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Thursday, August 16, 2007

TT #52: Binge Eating Disorder

TT52

Thirteen things about Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Yesterday I told my story about eating disorders in a follow-up meeting of a group of women who have been suffering from Binge Eating Disorder.

It strikes me how much incomprehension people with BED still encounter. Anorexia and bulimia are mostly recognized, but often people with BED are condemned and told "they should just eat less and all will be okay"...

How much do you know about BED?

  • Most of us overeat from time to time, and some of us often feel we have eaten more than we should have. Eating a lot of food does not necessarily mean that you have binge eating disorder though! People with binge eating disorder frequently consume an unusually large amount of food during a short period of time (a limited period, usually less than two hours) and feel out of control during the binges (i.e. the feeling that one cannot stop eating).
  • People with binge eating disorder also may eat more quickly than usual during binge episodes, eat until they are uncomfortably full, eat when they are not physically hungry, eat alone because of embarrassment and feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after binging.
  • People with BED do not show inappropriate compensatory behaviour like purging, excessive exercise, lengthy fasting and/or abuse of laxatives.
  • Serious medical conditions can be a consequence of BED: obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease and/or failure, gallbladder disease, arthritis, bone deterioration, stroke or other heart problems, upper respiratory problems, skin disorders, menstrual irregularities, ovarian abnormalities, complications of pregnancy, depression /anxiety and other mood disorders, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse.
  • Social consequences are common. People with BED are extremely distressed by their binge eating. Most have tried to control it on their own but have not succeeded for very long. Some people miss work, school, or social activities to binge eat. Obese people with binge eating disorder often feel bad about themselves, are preoccupied with their appearance, and may avoid social gatherings. Most feel ashamed and try to hide their problem. Often they are so successful that close family members and friends don't know they binge eat.
  • Studies have found that people with BED may find it harder than other people to continue in weight loss treatment. In addition, they may be more likely to regain weight quickly. These are some of the reasons that people with BED may require treatment that focuses on their binge eating before they try to lose weight. Further, even those who are not overweight are frequently distressed by their binge eating and may benefit from treatment.
  • There are several methods currently used to treat BED:
    a. Cognitive-behavioural therapy: Method in which the client is taught techniques to monitor and change their eating habits, as well as to change the way they respond to difficult and stressful situations.
    b. Interpersonal psychotherapy: Method in which the client is taught to examine their relationships with friends and family and to make changes in problem areas.
    c. Medications: Antidepressants may be helpful for some individuals.
    d. Self-help groups: These groups may be a good additional source of support for many.
    Research is still trying to attempting to determine which method or combination of methods is the most effective in controlling BED.
  • Although it has only recently been recognized as a distinct condition, binge eating disorder is probably the most common eating disorder. Most people with BED are obese (more than 20 percent above a healthy body weight), but normal-weight people also can be affected.
  • Obese people with binge eating disorder often became overweight at a younger age than those without the disorder. They also may have more frequent episodes of losing and regaining weight (yo-yo dieting).
  • Binge eating disorder affects women slightly more often than men; estimates indicate that about 60% of people struggling with binge eating disorder are female, 40% are male.
  • BED is often confused with Compulsive Overeating. It is not exactly the same though. CO is more like eating too much during the day, not necessarily in binges but spread and eaten more steady and calm.
  • No one knows for sure what causes BED. As many as half of all people with binge eating disorder are depressed or have been depressed in the past. Whether depression causes binge eating disorder or whether binge eating disorder causes depression is not known. It is also unclear if dieting and binge eating are related. Some people binge eat after dieting. Dieting here means skipping meals, not eating enough food each day, or avoiding certain kinds of food. These are unhealthy ways to try to change your body shape and weight. Studies suggest that people with binge eating may have trouble handling some of their emotions. Many people who are binge eaters say that being angry, sad, bored, worried, or stressed can cause them to binge eat.
  • Researchers are looking into how brain chemicals and metabolism (the way the body uses calories) affect BED. Other research suggests that genes may be involved in binge eating, since the disorder often occurs in several members of the same family. This research is still in the early stages though.

If you think you might have binge eating disorder, it is important to know that you are not alone. Most people who have the disorder have tried but failed to control it on their own. You may want to get professional help. Talk to your health care provider about the type of help that may be best for you. The good news is that most people do well in treatment and can overcome binge eating for good!


sources: SABN (Dutch foundation of Eating Disorders), ED Referral, WomensHealth.gov, Weight-control Information Network, Healthier You

image in header: Food & Feelings


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54 comments:

  1. Very interesting, and informative! This is why I love reading your blog, I always learn something from my visits here .. :) Happy TT!

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  2. Interesting stuff, Tink. I swear, when I have to take Prednisone (like for an asthma attack), this is what happens to me.

    Thankfully, it's been almost two years since the last asthma attack. I hate prednisone...

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  3. hanks for all the info- I learned a lot! Happy T13!

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  4. This is an excellent post Tink. It's amazing how little you do hear about this disorder. It much be so hard for the people who are trying to deal with it.

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  5. I didn't know a lot of these facts.Thanks for writing this one up. Happy Thursday.

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  6. I did not know all of that about BED. It is great that you are using your TT to bring awareness to this eating disorder. I hope you have a wonderful week!

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  7. Having experienced one of the related medical issues you list I can see BED wouldn't be at all pleasant. Really informative post. I hope lots of people read it today.

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  8. Very interesting -- I didn't know much about BED.
    Great TT and thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Wow...Im not sure how to respond accept, thanks for the info. Happy TT.

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  10. I have 2 very good friends who battle with this disorder. What a struggle! Thanks for this TT; I'm sure it's gonna help lots of people :) Have a great Thursday, and thanks for stopping by this week!
    Dk

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  11. Wow... this is very informative. I didn't know there was such disease. Thanks for posting it, Tink! :)

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  12. heavy stuff, Tink. Thanks for putting it out there. I can see myself in a few of these symptoms. Oh boy, now you've got me thinking...

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  13. this is very good information. Thanks for sharing. I think I can safely say, I don't have it.

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  14. Very interesting. I here ya Susan, when I take pred I am ready to go out and just kill my own food. And a lot of it.

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  15. Bulimia is different from anorexia, & now you've introduced us to BED. Thank you for posting this. My niece, who I love so much, is entering high school and adolescence is such a dangerous age for this sort of thing.

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  16. Wow, that was certainly an eye-opening post. It is always sobering for me to hear what kinds of problems other people are battling with in this world. Suddenly my own always seem so little in comparison.

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  17. I always learn a lot from you!

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  18. Thank you for this topic. I had a version of binge eating set off by severe depression as a child that was misdiagnosed.

    It took a good deal of behavioral modification, most done on my own, to relearn how to deal with stress, and other triggers. It's good to see more about it out there for others to discover and learn from.

    I'm so glad I chose to do TT this week.

    Thanks again.

    ~Xakara

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  19. Very interesting but never heard of it ! When I read in my comments that you have 13 things about BED, I really thought you were talking about beds, lol ! So you can imagine my face when I saw the real subject !

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  20. Gattina, to be honest: that was on purpose... :-)

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  21. Quitr an education for me here. Thanks!

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  22. I didn't know much about this. Thank you for showing me.

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  23. Intersting. You usually hear about Anorexia or Bulima, never much about this. Thanks for the info.

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  24. I didn't realize this was a separate condition from anorexia and bulimia. Thanks for the post!

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  25. Thank you for all of the information - I learned a lot about BED that I'd never known before. Thank you for the visit and the comment on mine!

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  26. Wow, fascinating. I'm guilty of the same thing almost everyone else is, thinking eating disorders are limited to the deathly skinny.

    I'm glad you shared this, and I'm glad you visited me so that I could read it.

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  27. Very informative, well, written, and just plain wonderful!

    Thanks for the info, I feel like I learned something today!

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  28. Great information. It sounds like it's hard to cope with.

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  29. Great post. Well written, happy tt

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  30. Wow, every time I visit your blog you educate or entertain me. Thanks for the TT, and keep it up.

    Ed
    http://edsthread.co.nr

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  31. interesting, i had never heard of this. thanks...

    smiles, bee

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  32. Thanks for the heads up. Always good to know just in case I have a student w/ BED.

    I hope you get better and the treatment and support you recieve will help you for the long road ahead.

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  33. Very interesting, Tink. Any kind of eating disorder should be taken seriously no matter what it is.

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  34. Absolutely riveting TT post, Tink. I suffered from BED for years, and work like the dickens to keep it under control now. The disorder didn't have a name then, that's relatively new. And about damn time, I'd say! Thanks for this wonderful TT. :-)

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  35. Kudos, Tink, for spotlighting this disorder. It's all too often simply viewed as gluttony.

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  36. This is a very interesting and informative list. I didn't know a lot of this. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for visiting my TT.

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  37. Great TT! Thanks for compiling and sharing this information. It's invaluable to those that have a problem with binge eating and its educational value is tremendous.

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  38. Wow, that's a whole lotta stuff I didn't know. Happy TT'ing! http://www.incogblogo.net/

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  39. Hey Tink

    I was not aware of BED. Thanks for the info.

    You will be in mt Prayers.

    Mitch

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  40. Oh this was heavy Tink...a lot to be aware of and a very good lesson for all of us...especially parents.

    You are always brave and sharing your world with us thanks so much!

    Much to think about...

    Candy

    here is my TT list...

    http://gnosticminx.blogspot.com/2007/08/lights-camera-action-your-guide-to.html

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  41. You always have some very interesting and informative ideas on here. feel like I am going to school! :)

    www.chelleyoung.com

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  42. Very interesting info on this topic. I see I have several symptoms of BED. I wonder if knowing this will help me to settle it down... hhhmmmm.

    Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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  43. That's very imformative. Thanks. Happy TT

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  44. That's a highly informative post; thank you so much. Hubby and I have a friend who we think has BED. What an excellent idea for a T13.

    Happy TT, and thanks for visiting mine!

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  45. Wow...what an informative TT! Come on over and enter my Elvis contest!

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  46. I've had it before. I created it in myself when I started fasting to lose weight. It lasted a few years and then when I got pregnant and started eating breakfast again and good food, it went away. I was way out of control. Addicted to granola, only ate at night...until I felt sick. My husband has had it too...a sugar addict. We love the Shwarzbein Principle book. It cured him.

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  47. Thanks for doing this, Tink. This is a terribly misunderstood disease, and it's time people recognized it and started treating it rather than treating obese people like a plague.

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  48. Very interesting Tink. Thanks for posting this.

    Hi, Susan- I'm right there with you on the prednisone- I don't binge when I'm on it- what would happen with me is I'd get hungry (so hungry you feel slightly sick) while I was eating. Bleh.

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  49. This was very interesting. I find that I was mis-informed about binge eating and thought it included purging.

    Thanks for cruising by my place today.

    Happy TT.

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  50. I posted the answers to the rebus puzzle from my TT! :)

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  51. Wow! i didn't know alot of these details and thought myself pretty up to date on the topic due to promotions studies made for teen eating disorders.
    excellent post!

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  52. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Very informative list! Thanks for sharing.

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  53. Great TT. I actually already knew this stuff as I researched it in late gradeschool. I used to eat till I puked, just couldn't seem to stop. Mostly before bed. I'd have 2 pieces of toast, a barrel of popcorn and a couple bowls of cereal all within an hour and a half.

    Come visit my TT, it's a list of 13 contests: http://callistasramblings.blogspot.com/2007/08/thursday-thirteen-8-contests.html

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  54. Very interesting, and also very useful.

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