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Binge Eating Disorder

 Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder that manifests as re-current episodes of consuming unusually large amounts of food within a short period of time, often accompanied by a sense of loss of control during eating. Binge eating is unlike other eating disorders, such as Bulimia nervosa, in that there is no compensatory purging behaviour that follows a binge eating episode. This disorder can affect individuals across various ages and backgrounds, and is notably prevalent in Australia, being the most common eating disorder. Statistics demonstrate that Binge eating disorder affects an estimated one million individuals.

 

The key binge eating disorder symptoms include periods of uncontrolled, impulsive and continuous eating, eating until uncomfortably full and feeling like you are unable to stop. Other behaviours include, eating alone or in secret, unexplained disappearance of food, hiding or hoarding food, avoiding discussions about food and weight and increased isolation and withdrawal from activities previously enjoyed. Binge eating disorder often intertwines with restrictive food disorder, forming a cycle known as the binge-restrict cycle, where individuals may restrict food intake during the day, leading to binge eating episodes later.

 

From clinical observations the most effective management of binge eating disorder is to explore triggers that prompt the binge eating. Ensuring adequate nutrition and food intake is crucial, as insufficient nourishment can exacerbate the urge to binge. Once the individual is eating a sufficient amount, addressing triggers related to habits or emotions. The recommended binge eating disorder treatments include CBT-E, RAVES and intuitive eating. All of these treatments have been proven effective in the treatment and recovery of binge eating disorder.

 

Binge eating disorder treatment is essential for quality of life.  Accessing appropriate treatment and seeking professional support and guidance, can be transformative and significantly impact one's well-being.

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