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Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

What is a Binge Eating Disorder?

Medical cannabis for Binge Eating Disorder.Binge eating is a common eating disorder that is associated with regularly eating large amounts of food over a short duration, until uncomfortably full. Feelings of guilt usually occur for sufferers after a binge eating episode, often leading to food restriction for a period afterward.

What Causes Binge Eating?

There is no exact cause known for binge eating, however, certain elements can make a person more likely to suffer from the disorder:

  • Family history of disordered eating.
  • Being bullied or criticised over eating habits or weight.
  • Experiencing anxiety or suffering from low self-esteem.
  • Cultural pressures.
  • Obsession over weight and body shape.

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms

The most common symptom of a binge eating disorder is eating a lot of food in a short period of time and feeling a loss of control over the amount you eat, even if you are full. The symptoms can vary from person-to-person, however, some of the other symptoms include:

  • Eating when not hungry.
  • Eating fast during a binge.
  • Eating alone.
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed after eating a lot.

The signs of a binge eating disorder in someone else can include:

  • Preferring to eat alone.
  • Attempting to hide the amount their eating.
  • Change in weight (both gaining or losing weight).
  • Mood swings.

These are some key signs to be aware of if you believe someone you know may be suffering silently from a binge eating disorder.

How to Know if You Have a Binge Eating Disorder

Medical cannabis for Binge Eating Disorder.If you have any of the symptoms of a binge eating disorder and feel a loss of control when eating large amounts of food all at once, it is important to speak to a professional as soon as you can. Contact your GP so they can assess your mood, eating habits, and your overall health. They can provide you with the help you need from there.

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

Recovery from a binge eating disorder can take time and overcoming the habits and thought patterns influenced by a binge eating disorder isn’t easy. However, with the correct help for a binge eating disorder and the right treatment, recovery is possible.
The main treatments include:

  • Guided self-help programmes
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which can be in groups or 1-to-1 sessions.

The individual affected will be guided by a specialist or their GP as to which treatment is best suited to them and their symptoms.

Binge Eating Disorder and Medicinal Cannabis

Research into the effect of medicinal cannabis on binge eating disorder is limited. However, following the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes in 2018, there has been a rise in people looking towards medical cannabis. When first-line therapies have not proved effective at reducing symptoms, medical cannabis may be considered an option for binge eating disorder.

For further information and to find out more about medical cannabis, click here to discover more about our award-winning Curaleaf Access Scheme. Alternatively, complete an eligibility assessment now. Once complete, one of our clinicians will review your application and advise whether you are eligible for progression to an appointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

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Speak to your GP to be diagnosed and referred to specialised support for binge eating disorder, including guided self-help programmes and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Try to self-help by becoming more aware of when a binge is starting and what triggers a binge, this allows the sufferer to address the issues that may be causing them to over-indulge. Avoiding over-restricting on food is also key to helping prevent a cycle of binge eating.

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Binge eating disorder can lead to unhealthy weight gain, or even weight loss in some cases where binge eating leads to purging or over-restriction. Common health problems associated with binge eating are digestive problems, heart disease and issues with high blood pressure.

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Binge eating is one of the most common eating disorders. Between 1 in 200 and 1 in 40 individuals are believed to develop a binge eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.

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Binge eating can affect anyone of any age, gender, or ethnicity. People suffering from mental health problems, issues with weight, or obsessive personalities are more likely to experience a binge eating disorder. However, it is not clear whether these are causative of a binge eating disorder or a result of binge eating. It is more than likely that there is a bidirectional relationship, whereby the presence of a binge eating disorder can exacerbate these conditions and they can in turn exacerbate a binge eating disorder.