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Binge/Purge - Definitions?

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Binge/Purge - Definitions?

Postby SarahC » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:38 am

I have got to make notes in my food diary whether I have binged and/or purged or not each day. My question is....

1. How much does one have to eat to qualify as a binge? Or is the quantity not important, just the fact that it's out of control or emotionally motivated eating?

2. What counts as purging? Obviously vomiting would, but I don't/can't do that (I've tried but nothing happens :oops: ). Would a couple of laxatives here and there count, or would it have to be a massive dose resulting in hours spent on the loo?? Or, if I was to do extra excercise, would a short walk count, or would it have to be longer/sweatier than that?

I'm confused! If anyone has any really great definitions that would be great.

Or maybe I should leave it to my own conscience to decide :?
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Postby loveat116 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:42 am

1. Yeah, no quantity, just uncontrolled eating. To someone, 2 cookies might be a binge, or 20 cookies might be.

2. Im pretty sure purging means throwing up. And laxatives dont really work unless you take like 7, and its not fun at ALL! You spend half the night on the toilet in agony. And it doesnt do anything because the calories have already been absorbed.

Extra exercise would be a good thing.. so that wouldnt count.
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Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:55 am

According to DSM IV for Bulimia

Binge: eating in a discrete period of time (limited, usually less than 2hr) an amount of food that is definitely larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances and should take into account context (e.g. what would be considered more than normal in a normal meal may be considered usual for a celebration meal)

usualy occurs in secrecy, usually continues until the person is uncomfortably full or feels ill. Is also acompanied by a sense of lack of control (this is a criterion for diagnosis of Bulimia))

usually asociated with inapropriate compensatory behaviours such as fasting, vomiting, laxative use etc. 2 subtypes of behaviours used to tyr and compensate for the binge. Many people will use a number of compensatory behaviours. the most common being the inducement of vomiting after a binge.

Purging type: regular use of vomiting, laxative misuse (i.e. not used according to directions for the purpose intended), misuse of diuretics or misuse of enemas

Nonpurging tpe: fasting for a day or ore following a binge, excessive exercise (excessive defined as interfering with important activities, occuring at inappropriate times or inappropriate setting, continuing despite medical complications or injury)
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Postby electrongirl » Fri Nov 16, 2007 9:56 am

Bulimic behavior has two phases: the binge and the purge.

The Binge

Although there are certainly individual variations, a binge is defined as the rapid consumption of a large amount of high-calorie food in a short amount of time. A binge can consist of almost anything. Often it can depend on what is available in terms of food and finances.

Once a binge begins, it is very difficult to interrupt. People often describe feeling in a trance or a stupor; food can be consumed so rapidly that it is not even tasted. An average bulimic binge may consist of about 1,500 to 3,000 calories, although some individuals have reported eating up to 60,000 calories or more during a binge.

Having said this, sometimes people purge without actually bingeing; unplanned eating creates such guilt and anxiety that those people feel driven to eliminate or undo any food that feels as though it were “too much.” Often the binge ends only when food or finances are depleted, leaving the bulimic with severe abdominal and emotional discomfort.

Characteristics of Binge Eating:

Bingeing usually occurs in secrecy.
Binge episodes may be planned or unplanned.
Usually the episodes are characterized by rapid, frenzied consumption.
Some people report feeling as though they enter into an altered state when the binge begins. Many bulimics report that they do not even taste much of what they consume during a binge.

The most common triggers for binge eating include:

Negative mood states
Interpersonal stress
Hunger due to dietary restriction
Negative feelings related to one’s body image

The Purge

As many as 70 to 80 percent of bulimics purge by means of self-induced vomiting while 30 percent use laxatives.

Risks associated with purging:

Laxatives—There are several dangers associated with laxative abuse. The most frequently used laxatives are those that stimulate the bowel. Some people use large amounts of laxatives following a binge to rid the body of the food. Laxatives are an ineffective means of ridding the body of calories, because most of the calories are absorbed from food before it gets to the end of the intestinal tract. In addition, if the bowel gets used to the use of laxatives, then stopping the laxatives may lead to temporary constipation, bloating and abdominal discomfort, which often compels laxative use and the cycle continues. Longtime use of laxatives can lead to potassium depletion and dehydration. Another risk of chronic laxative abuse is that the bowel can become unresponsive.

The best way to deal with laxative abuse is to stop “cold turkey.” You may experience some side effects for a short time (10 days), but then normal bowel functioning should return. Some individuals prefer to use fiber-based laxatives (Fiberall , bran, etc.) for a short period of time during the transition.

Diuretics—Diuretics or “water pills” are the least effective means of managing weight. Diuretics work by ridding the body of water, thus decreasing feelings of bloating. Chronic use of diuretics can lead to kidney damage or kidney failure. They also can induce electrolyte or salt imbalances that can lead to fatal disturbances in heart rhythm.
Self-induced vomiting—Burst blood vessels in the eyes, dental erosion, esophageal tears or potassium depletion leading to fatal disturbances in heart rhythm.

Excessive Exercise

Exercise is excessive if it:

Interferes with important activities.
Occurs at inappropriate times or in inappropriate settings.
Continues despite injury, illness or bad weather.
Is a preoccupation.

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Postby SarahC » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:53 pm

Thanks for the replies, very helpful :D

:shock: @ 60,000 calories! I wonder if that's right?? That's like, if you had say 1500 calories a day.... 40 days worth of eating inside a couple of hours :shock: :shock:

Apart from that, I think I can identify with most of what's been written :(

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binge purge

Postby mimosa8 » Sun Nov 25, 2007 6:55 pm


laxatives do nothing for weight loss. they only deplete your electrolytes and fluids in your bowel.

purging is dangerous as it can cause seizures similarly from loss of electrolytes. not to mention damage to your throat acid decay of your teeth, ulcers and much more.

purging isnt a good habit to start. people say that it is addictive. lucky to never start that maladaptive practive.
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Postby rivenriver » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:20 pm

The way I view it, it's all about your self and your normal habits. Mostly about how you feel.

So if you feel you've eaten too much / ate out of control, that's a binge, no matter the volume consumed. So a big dinner out with friends isn't really a binge, cos you are happy and in control, even though you might eat more than normal. But if you get upset and eat a packet of tim tams, that's a binge, cos you didn't really want them and couldn't stop at one.

The same way, purge is dependent on how you feel about what you've done. Was it your regular exercise, or done for fun? Then no, not a purge. Was it extra stuff on top, or did you do it because you felt bad? Did you take a laxative when you don't normally? Then it's a purge.

Make sense?

I don't know if that's right, but it's the way I view it.
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Postby SarahC » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:09 pm

Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking, to just let my conscience tell me.... it's hard to tell sometimes though. I can never decide :roll:
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