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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder

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Almost everyone overeats on occasion, if overeating becomes a regular occurrence then its called binge-eating disorder, as serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food.


Signs and symptoms of binge eating

  • Periodically does not exercise control over consumption of food

  • Eats an unusually large amount of food at one time, binge eating may last for few hours or even entire day

  • Eats much more quickly during binge episodes when compared to normal eating episodes

  • Eats until physically uncomfortable (bloated stomach) and feels like they're on the verge of throwing up.

  • Eats when depressed, stressed, bored and sad

  • Eats large amounts of food even not hungry and stomach is full

  • Eats alone and rapidly during binge eating episodes, in order to avoid discovery of the disorder

  • Hiding the empty food container

  • Feels disgusted, depressed, or guilty or even upset after binge eating

 Risk factors

  • Most people with binge-eating disorder are either overweight or obese, but people of normal weight can also have the disorder.

  • Binge-eating disorder is twice as common among women as among men.

  • Dieting is often a risk factor for both anorexia and bulimia.

  • Psychological issues- behavioral and emotional problems are common with binge-eaters.

  • Sexual abuse- some people with binge eating disorder say they were sexually abused as children.


 Psychological causes

  • Psychological and emotional factors play a important role in binge-eating disorder. Half of the people with this disorder have been depressed in the past.

  • Triggering factors like happiness, anger, sadness, and boredom precipitates binge eating.

 Biological causes:

  • The role of brain chemicals and metabolism that regulate appetite centers, along with gastrointestinal changes that might shed light on causes.

 Tests and diagnosis

  Laboratory test:

  • Complete blood examination

  • Lipid profile

  • Thyroid function test

  • Serum electrolytes

  • Random blood sugar

 Psychological evaluation

 Other studies: Sleep apnea, gall bladder disease, and heart disease.


  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Panic attacks

  • Substance or alcohol abuse

  • Obesity

  • High blood pressure

  • Type II diabetes

  • Gall bladder disease

  • Heart disease

  • Stroke

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Joint and muscle pain

  • Sleep apnea

  • Gastro intestinal problems

 Treatment and drugs


 Medical treatment:

  • Antidepressant: SSRI’s and tricyclic antidepressants

  • Anticonvulsants: Topiramate

  • Anti obesity drugs: Sibutramine

 Behavioral weight loss programs