Often when we are thinking of eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia are the first to come to mind. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is actually more prevalent than both of these eating disorders. This was first recognized as an eating disorder by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013 in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It is characterized by eating what would be considered an excessive amount of food in a short period of time and is associated with a lack of control and feelings of distress regarding these episodes. This occurs at least once a week for 3 months. It can occur in normal weight, overweight, and obese individuals.
We do not know the exact cause of BED, and it is likely multifactorial in most people. Contributors may include genetics, restrictive dieting, emotions, mood disorders, trauma and/or hormonal imbalances.
Binge Eating Disorder is extremely bothersome to the individuals it effects. It can impair a person’s quality of life and their relationships, lead to isolation, cause weight gain and other medical issues, and be embarrassing. Thankfully now that BED is a diagnosable condition, there is more help.
At Weigh to Wellness Denver, we have screening tools to help evaluate if you may have BED. There are different modalities which may help with the treatment. Psychotherapy can be an important component, as often times there is an emotional factor involved. Therapy can also help to give tools to work through the desire to binge. Medication can also help. Vyvanse is the only medication at this time which is approved by the FDA to treat BED. We have found great success using this medication in the right person.
If you are overweight or obese, treating BED is a critical part of your weight loss journey. We often have to approach weight loss with BED in a unique manner, as sometimes “dieting” can make it worse.
If you feel like BED is affecting your life, please contact us for further evaluation and treatment.