Understanding binge eating disorder
Binge eating disorder is a common but largely unrecognized and misunderstood eating disorder. Recovery is possible, often with a combination of treatments, including behavioral health services and medications. By understanding the signs of the disorder, sufferers can recognize their symptoms and know when to talk to their physicians. Here is what you need to know about this serious condition.
What is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder is not a new eating disorder, but it is newly recognized as its own disorder rather than a symptom of another issue. Although it remains less well known than other conditions like anorexia nervosa or bulimia, it is actually the most common eating disorder in the US .
Binge eating disorder is characterized by episodes of consuming excessive amounts of foods without purging to get rid of the calories. Periods of eating are typically followed by intense periods of shame and guilt.
What are the symptoms?
Binge eating disorder is marked by episodes of overeating, or binge eating. These episodes take place during a specific period of time—in other words, they have a start and finish, rather than being ongoing. Binge episodes are usually characterized by these behaviors:
- Feeling out of control and unable to stop to eating
- Eating until uncomfortable
- Eating when not hungry
- Hiding eating habits out of embarrassment
- Feeling intense guilty or depression after binging
- Not purging, over-exercising, or otherwise trying to offset the increased calorie consumption.
People with binge eating disorder usually have episodes once or more per week for three months.
Who is most at risk of developing binge eating disorder?
Anyone can develop binge eating disorder, but it most frequently appears in teens and young adults. Women account for about 60% of patients. People with issues with low self-esteem, depression, and a family history of binge eating disorder are most at risk.
Don’t let concerns about your eating behaviors go unchecked. Contact West Hills Hospital & Medical Center to find a physician who can help you evaluate your habits and help you find the right treatment for your needs. To request a referral or to learn more about our hospital in West Hills, please call (818) 676-4321.