Binge eating is more common than anorexia or bulimia – but it’s still an underlying disorder and difficult to treat


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For many people, the term “eating disorder” will recall its two most familiar forms – anorexia nervosa and bulimia. However, what they may not realize is that “bulging binge eating disorder” is more popular than the other two combined and can significantly reduce quality of life.

More than just overeating, which most people will find themselves doing from time to time, binge eating reflects a repetitive pattern of behavior of losing control, gobbling up food, and feeling embarrassed and ashamed. subsequent guilt.

Binge eating disorder is only recognized as a diagnosis in two thousand and thirteen, much later than anorexia and bulimia. But a lack of awareness about binge eating means that people experiencing the disorder don’t get the help they need from their doctors.

Like ours multinational research project It was recently found that people with binge eating disorder were also underrepresented in studies of eating disorders, limiting researchers’ ability to develop treatments.

Understand the fundamentals of binge eating

Unlike bulimia, or the type of anorexia associated with binge eating and binge eating, people with bulimia nervosa do not try to compensate with strategies such as purging or binge eating. Excessive exercise after a bout of binge eating.

Also unlike anorexia or bulimia, which mainly affect women, bulimia affects estimates of 3.5% women and 2% men throughout their life. In New Zealand, that means more than 130,000 people have this particular eating disorder. In Australia, this can affect more than 600,000 people in their lifetime.

Although it can first appear in childhood and adolescence, binge eating is more common in children. early maturity. Importantly, binge eating can be observed in people of all body sizes, although many people who experience binge eating will stay in the same state. higher weight range.

According to America National Library of MedicineThere are five criteria for a diagnosis of binge eating disorder:

  1. Repeated episodes of bingeing are characterized by eating for a limited period of time, a larger amount of food than most people would eat under similar circumstances, and also experiencing bingeing. Drink uncontrollably during exercise.
  2. Binge eating is associated with three or more of the following: eating much faster than usual, eating until you feel uncomfortably full, eating large amounts of food when you’re not feeling hungry, eat alone out of shame and feel disgusted, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
  3. Visible suffering from binge eating.
  4. Binge eating, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  5. Binge eating is separate from other disordered eating behaviors, including vomiting after eating, as occurs with bulimia.

Other warning signs of binge eating disorder include:

  • frequent weight fluctuations
  • fad diets, which involve eliminating entire food groups (carbs, sugar, dairy, etc.)
  • take extreme care with body weight and shape
  • stealing or hoarding food
  • withdraw from friends and usual activities
  • eat in secret and conceal evidence (such as food wrappers).

Long-term health complications Links to this type of eating disorder include heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and osteoarthritis (caused by wear and tear of the cartilage that cushions the ends of bones in joints).

Hide from view

Even so, binge eating is still considered a “hidden” eating disorder. Without the excessive weight loss or purging behaviors that can accompany other eating disorders, binge eating would be less noticeable.

Gambling can even be dismissed as merely a habitual excessive desire act. Media depictions of eating disorders perpetuate this idea, often focusing on anorexia.

The stigma and shame surrounding binge eating behaviors is significant and can prevent people from accessing help and treatments that can combat the disorder. Less than half of those with binge eating habits will seek and receive treatment.

Patients usually won’t disclose their binge eating symptoms to their doctors, meaning treatments often focus on weight loss and Other health complications of binge eating but did not recognize the behavior-driven eating disorder.

This lack of awareness and discussion affects recruitment to eating disorder research.

Research gap

Recruiting people who have experienced binge eating for eating disorder studies is important to better understand the disorder and improve treatments.

However, our experience recruiting participants for our study suggests this can be challenging. Despite our best efforts, the number of participants with anorexia or bulimia was far greater than that of binge eaters – a pattern observed in New Zealand, Australia and the US .

Current treatments for adults with binge eating disorder including Cognitive behavioral therapyantidepressants and, in some countries, drugs lisdexamfetamineis the only drug approved to date.

Visibility will improve treatment options

Awareness and education that binge eating is a common – and potentially life-threatening – eating disorder is essential to combat current stigma and provide insight into the causes of behavior.

The government has announced an addition NZ$3.9 million funding eating disorder services in this year’s budget. But if binge eating remains obscured from view, sufferers may miss out on the essential support this boost can provide.

Humans with guzzle disorders should be supported by their physician to seek help and encouraged to participate in research that will ultimately lead to better outcomes. Until that happens, we are working blindly trying to tackle a disorder that affects thousands of people.

Binge eating disorders can be treated

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This article was republished from Conversation under Creative Commons license. Read original article.Conversation

Quote: Anorexia is more common than anorexia or bulimia — but it is still an underlying disorder and difficult to treat (2022, October 23) accessed October 23, 2022 from https://medicalxpress .com/news/2022-10-binge-general-anorexia-bulimiabut-hidden.html

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