Binge eating disorder can be treated

November 10, 2015 by Ann Blackford

When most people hear the term "eating disorder," they usually think of anorexia or bulimia nervosa. While anorexia and bulimia are more commonly recognized, doctors are concerned about a different kind of eating disorder that is on the rise.

Binge-eating disorder, or BED, is a disorder characterized by excessive overeating. Though it is common to overindulge occasionally, especially around the holidays, those with BED are plagued with insatiable cravings that lead to recurrent episodes of intense overconsumption. Unlike the binge and purge aspect of bulimia, those with BED do not try to compensate for the caloric intake by excessive exercise or induced vomiting.

Symptoms of include:

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in short periods of time
  • Feeling like your is out of control
  • Eating when full or not hungry
  • Frequently eating alone or in secret
  • Feeling guilty about binge episodes

BED is quickly becoming the most commonly diagnosed eating disorder in the United States, affecting one in 35 people. More than six million people have been diagnosed with BED since the American Psychological Association first recognized it as a disorder in 2013. BED is what doctors call an 'equal opportunity' disease. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, which more commonly affects women, or , which is seen more in men, binge eating disorder tends to occur equally among the sexes.

Though doctors and psychologists are unsure of what triggers binge eating disorder, they have noticed increased prevalence in those with a history of depression or dieting and weight fluctuation, and/or a family history of eating disorders. Young adults are also more likely to suffer from eating disorders.

Since binge eating disorder is treated as a mental illness, other psychiatric disorders are often linked with BED. The most common are depression and anxiety. Obesity is also frequently associated with BED and can cause other medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes and (GERD).

If you or someone you know shows signs of binge eating disorder, encourage them to talk to a physician or psychologist. BED is very treatable through medication, lifestyle changes, and/or psychotherapy.

Explore further: Bulimia nervosa tied to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

Related Stories

Bulimia nervosa tied to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

August 23, 2015
(HealthDay)—Binge eating disorder (BED) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are associated with increased incidence and prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a study published in the September issue of the International ...

Binge eating disorder creates significant health care burden

May 15, 2015
(HealthDay)—Health care costs are similar for patients with binge eating disorder (BED) and those with eating disorder not otherwise specified without BED (EDNOS-only), and are significantly higher compared with costs of ...

Socialising difficulty in anorexia to guide treatment

August 14, 2014
In their investigation of eating disorders and interpersonal problems, researchers have found anorexia nervosa patients have significantly greater difficulties with socialising and assertiveness than those with bulimia nervosa, ...

The incidence of eating disorders is increasing in the UK

May 20, 2013
More people are being diagnosed with eating disorders every year and the most common type is not either of the two most well known—bulimia or anorexia—but eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorders that ...

FDA approves ADHD drug for binge-eating disorder

January 30, 2015
Federal health regulators have approved an attention deficit disorder drug for a new use: A first-of-its kind treatment for binge-eating disorder.

Hunger pains: Binge-eating disorder linked to lifelong impairments in 12-country study

September 23, 2013
Binge-eating disorder, designated only months ago by the American Psychiatric Association as a diagnosis in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is associated with substantial lifelong impairments comparable ...

Recommended for you

How the shape and size of your face relates to your sexuality

September 19, 2017
Men and women with shorter, wider faces tend to be more sexually motivated and to have a stronger sex drive than those with faces of other dimensions. These are the findings from a study led by Steven Arnocky of Nipissing ...

Behavioral therapy increases connectivity in brains of people with OCD

September 19, 2017
UCLA researchers report that people with obsessive-compulsive disorder, when treated with a special form of talk therapy, demonstrate distinct changes in their brains as well as improvement in their symptoms.

Cognitive scientists find that people can more easily communicate warmer colors than cool ones

September 18, 2017
The human eye can perceive millions of different colors, but the number of categories human languages use to group those colors is much smaller. Some languages use as few as three color categories (words corresponding to ...

Why bad sleep doesn't always lead to depression

September 18, 2017
Poor sleep is both a risk factor, and a common symptom, of depression. But not everyone who tosses and turns at night becomes depressed.

People with schizophrenia have threefold risk of dying

September 18, 2017
People with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die, and die younger, than the general population, indicating a need for solutions to narrow this gap, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

Happiness is not determined by childhood biomarkers

September 18, 2017
Happiness is not determined by childhood biological markers such as height or body fat, according to a team of European researchers involving UCL.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.