Binge eating disorder or BED is a syndrome characterized by repeated occurrences of binge eating. It involves consumption of a large quantity of food and the feeling of loss of control over the behavior. Obese adults with binge eating disorder complain of lower quality of life in regards to work, sexual life, and self-esteem. Many adults with this disorder also have anxiety disorders, depression, and some with substance abuse. BED represents the most common eating disorder in our population, yet some insurance companies will not pay for treatments of this disorder.
BED typically begins in the teenage years or adulthood but there are cases of children developing the condition. If developed during childhood, the risk of weight gain and metabolic syndrome becomes much higher. It is estimated that 50% of binge eating disorder cases are hereditary.
People suffering from addiction to cocaine, alcohol, or food all have a lower response to rewards via dopamine in the brain. In a healthy individual, the response to the rewarding substance is normal which leads to a decreased drive to consume. In the person with food addiction, the response is abnormal leading to a higher level of consumption. It is suggested drug addiction and obesity share the same abnormalities in the neuro-transmitter pathways.
There are several treatments for binge eating disorder including medication for mood and anxiety disorders as these are often underlying components of the condition. Surgical treatment is also an option for people who need to lose a significant amount of weight; gastric bypass and gastric band are two common bariatric procedures designed to eliminate excess body weight. Behavioral self-therapy combined with sticking to a low-glycemic, high protein diet such as The Thyrolife Protein Boost Diet and taking a weight loss supplement, such as Thyrolife Body Slim, may be a more sustainable and healthy way to help fight overeating and binge eating.