How Binge Eating Changes Brain Chemistry

>Studio City Clinical Associates Treat Eating Disorders From Several Perspectives
 Do you ever think to yourself, I eat to numb out?
Do you find yourself stuffing food in your mouth even When you do care for the food?
How Binge Eating can Affect Brain Chemistry

Binge eating affect on brain chemistry can be profound.People discuss the need for comfort food which most individuals think of as psychological.However, binge eating has a biochemical reaction in the brain.

Neurons are nerve cells that transmit information to other cells in the brain and the body. Information comes into the neuron through the dendrites from other neurons. The dendrites are long tentacles that come out from the cell body The and pass the information

The information is passed along though chemicals called neurotransmitters. Although there are many types of neurotransmitters, researchers have identified a few which are involved with mood. These include:serotonin,norepinephrine, and Dopamine These mood states include,depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive behavior.

 How Does  Binge Eating Change  Brain Chemistry

Serotonin is probably researched with regard to mood and appetite regulation.When serotonin is released it produces about feelings of calm, contentment, and a lessening of depression and anxiety. Adequate quantities of serotonin also indicate a feeling of fullness and reduced appetite.Conversely lowlevels of serotonin bring about increased depression, anxiety and increased appetite. Many anti-depressants work by increasing availability of circulating serotonin in the brain. Serotonin, in short, is a very powerful mood enhancer and appetite regulator.

How Binge Eating Changes Brian Chemistry

The study of food, appetite, and neurotransmitters is still in its infancy as far as research goes. However, there have been many solid connections made betweenhow much we eat and the effects of the foods on our moods.

People who are prone to use food for comfort when they stressed, anxious or feel depressed find themselves binging on sweets, baked goods, desserts, to help reduce their emotional discomfort. Carbohydrates increase brain concentrations of an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is an amino acid that assists the body in making serotonin. Therefore eating carbohydrates can often lead to feelings of calmness, or even the feeling of being “numbed out “ which people who binge speak much about as the desired effect they feel by binging. Though the eating the tryptophan is increased and consequently the levels of serotonin in the brain rise. Individuals experience a rapid decrease of an unpleasant mood.

While eating sugary carbohydrates may seem like a solution to feeling depressed and anxious, it can actually have a side effect on mood. An individual might feel good after eating these foods,but, shortly after the good feeling has been experienced, insulin and energy level drop, and can cause physiological as well as psychological depression. It can become a difficult cycle. As one might want to obtain a feeling of well being again the binging may continue.

Food Changes Brain



Endorphins are other neurotransmitters in the brain, which purpose is to transmitsignals to the nervous system. Researchers have identified at least 20 different types of endorphins , in various parts of the brain and circulated throughout thenervous system. They are very powerful because at higher levels can createfeelings of intense pleasure. They can also reduce and relieve pain.

Research hypothesize that the sugar/fat combination can contribute to increased production of endorphins. When one is feeling down or depressed cravings for foods, such as chocolate, which increase the levels of endorphins arise. Enhanced endorphin-release sensitivity to pain and contribute to an internal warm cozy feeling. But, any food with a high sugar and fat content such as doughnuts, baked goods, ice cream, and others can increase endorphin and serotonin levels. One can easily realize how easy it is to binge on these foods to create at least momentarily a feeling of well being.


Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is naturally produced in the body. It helps to regulate movement, emotion, motivation and the feeling of pleasure. It plays a major part in addiction. Since Dopamine is a chemical messenger, it is similar to adrenaline. It is activating.

Researchers suggest that high protein foods causes a significant elevation in brain dopamine. However,like other delicious sweet foods, chocolate triggers the release of increased dopamine. This increase level of dopamine reduces also reduces the sensitivity to pain. It may also contribute to the warm loving feeling that is associated with being with someone special.

The key ingredient in chocolate methamphetamine. is a naturally occurring trace amine in the brain. Phepnylethylamine releases dopamine in the pleasure-centers of the brain. It peaks during orgasm. Taken in unnaturally high doses, phenylalanine can increase feelings of attraction, excitement, and happiness.This also makes it easy to see that chocolate is a very easy food to binge on.


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