In binge eating disorder, a person often eats an unusually large amount of food and feels that eating is out of control. Binge eating disorder often occurs with
, another eating disorder that may involve purging.
In other cases, binging can happen without other eating disorders. For example, the person may feel upset about binging, but may not try to undo these feeling by vomiting, exercising, or taking laxatives.
It is thought that 4% of US population has binge eating disorder. Women are slightly at more risk than men. The illness peaks at 40-50 years old.
It is not clear exactly what causes binge eating disorder. Since about half of people with binge eating disorder have a history of
, it is possibly related to that condition. Studies also suggest that people with binge eating disorder may have other emotional problems that can include: low self-esteem, anger, and/or
obsessive compulsive behavior
These factors increase your chance of developing binge eating disorder. Tell your doctor if you have any of these risk factors:
Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after eating
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. You may be referred to a mental health professional or eating disorder specialist. Binge eating is diagnosed when there are at least two binge-eating episodes a week, on average, for six months, along with a lack of control over eating behavior.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include:
, a mental health professional will teach you how to keep track of your eating and change your unhealthy eating habits. This may involve learning how to respond to tough situations and feel better about your body shape and weight.
In interpersonal psychotherapy, a
will help you look at your personal relationships and make changes in areas that are negatively affecting your life.
Certain antidepressant medications may be beneficial for some people with binge eating disorder.
There is no known way to prevent binge eating disorder. If you have young children, however, it is important to instill positive and healthy attitudes about eating and body image.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a