Binge eating disorder is serious.
Nearly 4 million Americans have the eating disorder seen mostly in women, but the gender ratio is much less skewed than with bulimia nervosa. There is also a much higher rate of the disorder seen among patients enrolled in weight-loss programs. The median age of onset is late teens to early twenties. The disorder can occur in both men and women in any weight class.
BED is also more prevelant than anorexia and bulimia nervosa combined.
Binge eating disorder is characterized by eating unusually large amounts of food during a discrete period of time and there is the feeling of loss of control while the eating is happening. With other eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia the person will compensate for a binge by purging, laxatives, excessive exercise etc., but in binge eating there is no purging.
To be diagnosed with BED the patient must exhibit the symptoms outlines by the DDM-5:
- Recurrent episodes of binge eating characterized by both of the following:
- Binge eating episodes feature at least 3 of the following:
- Overall, there is significant distress about the binge eating
- The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once per week for 3 months
- The binge eating is not associated with regular compensatory behavior associated with bulimia nervosa and does not occur solely during an episode of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa
The Academy for Eating Disorders states that although patients usually begin binge eating in their teens; they typically are not treated till they are middle aged. Obese adults with binge eating disorder eat more calories, have more distress, impaired quality of life and have more psychiatric conditions.
We have medicine for altered brain chemistry. We have medicine for guilt and shame. We have medicine for compulsive overeating.
We can work with your psychiatrist or mental health care professional to re-regulate your brain chemistry.