Binge Eating Disorder (cont.)

Should people with binge eating disorder try to lose weight?

Many people with binge eating disorder are obese and have health problems because of their weight. They should try to lose weight and keep it off; however, research shows that long-term weight loss is more likely when a person has long-term control over his or her binge eating.

People with binge eating disorder who are obese may benefit from a weight-loss program that also offers treatment for eating disorders. However, some people with binge eating disorder may do just as well in a standard weight loss program as people who do not binge eat.

People who are not overweight should avoid trying to lose weight, because it sometimes makes their binge eating worse.

How can people with binge eating disorder be helped?

People with binge eating disorder should get help from a health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker. There are several different ways to treat binge eating disorder.

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people how to keep track of their eating and change their unhealthy eating habits. It teaches them how to change the way they act in tough situations. It also helps them feel better about their body shape and weight.


  • Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people look at their relationships with friends and family and make changes in problem areas.


  • Drug therapy, such as antidepressants, may be helpful for some people.

The methods mentioned here seem to be equally helpful. Researchers are still trying to find the treatment that is the most helpful in controlling binge eating disorder. Other therapies being tried include dialectical behavior therapy, which helps people regulate their emotions; drug therapy with the anti-seizure medication topiramate; weight loss surgery (gastrointestinal surgery); exercise used alone or in combination with cognitive-behavioral therapy; and self-help. Self-help books, videos, and groups have helped some people to control their binge eating.

You are not alone.

If you think you might have binge eating disorder, it is important to know that you are not alone. Most people who have the disorder have tried but failed to control it on their own. You may want to get professional help. Talk to your health care provider about the type of help that may be best for you. The good news is that most people do well in treatment and can overcome binge eating.

For more information

National Eating Disorder Association
Information and Referral Program
603 Stewart Street, Suite 803
Seattle, WA 98101
1-800-931-2237
(206) 382-3587
(206) 829-8501 (fax)
Web: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Email: info@nationaleatingdisorders.org

Academy for Eating Disorders
6728 Old McLean Village Drive
McLean, VA 22101
(703) 556-9222
(703) 556-8729 (fax)
Web: http://www.aedweb.org/
Email: aed@degnon.org

SOURCE:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health


Last Editorial Review: 2/21/2008 8:01:47 PM



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