions as well and deal with particular psychological issues. There are several approaches when it comes to treating binge eating disorder.
Psychotherapy is in a form of individual or group sessions. It can help a person change unhealthy habits and adopt new, healthy ones. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, is highly effective in coping with all the issues that have led to binge eating episodes. Thanks to this therapy a patient can develop a better sense of control over his/her behavior and eating patterns. Cognitive therapy does not help patients reduce weight so in obese individuals there is a need for additional treatments. The goal of interpersonal therapy is to investigate and focus on the current relationships with other people. It can help people who have developed the disorder due to poor and unhealthy relationships and those with the lack of communications skills.
Some patients are prescribed with medications such as antidepressants or anticonvulsant topiramate. These drugs are never administered as the only treatment, but in a combination with other treatments. And finally, only after binge eating disorder is brought under control an individual may engage in weight loss programs. The explanation is simple. Namely, low calorie diets can only trigger more binge eating episodes. Once the doctor decides that a person may engage in weight loss programs, this treatment is always conveyed under a strict medical supervision.