Monday, December 4, 2006

Binge eating disorder FAQ

How are obesity and binge eating disorder related?
Binge eating disorder or overeating is a psychologically conditioned eating disorder characterized by periods of uncontrollable eating. Overeating usually results in obesity (excessive accumulation of body fat). Thus, people who suffer from binge eating disorder are usually overweight.

How common is binge eating disorder?
Generally speaking, binge eating disorder is one of the most common eating disorders. Obese as well as normal people can be affected. Obese people with binge eating disorder often became overweight at a younger age than those without the disorder. Binge eating disorder affects 2% of all adults. It is about 1 million to 2 million Americans.
Binge eating disorder is more common among women (about 3 women to 2 men). As regards ethnic groups, it affects blacks as often as whites.

What causes binge eating disorder?
Depression, anger, sadness, boredom, anxiety and other negative emotions or psychological problems can trigger a binge episode. Also strict dieting may worsen binge eating in some people. Scientists also try to find out how brain chemicals and metabolism affect binge eating disorder.

Should people with binge eating disorder try to diet?
Since strict dieting may worsen binge eating, people mildly obese people better avoid dieting. Thought severely obese people probably should lose weight and keep it off.

What are the complications of binge eating disorder?
All kinds of diseases that accompany obesity, i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, irritable bowel syndrome, gallbladder disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

What are treatments for people with binge eating disorder?
Researchers try to determine which method or combination of methods is the most effective in treating binge eating disorder. There are several of them. For example, cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients techniques to monitor and change their eating habits. Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people examine their relationships with friends and family. For some sufferers medications such as antidepressants may be helpful. Self-help groups also may be a source of support. It is important you realize that you are not alone as most people who try to cope with the problem on their own are not a success.

How does one know if he has binge eating disorder?
Simply ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you eat until you are uncomfortably full?
  • Do you feel disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating?
  • Do you have frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten?
  • Do you eat much more rapidly than usual?
  • Do you eat large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry?
Most people who have positive answers to these questions do suffer from binge eating disorder. Consult a specialist if your answer is "yes".

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Impossible to hide binge eating disorder

Well, if you are a binge eating disorder sufferer it is impossible to hide. Of course, sufferers are ashamed of their actions, therefore, they prefer to binge in private. But still it is usually impossible to hide evidence of a binge: less amount of food in the fridge and cupboards, plates and cups in the wrong place, candy wrappers lying around or whatsoever. And of course rapid weight gain that will become evident to everyone sooner or later.

So, we may distinguish between physical and psychological signs of binge eating disorder.

Binge eating disorderAmong the most obvious obvious physical signs of binge eating disorder there are:

- weight gain,
- adiposity,
- diabetes,
- hypertension,
- high cholesterol,
- osteoarthritis,
- kidney problems,
- irregular changes in the menstrual cycle (for women).

The psychological signs of binge eating disorder are quite different from that of anorexia or bulimia. The main one is that binge eaters don't focus very much on their weight and body image.

Though, inwardly there are many similarities between binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa. Both type of sufferers do realize that they have a problem and feel guilt and shame. In both cases they attempting to cope with stress and tension by consuming excessive amount of food. Depression is common with binge eating disorder.

Binge eating sufferers usually plan their day, setting time to go shopping (for food) and binge afterwards.

There are certain diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder. Some of them are are as follows:

- fear of not being able to stop eating voluntarily,
- depressed mood,
- bingeing occurs on average at least twice weekly for three months,
- binge eating accompanied by an awareness than the eating pattern is abnormal,
- self-deprecating thoughts following eating binges.

In any way, if you have signs of binge eating disorder, you should contact a doctor as soon as possible to avoid or prevent futher problems. Remember, if you don't meet all of the criteria, it doesn't mean that you don't have the disease.

Binge eating disorder in brief terms

Binge eating disorder is also reffered to as overeating. People who have it are often overweight and suffer from obesity. Binge eating disorder is characterized by periods of uncontrollable eating. It is different from bulimia nervosa as binges are not usually accompanied by purging. Still such excessive consumption of food is followed by feelings of shame and guilt.

The reasons for binge eating disorder vary from person to person. Most often there are a number of contributory factors. Generally speaking, people who suffer from it eat excessively in order to cope with life.

Like bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa binge eating disorder is primarily a psychological disease and binges and weight gain are merely symptoms of underlying mental issues.

Generally about one of five young women suffers from this disease. Approximately 1-4% of the US population suffers from it. Men make up about 40%. There is no pre-determined age for binge eating disorder but the onset of it usually occurs during the late adolescence or early twenties.