Research into the causes of BED is still in its infancy, but genetics has already been linked to many aspects of the disorder. Current research focuses on genes involved in neurotransmitters such as dopamine and m-opioid receptors. This research has already shown that heightened reward sensitivity may be a predisposing factor, and that a strong dopamine signal could result in a heightened BED risk. However, caution should be exercised when interpreting current findings, especially given that no genome-wide association studies have focused on BED.
Although medications can reduce the risk of binge eating, they are not as effective as CBT or interpersonal therapy. Unlike psychotherapies, weight loss medications do not target the root causes of binge eating, and they often have side effects. Many medications are not suitable for everyone, however. There are some side effects associated with these medications, including headaches, upset stomach, increased blood pressure, and anxiety. Nevertheless, these treatments can be effective in reducing binge eating episodes.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a mental illness characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food without feeling full or satisfied. People with this disorder often experience shame after binge eating, and it can affect a person’s health, body weight, and self-esteem. While there are no definite treatments for BED, CBT and IPT are often recommended, as well as other healthy lifestyle strategies. In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines state that medication monotherapy may be sufficient for a small proportion of patients with BED.
The most effective treatment for BED is therapist-led cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). After 20 sessions, 79% of participants stopped binge eating. One year later, only 50% of participants had not binged again. However, the CBT program has a lower cost and is more accessible to the public. The research is important for public health, as the results are relevant to a wider population such as the problem of childhood obesity. The evidence is mounting that CBT is the best treatment for BED.
BED recovery is possible, but the process can be challenging and lengthy. If treatment is needed, BED survivors may need to undergo a long process of learning new skills. It is important to seek help early, if you have any signs of the condition. The best place to begin the journey is with your GP, who can refer you to an eating disorder treatment program. Once diagnosed, you’ll be on your way to recovery. If you’ve reached this stage, the rest of your life won’t be as difficult.
The study also explored the links between personality risk and BED in relation to these two groups. For instance, if BED participants had a higher risk for depression than those with normal weights, their chances of becoming depressed and suffering from a mental health problem would be greater. Therefore, the study found that a high risk personality profile mediated the association between these behaviors. In addition, the study showed a significant positive correlation between BED and the Personality-Risk factor score.