Binge Eating Disorders- Four new diagnosed disorders that you may find very familiar

One of the most common forms of disordered eating and perhaps the least understood, is binge eating disorder (BED).  Those experiencing BED will compulsively eat large quantities of food and tend to feel secretive and shameful about their eating.

Binge episodes are preceded by strong urges and a sense of being out of control.  A person with BED has very similar drives and feelings as someone with bulimia, but unlike bulimia, BED sufferers don’t attempt to compensate for their binges through over exercising, laxative abuse or vomiting.  The causes of eating disorders is varied complex and individual to each sufferer, arising from behavioural, biological, psychological, interpersonal and social factors.   Within clinic I have also seen social factors that drive a vast majority of the causes-  social pressures, judgements, expectations and scrutiny we are all so often subjected to. 

Some of the known personality traits associated with eating disorders are perfectionism and low self -worth. 

People who have difficulty identifying and regulating emotions are also at risk- right now i have a strong urge to yell out the word MEDITATION!

These days there are not just the traditional bulimia anorexia and binge eating disorders occurring- there are trends being identified and given specific names that can help you detect an eating disorder in someone you care about.     These are real and diagnosed disorders- chuckle as you may at perhaps the colloquialism of the names, however that familiarity is an indication of just how many people you may know with an eating disorder, which ultimately comes down to body image and the way we feel about our body.

Drunkorexia– May apply to someone who restricts their food intake all day in order to offset the alcohol kilojoules that will be consumed in the evening.   Drunkorexia typically involves binge drinking and sometimes purging.  Research shows a strong link between those who diet and drink and other high risk actives.

Orthorexia- May apply to someone who will only eat foods that they consider to be “natural” or “clean”. This is a concern when it involves kilojoule restriction and an obsessive preoccupation with healthy eating.  Some people also secretly binge and then purge the foods that they consider to be forbidden.

Anorexia athletica– Is used to refer to people whose drive to exercise is fuelled by guilt and anxiety.  Exercise may be the most important activity in that person’s life, while they are overtraining they are not eating enough to adequately fuel their activity level.  The initial motivation may be sport performance rather than body image concerns, but the mental and physical health outcomes are as dangerous as other eating disorders.

Pregorexia– Is used to refer to women who are engaging in disordered eating behaviours while pregnant.  The fear of weight gain and external pressures to be thin may interfere with a woman’s desire or ability to properly care for herself and her baby.  Under-eating, abusing laxatives, taking diet pills, purging and overexercising can increase health risks for both the woman and her developing foetus.