Binge eating disorder can make a person’s life miserable. Actually, most people feel ashamed to come out and seek treatment. It is an easy condition to hide and someone might keep it from even the people closest to him or her. Eating disorders need a flexible treatment plan that can be adjusted to fit any particular case. Basically, the sole purpose of binge eating disorder treatment is to enable the patient to regain control over his or her eating habits. Some of the treatment methods are medication, talk therapy and nutrition counseling.
Lisdexamfetamine became the first drug to be approved by FDA as treatment for binge eating disorder. It works well in reducing the number of episodes that the patient haves and it can also help in the treatment of ADHD. The most common side effects that come with this medication are lack of sleep, dryness of the mouth and in severe cases patients may experience serious complications like heart attacks, stroke and psychiatric issues.
Topiramate is an anti-seizure drug that can also be used in the treatment of binge eating disorder. It comes with a few side effects like trouble speaking, memory loss, sedation and tingling sensations in the toes and fingers.
Some patients may be prescribed a certain antidepressant called SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). It boosts the production of serotonin in the brain, which positively impacts the patient’s eating habits by lifting his or her moods. The long term effects of this treatment are still unknown. However, the common side effects that come with it include; feeling sick or being sick, an anxious feeling, shakiness or agitation, constipation or constant diarrhea, weight loss due to diminishing appetite, dizziness, loss of or too much sleep, blurred vision and indigestion.
These side effects clear over time in most cases. However, they can be persistent.
Psychotherapy and family therapy
Psychotherapy is a form of counseling that can be used to treat individuals with binge eating disorders. Specifically, there is behavioral therapy that is meant to change the behavior of the patient and cognitive therapy that focuses on the thinking of the patient. They help the patient to deal with difficult situations and include some practical techniques to help in developing a positive attitude toward weight and food.
Family therapy is another option. It is very important for family members to be in the light about your condition, since their support plays a major role in the recovery process. Group therapy is also encouraged. Patients can find support here and it’s a platform that encourages open speaking. People with common problems and experiences find support and encouragement when openly discussing their concerns and feelings.
The main purpose of this treatment is to teach the patient the values of a balanced diet and healthy nutrition. The patient needs to get an idea of the negative effects of bad eating habits. This is very important in normalizing the patient’s eating habits.
Causes of binge eating disorders
Although there is no precise cause of binge eating disorder, there are a number of factors that contribute to its development. They are:
- Psychological: Studies have shown that there is a strong connection between binge eating disorder and depression. Low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and inability to deal with feelings can contribute to the development of eating disorders.
- Biological: Genetic mutations, hormonal irregularities and other biological abnormalities may lead to food addiction and eating disorders.
- Social and cultural: People who go through traumatizing situations or have been abused physically or mentally have higher chances of developing binge eating disorder. Social pressures may also trigger emotional eating.
Signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder
Most people who suffer from binge eating disorder tend to hide the signs and symptoms due to shame or embarrassment. However, these are the signs and symptoms that can be noticed in the case of binge eating disorder:
- Unable to stop eating even when full
- Continuous eating even when full
- Secretly piling food for later
- Eating vigorously when isolated
- Feeling relief from anxiety or stress when eating
- Lack of sensation and numbness when bingeing
- Lack of the feeling of satisfaction no matter the amount of food consumed
Many social, emotional and physical complications often come up as a result of binge eating disorders. Some of them are:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Gallbladder complications
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Insomnia or lack of sleep
Facts you need to know about binge eating disorder
1. Binge eating disorder comes in episodes that may be triggered by certain kinds of foods. Carbohydrates and fats can cause the release of serotonin in the brain, which can lead to pleasurable feelings. This is why people with binge disorder tend to go for foods rich in carbohydrates and fats to make them feel better when stressed or dealing with difficult situations.
2. You spend almost half of your life at your work place, and this makes it an important part of your social life. It can negatively or positively affect your self-esteem. A low self-esteem and other stresses that come with the job may lead to binge eating disorders that can even put you at risk of losing your job.
3. Mindfulness techniques have shown to make a contribution to the treatment of binge eating disorder. Mindfulness strengthens the connection between the mind and body, which enables you to be in control of your feelings and emotions. This has shown to reduce eating disorders and help in weight management and diabetes management. It also has positive nutritional outcomes.
4. Treatment of binge eating disorders may involve more than one health professional. A medical doctor, therapist/counselor, dietitian and psychiatrist may need to work together in some cases of binge eating disorders, with each one of them playing a particular role in the treatment process.
5. People experiencing eating disorders such as binge eating disorder and bulimia nervosa should be careful with where they get nutritional advice. This is simply because nutritional misinformation will most probably worsen the situation. Qualified nutrition experts and other trusted sources are always recommended to avoid further complications.
6. Eating in restaurants can be a tricky affair for people with eating disorders. The food choices in the menu can be overwhelming and stray you from your nutritional diet.
7. Binge eating disorder is often perceived as overeating and might go undetected for a long time. Many people suffering from this condition are even in the dark regarding their disorder, and may just brush it off as too much appetite.
8. Binge eating disorder will, in most cases, lead to obesity or just being overweight, and this becomes another problem altogether. People with binge eating disorders will probably need to consult a weight management expert or consider taking on a workout routine. This may be during or after the treatment of the eating disorder. However, treatment of the eating disorder will automatically lead to weight loss in most cases.
Binge eating disorder is a serious condition but can be fixed with proper treatment. With commitment to treatment, a lot of people will overcome the habits of overeating and embrace healthy eating habits.