Binge eating is one of the most common eating disorders in the US. In fact, it's diagnosed more often than anorexia nervosa or bulimia. It also affects more women than men. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with binge eating disorder frequently eat large amounts of food, stuffing themselves even though they're full, and usually feel out of control when eating. The difference between binge eating disorder and bulimia (binge eating, then vomiting or using laxatives to rid the body of food) is that sufferers usually don't purge the food they've eaten, though some will starve themselves between episodes of bingeing.
Even though research into binge eating disorder is relatively new, doctors have a good idea of who may be at most risk of developing the condition.
Doctors believe people are more likely to suffer from binge eating disorder if they've experienced low self-esteem, poor body image, depression or issues with food management.
Because binge eating disorder revolves around consuming lots of calories over an extended period of time, complications are markedly similar to those of obesity.
The first step to treating the condition is to speak to a doctor. A number of treatments including cognitive behavioral therapy (teaching patients ways to monitor their eating habits), psychotherapy and antidepressant medication.
If you suspect you may have binge eating disorder or any other disordered eating pattern, talk to your doctor to ensure you get help before it becomes a danger to your health.
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