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Binge-Eating Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention And Complications

Oct 31, 2023

Binge-Eating Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention And Complications

Binge-eating disorder is a severe eating problem, that includes frequent episodes of excessive food consumption and an inability to quit eating.

All people occasionally overeat, for example, if they eat two or three courses at a celebration. However, when binge-eating disorder becomes uncontrollable and becomes a habit for some people, that's when it differentiates itself from excessive overeating.

A person suffering from binge eating might want to stop excessive eating, but your compulsion is so powerful that you can't control your cravings and stop yourself from excessive consumption of food. Counselling could be beneficial if you struggle with binge eating.

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Causes Of  Binge-Eating Disorder

The exact cause of binge-eating disorder is unknown. However, genetics, biological factors, long-term eating habits, and psychological problems all raise your risk.

Symptoms Of Binge-Eating Disorder

Below are mentioned a few behavioural and affective markers and manifestations of compulsive eating disorder:

  • Eating food until it causes discomfort
  • Feeling disgusted, guilty, humiliated, or depressed
  • Frequent dieting, even without losing weight
  • Unlike someone who suffers from bulimia, you don't usually use laxatives, induce vomiting, or engage in excessive activity to make up for the extra calories you consume during a binge.
  • Think about going on a diet or just eating regular meals. Excessive dieting could encourage binge eating more frequently.

Also Read: Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Risk Factors of Binge-Eating Disorder

Women are more likely than males to suffer from binge-eating disorder. A few factors that may increase your risk of developing binge-eating disorder are as follows:

  • Family History: Your likelihood of developing an eating disorder is greatly increased if any of your parents or siblings have this condition. This may indicate that hereditary genes increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.
  • Excessive dieting: A large number of people with binge-eating disorders have tried diets in the past. You may feel tempted to eat too much if you are cutting calories or following a diet during the day, especially if you are depressed.

Diagnosis  Of  Binge-Eating Disorder

Your doctor may also advise you to have further tests done to screen for potential health consequences of binge-eating disorder, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart problems, diabetes, GERD, and some sleep-related breathing disorders. These tests might include:

  • A physical examination
  • Blood and urine testing
  • An appointment with a sleep disorder clinic.

Also Read:

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - NEET PG PsychiatryAll About Panic Disorder and Phobias
Schizophrenia: History, Etiology, Symptoms For NEET PGDepression - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment - NEET PG Psychiatry

Treatment  Of  Binge-Eating Disorder

Because binge eating is closely associated with feelings of shame, low self-esteem, and other negative emotions, treatment for binge eating may also address depression and other mental health issues. 


In groups as well as individually, psychotherapy also referred to as talk therapy can help you how to replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones and reduce binge episodes. Examples of psychotherapy include:

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT): CBT may help you more effectively deal with issues like depression or unfavourable body image, which can trigger periods of binge eating. Additionally, it could allow you better behavioural control over your eating habits.
  • Interpersonal counselling: The primary focus of this type of therapy is on your connections with other people. The goal is to improve your interpersonal skills, or how you communicate with friends, family, and coworkers. This may reduce the quantity of binge eating that stems from unfulfilling relationships and inadequate communication methods.
  • Therapy using dialectical behaviour: By training in behavioural skills, you can reduce stress, improve your ability to control your emotions and forge stronger bonds with others.


The medication known as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, commonly referred to as Vyvanse and used for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is the first FDA-approved treatment for moderate to severe binge-eating behaviour in adults. One stimulant that can lead to habitual behaviour is Vyvanse. Although typical side effects like parched mouth and insomnia are probable, serious ones are also possible. Many other types of medications may also help with symptom relief. A few examples are:

  • Topamax, or topiramate, is an anticonvulsant medication. It has been demonstrated that topiramate, which is usually used to treat seizures, reduces the incidence of binge eating. However, there are also negative consequences, like anxiety, dizziness, sleepiness, and trouble concentrating. Talk about the advantages and disadvantages with your medical professional.
  • Antidepressants: Antidepressants may lessen the propensity to overindulge in food. Their exact mode of action is uncertain, although it may be connected to how they alter particular brain chemicals related to mood.

Weight loss programmes based on behaviour

Many people who struggle with binge-eating disorder have made independent attempts to lose weight in the past but were unsuccessful. However, weight-reduction programmes are typically not advised until the binge-eating problem is treated, as dieting may increase the frequency of binge-eating episodes and diminish the efficiency of weight loss.

To make sure your nutritional needs are satisfied, weight-loss programmes are typically carried out under medical supervision when appropriate. 

Complications Of Binge Eating

Binge eating disorder and the following mental health conditions are frequently associated:

  • Poor quality of life challenges in juggling your personal, professional, or social life
  • Societal isolation
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, GERD (gastric reflux disease), joint problems, and several sleep-related respiratory illnesses are among the medical conditions associated with obesity.
  • Depressive conditions
  • Manic states
  • Drug abuse disorders
  • Anxiety

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