Eating disorders cost the NHS around £200m a year, and the bill for in-patient care averages out at £98,750 per admission.
From 2012 to 2013, there were 2,560 hospital admissions for eating disorders in England - a rise of 8% on the previous year. (1)
BED is defined as compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop, binge eating is a serious problem for many and can cause many life problems.
There is a difference between over eating and bingeing, it’s a very fine line, but there is a difference. Sometimes I over eat simply because the food tastes so good, but it's not a loss of control, like BED is.
‘Sugar addiction’ has been used by many individuals to describe their behaviours, when they are actually suffering from BED. In my previous post I ‘Is Sugar Additive?’ I wrote of the misunderstanding of comparing ‘sugar addiction’ to a drug or alcohol addiction. What people could really be suffering from when they say they are addicted to sugar is really a BED.
Emotion symptoms of BED include;
Stress and anxiety
- Never satisfied
- Guilt and shame over your eating
Behavioural symptoms include;
- Eating sugar to excess, even when already full
- Inability to stop eating
- Eating it in secret
- No regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.
The above symptoms, which can occur with any kind of food, not just sugar can lead to serious illness, life problems and death.
Luckily there are treatments and doctors to help BED patients, because simply avoiding the foods they can not stop eating is no an effective treatment. Restriction leads to cravings, which can lead to further binging.
Over dieting and restriction has actually been linked to being a primary cause of BED and therefore has the potential to make the disorder much worse once it is already established. Over time it becomes worse and worse until it becomes a habit, leading to binges maybe occurring multi times a day.
Some tips that might help curb your binging -
Try planning your meals and the food you will be eating and make compromises when necessary.
- Make your plan manageable with small sustainable changes.
- Give yourself time and remember BED is not cured over night. It may get stressful, but it is important to understand this is a complex disease.
Many people do not understand the disorder which can result in them pointlessly saying ‘why don't you just quit?’ However, it is not that simple!
Treatment can range from both mental and physical behavioural, and this is why it is so important to seek proper, evidence-based treatment from experts who give you support you can trust. Scientists have even now demonstrated treatment of binge eating disorder with a drug known as lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse.) which shows promise for the future. (2)
So please seek professional help if you feel you are suffering from BED!
Start at b-eat, seek treatment from professionals in your area, or talk to your doctor about a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist with eating disorder experience.Your eating should not be dictating your life and causing harm. It is possible for everyone to eat normally, enjoy food and improve health with their diet fitting into their lifestyle. Stay positive, and remember you're not alone.