What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorder happens when a person often eats large amounts of food in a short time. People who have it feel out of control and may eat until they are painfully full. Unlike people with bulimia, they don't vomit or try other ways to get rid of calories after a binge.

Some people who binge have a normal weight. But over time, many gain weight. Most people need treatment to get better.

What happens when you have binge eating disorder?

When you have binge eating disorder, you eat large amounts of food in a short time. You may feel out of control and eat so much that it hurts.

Frequent binge eating can cause you to gain a large amount of weight. This can happen even if you try to restrict your food intake between binges. People with binge eating disorder may try to follow strict diets. But dieting does not stop binge eating in the long term and might actually make the problem worse.

You might feel so discouraged at times that you stop trying to control your eating disorder. One binge might merge into the next, with no period of normal eating in between.

In most cases, you will need treatment to get better. If you have binge eating disorder, treatment can prevent health problems, help you feel better about yourself, and improve the quality of your life.

What are the symptoms of binge eating disorder?

From time to time, most of us feel like we have eaten more than we should. But eating too much every now and then doesn't mean that you have binge eating disorder. If you have binge eating disorder, you may:

  • Eat way too much in a short period of time (less than 2 hours) on a regular basis.
  • Eat when you're not hungry.
  • Feel like you can't stop eating.
  • Eat faster than normal when you binge eat.
  • Eat so much that you feel painfully full.
  • Feel unhappy, upset, guilty, or depressed after you binge eat.
  • Eat alone because you're embarrassed about how much you eat.

Even if you don't have all these symptoms, having a few can be a sign of a problem that needs treatment. It's important to get help if you or someone you know has any of these symptoms.

How is binge eating disorder treated?

Treatment for binge eating disorder includes counseling and medicine. You may need treatment for a long time to fully recover. You also may need treatment for other problems that often occur with binge eating disorder. These can include bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, obesity, or problems with being overweight.

How is binge eating disorder diagnosed?

A doctor can find out if you have binge eating disorder by asking about eating habits and past health. Your doctor may also ask about your mental health and how you feel about food and your body. If you're overweight, your doctor may do a physical exam to rule out problems that it can cause.

What causes binge eating disorder?

Experts are not sure what causes binge eating disorder. But it seems to run in families. Cultural attitudes about body shape and weight might also play a role. Anxiety, depression, or stress can cause some people to binge eat.

What is binge eating disorder?

Binge eating is an eating disorder. People who have it eat large amounts of food in a short time. They may feel out of control and eat until they are painfully full. Some people who binge have a normal weight. But over time, many gain weight. Most people need treatment to get better.

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