Binge eating disorder (BED) is a persistent pattern of overeating large quantities of food. People with this disorder usually begin by overeating large meals rather than eating smaller meals throughout the day. They may also overeat frequently or binge eat, a period of time when they consume large amounts of food in a short period of time. 

Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder that often requires treatment. However, the disorder is often overlooked and undertreated, which can lead to other problems such as weight gain, depression, and relationship problems. This article will answer common questions about BED and explain its symptoms. It will also detail the different types of BED and the most effective ways to recognize the disorder in yourself or a loved one.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating is the repetitive eating of large quantities of food at one time. While many people develop a tolerance to large amounts of food over time, people with binge eating disorders must constantly eat large volumes of food in order to feel satisfied. This disorder is often accompanied by feeling guilty or ashamed about the behavior. 

Binge eating is a common condition, but it is not always recognized or treated properly. It is estimated that 1% of people eat excessively and for longer periods of time than intended, which can be harmful to both the person affected by it and those around them. Although binge eating is often connected with eating disorders, it can occur without a diagnosis. It is a common behavior that seems to occur in people of all ages.

Types of Binge Eating Disorder

There are many types of binge eating disorder. This is due to the behaviors, motivations, and severity of binge eating. Here are some of the more common types:  

  • Thinner Oman Syndrome: This type of binge eating is usually the result of an eating disorder. This can include an obsession with food and a desire to be thinner. 
  •  Thicker Oman Syndrome: This type of binge eating is often the result of an eating disorder. This can include an obsession with food and a desire to be “thicker”.  

Comorbid Conditions that May Affect Binge Eating Disorder

There are many different types of eating disorders that may cause or worsen binge eating disorder. Among them are the following:  

  • Anorexia Nervosa: People with anorexia who binge eat may feel self-conscious about their weight. They may also worry about gaining weight when they don’t need to. 
  • Obesity: Binge eating can occur in people who are either already overweight or at risk of becoming overweight.

 Conditions that increase the risk of binge eating include: 

  •  Stress: Binge eating can occur in response to a lot of different things, including feelings of stress and anxiety.  
  • Family History: Some families experience a tendency towards binge eating, particularly when the person is young. The behavior can be a result of a variety of complex conditions, such as intergenerational inheritance of an eating disorder.  
  • Nutrition: Binge eating can also occur in response to poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

How to Recognize Binge Eating Behavior in Yourself or a Loved One

You can spot binge eating in yourself or a loved one by looking for the following signs:  

  • Excessive hunger. People with binge eating disorders may be hungrier than they should be even on the days they don’t binge.  
  • Excessive cravings for highly caloric foods. Binge eaters often have a hard time controlling their cravings, which can make it hard to lose weight.  Loss of control overeating. 
  • Binge eaters often have a hard time controlling their eating. This can lead to weight gain, increased stress levels, and feelings of guilt.
  • Binge eaters often feel ashamed of their condition, therefore they may be secretive. Eating in private or hiding food that they can easily access later are signs of a possible binge eating disorder. 

How is Binge Eating Treated?

The best way to tackle binge eating disorder is with therapy. Experts believe that therapy is necessary for people with BED to address the feelings of shame, self-loathing, and guilt that often accompany the disorder. However, therapy isn’t always available, and in that case, medication may be an option. Medication can also be an option for people with BED. Some medications can control or reduce the amount of food eaten by people with binge eating disorders. Other medications can treat the underlying cause of binge eating such as an anxiety disorder, eating disorder, or another medical condition.

Knoxville Recovery Center Can Help

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious eating disorder characterized by frequent binge eating and/or uncontrollable purging. It is often associated with other conditions, such as anorexia and stress disorder. Although binge eating occurs naturally during periods of high nutrient intake, it is possible to “overeat” without having a binge. 

Recognizing the symptoms of BED and dealing with them correctly are the key to successful weight loss. If you or a loved one are currently struggling with an eating disorder, help is available! We encourage you to reach out to the professionals at Knoxville Recovery Center to learn more about our personalized treatment programs and mental health services. 

Knoxville Recovery Center was founded from firsthand experience of addiction and recovery, with a mission of providing a space where people can heal from addiction and other disorders in a compassionate, creative, open-minded, and heart-centered environment. We believe recovery is always possible. Our experts work with you to design a treatment plan that fits your needs. Common treatment programs include:

  • Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)
  • On-site Detox
  • Full-time Addiction Treatment on campus
  • Mental Health Treatment
  • Aftercare Services

Contact us today for more information about how our programs and services can help you get your life back on track. You no longer have to struggle with an eating disorder on your own. We are here to help.

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