Posts Tagged ‘Binge Eating Disorder’

What to do if a Doctor Dismisses Your Binge Eating

Waiting room

Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder that unfortunately may be overlooked by medical providers due to stereotypes and/or a lack of information about the illness. Understanding the complexities of binge eating disorder may provide insights into why binge eating often goes unnoticed in a medical setting and what individuals can do about it.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by repetitive and uncontrolled episodes of excessive food consumption. Bingeing often leaves individuals feeling shame, guilt, or disgust. However, in contrast to bulimia, those with binge eating do not engage in compensatory measures, such as purging, following binges. Binge eating is often followed by dieting attempts that typically turn into a pattern of yo-yo dieting. In addition to causing negative emotions, frequent bingeing can also cause health-related problems, including obesity.

Binge eating disorder can affect anyone, regardless of appearance. While the illness is most common in individuals who are overweight, binge eating disorder can be diagnosed at any weight. In addition to affecting any individual, binge eating is the most common eating disorder.

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I Can’t Stop Binge Eating

Annoyed man on computer

Do you find yourself struggling with binge eating episodes? Are you eating extreme amounts of food and experiencing guilt or shame afterward? Do you find yourself stuck in a cycle of binge eating and yo-yo dieting? If so, you may have binge eating disorder—a real and serious eating disorder.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder starts when individuals repeatedly and uncontrollably consume excessive amounts of food, which may result in obesity. Binge eating may be driven by a need to soothe negative emotions, anxiety, stress, or depression. However, the feeling of comfort that eating may bring does not last long and individuals may experience shame, guilt, and distress following bingeing episodes. These post-binge feelings may lead the sufferer to swing to the other extreme end and engage in restrictive dieting. This cycle of binge eating followed by extreme dieting is a type of “yo-yo dieting” and can become a long-lasting cycle with negative effects.

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Worried about Relapse?

Girl looking over river

Eating disorder recovery is challenging and it’s not one-size-fits-all. Recovery is often thought of as nonlinear because individuals sometimes don’t follow a predetermined path and may find themselves taking one step forward and two steps back. While this aspect of recovery can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that the correct path to recovery is the exact path that we are on. By not comparing ourselves to others in recovery or wishing we had an easier path, we can focus our efforts on healing and mending our relationship with food and body.

What is classified as a relapse?

An eating disorder relapse is characterized by any return to eating disorder behaviors and symptoms. Common examples of returning to eating disorder behaviors include skipping meals, counting calories, or measuring weight. Warning signs of an impending relapse include:

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Eating Disorder Recovery and Grief

Man sitting on ledge

Eating disorders and grief have a multifaceted, complex relationship. Eating disorders may arise following a traumatic situation, after a loss, or during any period of grief. In addition to potentially being a provoking factor in the development of an eating disorder for predisposed individuals, grief may also complicate recovery and may make it more challenging. On top of this, individuals in recovery may also find themselves grieving their eating disorder, which adds another layer of difficulty onto the recovery process.

What is Grief?

Grief is a normal, albeit overwhelming, response to a loss of any kind. While grief is typically associated with death, grief can also follow a variety of experiences including relationship loss, a decline in health, miscarriage, physical or sexual assault, loss of a dream, etc.  

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Physical Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

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What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder that is denoted by excessive food intake, often driven by a need to soothe negative emotions. Those suffering from binge eating disorder (BED) repeatedly and uncontrollably eat extreme amounts of food, often resulting in obesity. Following episodes of bingeing, those with BED usually experience feelings of guilt, shame, or distress. In an attempt to regain control, individuals may begin to restrict food or try restrictive dieting, which often ends in another episode of bingeing, making weight loss challenging. This cycle of bingeing and restricting is challenging to break without professional treatment.

Binge eating disorder was added to the DSM-5 in 2013. According to the DSM-5, the key diagnostic features of binge eating disorder that must be met are:

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Why Eating Disorders are Serious

Man thinking by lake

Eating disorders are biologically based mental illnesses that are influenced by an individual’s environment, society, and psychological makeup. An eating disorder is an illness that causes an individual to experience disturbances in their eating habits and negative food or body-related thoughts and feelings. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recognizes five kinds of eating disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia is characterized by extended and extreme food restriction and malnourishment that causes dramatic and sustained weight loss. Anorexia often presents with a fear of gaining weight and other body image issues.

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). ARFID is a feeding or eating disorder typically driven by fear, a lack of interest in food, or an avoidance of certain foods, resulting in continued failure to meet an individual’s nutritional needs. ARFID often presents without a drive for thinness.

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