Binge eating disorder (BED) is by no means a minor issue, as you can see from multiple studies of the subject (International Journal of Eating Disorders). Even when mild, this problem can have severe health consequences because people rarely binge on healthy foods. Therefore, every episode increases your risk of high cholesterol, obesity, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It’s essential to get proper treatment for binge eating disorder as soon as possible.
Binge Eating Disorder: Causes
Like with all eating disorders, the exact causes of binge eating are a mystery. The data available today indicates that it most likely occurs due to a combination of several factors. Those include:
- Emotional trauma
- Mental health issues
- Brain changes (in particular those related to self-control)
Binge eating is more prevalent in women and over 50% of people suffering from the disorder are obese. However, it’s difficult to say whether obesity can be considered the cause, because BED itself contributes to the development of obesity.
There is little evidence to believe that binge eating is a genetic issue. But it’s definitely connected to a person’s dopamine sensitivity.
Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Tips
The main element of BED treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. In severe cases, you might be prescribed specialized medication, like Topamax or antidepressants. However, it’s therapy that plays the main role.
Note that dieting and traditional weight loss programs are actually a bad idea during the binge eating disorder treatment. The stress from a new diet only contributes to the issue and thus might trigger more episodes.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t start working on your weight loss plans while getting therapy for the condition. In fact, some techniques can be outright helpful in this case. The most effective of them is to learn how to control your appetite. By doing this, you’ll get more control over your impulses, thus managing the disorder will become easier. Some of the main tips for appetite control, like ‘avoid temptation’ also factor into the cognitive behavioral therapy you should get for BED. Banning products you binge on from your home is one of the necessary changes you’ll need to make.
A healthy nutritious diet is another important element of the binge eating disorder treatment. However, you’ll need to have to get professional help with developing a nutritional plan for yourself. It has to be personalized and account for your condition and medications you take.
Overall, you need to make sure your body gets all essential nutrients it needs. It’s also essential to keep yourself from becoming too hungry.
As mental health problems and stress are the main causes of binge eating, you should focus on them in your treatment. That’s why therapy and relaxation are most efficient helpers when struggling with BED or any other eating disorder.
However, while professional help is definitely important, you can boost your recovery speed with the help of a support network. It would be perfect if you have loving family and friends who can join you in therapy. It’s even better when they are prepared to help you through your episodes and literally prevent you from binging.
Don’t get upset if you don’t have a personal support network. You can definitely build one by attending support groups for eating disorders. Even if you only join one online or make friends through social media, you’ll definitely benefit from their support. And you’ll be able to support them too, so you’ll be motivating each other to get better.
The most important thing you should understand is that binge eating is a problem and you shouldn’t ignore it. The sooner you address the issue and get help, the better is the prognosis. This eating disorder can be cured if you establish healthy eating patterns, so just start working on them with proper help.