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Tuesday, 24 July 2018 10:54

Hope for Binge Eaters!

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While many people simply overeat and neglect exercise, there are still many who fall under the category of binge eating. In many ways this is even harder to control because it is so much more like a real addiction to drugs.
Currently, "Scientists at Rutgers Brain Health Institute have discovered that a small group of brain cells in the hypothalamus called 'orexin' neurons could be a promising target with medications for controlling binge eating episodes in individuals with obesity. These neurons, named for the chemical messenger they use to communicate with other brain cells, have previously been shown to be important for addiction to several drugs, including cocaine."
Since these orexin neurons are actually correlated with other addictions researchers are looking at this more in-depth to understand how it could work with binge eating, a behavior so prevalent with obesity.
Dr. Gary Aston-Jones is director of the Brain Health Institute at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and is one of the senior authors of the study. He states that many of the key symptoms of eating disorders highly correlate with real drug addiction. (Having been a binge eater myself in the past, this comes as no big surprise to me!)
Researchers set up a study with mice, utilizing a specific diet plan that causes weight gain and binge eating patterns. Scientists have developed a compound which blocks orexin signals in the brain, to specifically reduce this binge eating behavior with mice. The study also found that this orexin blocker compound even reduces the amount of food consumed during the binge eating episodes. 
There seems to be some real promise ahead with medical help in this area, just not yet with humans. In the meantime though, you really can overcome binge eating through other means when motivated enough. At this point I refer you to an amazing, clinically studied technique which can also help in this most challenging behavior of binge eating or just plain overeating. (Note this process can be used in most any unwanted habits.) Here is a summary of this outstanding, science backed book for successfully changing unwanted behaviors. The book is called,You Are Not Your Brain, The 4th Step Solution, by Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD.
I also encourage to gain support with any of your changes while attaining a healthy lifestyle. Use whatever tools you might need to use (plain old willpower or medication). You can also ask for my handout with this information at your clinic, or even contact me directly for the shortened version of an example handout of how to use You Are Not Your Brain and the 4th Step plan, at [email protected]. We are all here to help and support you!
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