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The truth about Binge Eating Disorder

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By Cheshire Que, RND, RN, RD

I would say these are typical and normal phases that people go through occasionally. But what if your cravings happen more often and the quantities you consume are more than what a normal person could consume in one sitting? Where does that leave you? Is there a way out of your situation?

Eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder is not given much thought because the problem occurs deep within an individual’s being. Hidden from the outside world but the struggle from within is so real, it’s inconspicuously debilitating a person’s health and well-being unbeknownst to the outside world, not even to the people close to her or him.

Do any of these circumstances seem familiar to you or are you experiencing any of these situations?

Eating an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most individuals would consume in a discrete period of time, for example within a couple of hours.

Feeling that you cannot stop eating, much less control the type and quantity of food consumed. There is a general sense of lack of control over eating during that episode.

Using laxatives, diuretics, and other medications and undergoing fasting or exercising excessively just to compensate for the binge eating episode, in the hopes of preventing weight gain.

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It’s not just a simple case of being matakaw (glutton). It has nothing to do with gluttony at all. Genetics and environmental factors contribute to the rise of eating disorders. This umbrella of conditions needs a deeper understanding as well as the guidance of a health professional in order to be managed and resolved.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), through the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, established the criteria for defining psychiatric conditions. They categorized Binge Eating Disorder under OSFED, otherwise known as Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders. Although conditions falling under OSFED are not necessarily eating disorders, they should not in any way be overlooked or treated as less severe eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

If you struggle with a situation similar to the one described here, it is highly recommended that you seek the guidance of a registered dietitian to guide you in your journey to improving your eating pattern and health. Your dietitian may refer you to other health professionals to address underlying issues too.

There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling with eating problems. The most important thing to do is to accept that a problem exists, and there are professionals who care enough to walk with you every step of the way to recovery.

cheshireque@gmail.com; www.cheshireque.com; Instagram:@cheshirequerdn

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