Binge eating disorder is a serious and life-threatening eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating.
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Binge eating episodes are characterized by both of the following:
1. Eating, in a discrete period of time (within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances
2. A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating)
Binge eating disorder is associated with three (or more) of the following:
1. Eating much more rapidly than normal
2. Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
3. Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
4. Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating
5. Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward
A diagnosis of binge eating disorder is made when an individual has binge eating episodes at least once a week for 3 months and also experiences distress about binge eating.
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States. It affects women slightly more often than men and usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood. However, it can occur in children and older adults as well.
Binge eating disorder is a serious condition that can lead to long-term consequences, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Binge eating disorder can also lead to social isolation and poor self-esteem.
If you think you may suffer from binge eating, it is important to seek professional help. Treatment for binge eating disorder usually includes some form of counseling or therapy, along with lifestyle changes, such as eating regular meals and snacks, reducing stress, and avoiding triggers for binge eating episodes. The important thing is to realize that you are not alone and to not be scared or ashamed. Many people have overcome this disorder and with the correct support, you to can overcome this and take back control of your life.
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