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How To Treat Binge Eating Disorder With Medication

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What If My Gp Is Focused More On Weight Loss Than On The Thoughts And Feelings Behind The Illness

Pagoto on ADHD drug to treat binge eating

Binge eating disorder is a mental illness, and the weight gain you might experience is a symptom. While sometimes people mention unrelated weight changes as a factor in them developing an eating disorder, its very unlikely that this would be the sole and direct cause. Simply focusing on weight loss doesnt address the root of the illness.

The NICE guidelines state that weight loss isnt the intended goal of the therapies recommended to treat binge eating disorder. In fact, NICE recommends that therapy should involve advising against trying to lose weight during treatment through methods such as dieting, because this can make people feel the urge to binge eat. Treatment for any eating disorder should always address the underlying causes and the thoughts and feelings that cause issues around food and eating.

Remember, you have a right to good quality treatment. If youre struggling to get it, its okay to ask if you can see a different GP. You can also look into self-referral in your area.

Using Medications To Support Binge Eating Disorder Therapy

Although important, medications simply support individuals in treatment while they work on becoming recovered in binge eating disorder therapy. They can then use the therapy sessions to better understand the conditions affecting their health and how to overcome them. They can purposefully challenge the disordered thoughts and behaviors to eliminate them, ceasing the need for symptom control through medication. They may continue taking certain medications to manage their co-occurring conditions, however.

The primary form of binge eating disorder treatment will always be talk therapy and behavioral therapy. Some of the major forms of these therapies used at virtually every eating disorder treatment center include:

Deep Brain Stimulation May Offer Treatment For Type 2 Diabetes Study Suggests

A surprising side effect of a therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder may pave the way for a new approach to treating type 2 diabetes and offer new insights into the links between obesity and the metabolic disease that afflicts close to 1 in 10 American adults.

Once researchers identified the exact signature of the womens brain waves before, during and after an episode of out-of-control eating, the electrodes were repurposed. When the system detected the distinctive electrical patterns of an impending episode, it delivered a brief and to the women, undetectable burst of high-frequency electrical stimulation that was intended to scramble the indiscriminate Eat! signal.

If the pre-binge electrical pattern didnt immediately respond, the stimulation was repeated until it did. All told, each woman got an average of roughly 10 minutes a day of electrical stimulation a far more limited use than is common in the treatment of disorders like OCD.

The intervention showed promise in both patients. Over the six months of the studys initial phase, it reduced the frequency and severity of out-of-control eating episodes and prompted weight loss about 18 pounds in one patient and 13 pounds in the other. For one subject, that was 4.5% of her body weight for the other, 5.8%.

The two subjects, along with four more people now being recruited into the study, will continue to receive the experimental treatment and will be followed for at least a year.

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The Causes Of Binge Eating

Theres no single cause, but many patients suffer from other physical and mental health issues at the same time, says Paula D. Atkinson. Shes a licensed social worker in Washington, D.C., who specializes in eating disorders and teaches at George Washington University.

In studies, binge eating disorder has been linked to both anxiety and depression. Some patients binge as a way to cope with past trauma, current stress and difficult feelings, says Atkinson.

Diet culture also can worsen binge eating. It can make people try to starve themselves, which can fuel hunger and set up the next binge, says Atkinson. And when diets fail, patients feel guilty because they couldnt simply fix the problem with willpower. Not everybody who goes on a diet gets an eating disorder, says Atkinson. But nobody gets an eating disorder without having been on a diet.

Medications To Treat Binge Eating Disorder

Breakthrough Binge Eating Medication

Have you been diagnosed with binge eating disorder ? Are you looking for treatment options or an online psychiatrist to help in your recovery? Have you been recommended medication by your doctor? If so, were discussing everything you need to know about binge eating disorder medication here.

Binge eating disorder can be treated by focusing on eating habits, self-esteem, and mental health issues, but in many cases, medication can be very successful. Whether its through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two techniques, recovery is possible. Studies show that more than 65% of people who seek treatment for binge eating disorder are eventually able to control their binge eating episodes.

Read on to learn about medication for binge eating thats commonly prescribed, how to be prescribed it, and more.

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What’s On The Horizon

Researchers continue to look for new binge eating treatments. Experts say that anti-addiction drugs might one day help:

Some doctors and scientists hope that weight loss drugs might one day help stop bingeing. The ones available can help people lose weight, but they donât work very well for bingeing. There are also concerns over some of the side effects. Thatâs why eating disorder specialists usually donât prescribe them for this condition.

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How Is Bed Diagnosed

While some people may occasionally overeat, such as at Thanksgiving or a party, it does not mean they have BED, despite having experienced some of the symptoms listed above.

BED typically starts in the late teens to early twenties, although it can occur at any age. People generally need support to help overcome BED and develop a healthy relationship with food. If left untreated, BED can last for many years .

To be diagnosed, a person must have had at least one binge eating episode per week for a minimum of three months .

The severity ranges from mild, which is characterized by one to three binge eating episodes per week, to extreme, which is characterized by 14 or more episodes per week .

Another important characteristic is not taking action to undo a binge. This means that, unlike bulimia, a person with BED does not throw up, take laxatives, or over-exercise to try and counteract a binging episode.

Like other eating disorders, its more common in women than men. However, its more common among men than other types of eating disorders (

Although these health risks are significant, there are a number of effective treatments for BED.


BED is linked to an increased risk of weight gain and obesity, as well as associated diseases like diabetes and heart disease. There are also other health risks, including sleep problems, chronic pain, mental health problems, and reduced quality of life.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Antidepressants

Just like any other medicine, antidepressants can cause side effects. One potential side effect, appetite loss, can actually be helpful for those who binge eat. But sometimes antidepressants can have the opposite effect, increasing appetite and leading to weight gain, which can make them counterproductive for people with binge eating disorder.

Other side effects of antidepressants include:

Medication For Binge Eating Disorder

Treatment for Eating Disorders

Medication can also help to treat and manage binge eating. This is often the case when there is an imbalance in the brain or the body is unable to send the correct signals.

Prescription medication

  • Vyvanse This ADHD medicine is a common treatment that was approved by the FDA to treat moderate or severe binge eating disorder.²

  • Topamax Used to treat seizures, but it has also been found to reduce episodes of binge eating. However, it comes with some uncomfortable side effects that you will need to discuss with your doctor.²

  • Antidepressants These may be necessary if binge eating is related to chemical imbalances and depression.³


If you are wondering how to treat binge eating disorder with supplements, you should first talk to your doctor. Some supplements might be helpful, while others can interfere with certain medications.

Some of the supplements you could ask your doctor about include:

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Helpful Tips For Managing Binge Eating

Binge eating disorder is much more than just food. It is a recognised mental health condition that often needs help from a trained professional. However, there are some tips you can use to help get you started on your recovery.

  • Do not Diet: With all the latest dieting fads highlighted across social media, it can quickly become tempting to try and control your binge eating through restriction. However, studies have repeatedly shown that dieting only leads to higher rates of binge eating. We all want what we cant have, and food is no exception.
  • Engage in Mindfulness: Mindfulness practices are any activity done to get in touch with your inner self, experience life in the present rather than the past or future, and heal your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual self. When you get to know your inner self better, it can help your body recognise when youre feeling full, reducing the urge to continue eating.
  • Keep a Mood/Food Diary: Since binge eating disorder is directly linked to mental health, keeping track of how you are feeling and what you eat during those times can be incredibly useful. Not only can it open your eyes to see the connection between the two down on paper, but it can also help you understand what moods trigger an episode of binging.

Whatever the case, you do not have to manage binge eating disorder alone.

Helpful Tips To Overcome Binge Eating

Binge eating disorder is considered the most common feeding and eating disorder in the United States .

BED is about more than food, its a recognized psychological condition. That means people with the disorder will likely need a treatment plan designed by a medical professional to overcome it.

People who are diagnosed with BED experience episodes of eating unusually large amounts, even when theyre not hungry. After an episode, they may feel a strong sense of guilt or shame.

Regular binge episodes can lead to weight gain, which can contribute to health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can try both at home and with the help of a professional to reduce episodes of binge eating.

Here are 15 tips to help overcome binge eating.

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What Are Binge Eating Disorder Risk Factors And Causes

The exact causes of binge eating disorder are unknown. Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder seems to result from a combination of genetic, biological, and psychological factors. Each of these areas can be affected by a person’s childhood development, exposure to trauma, how their families dealt with food, physical appearance , and what supports a person has.

1. Genetic effects

Because binge eating disorder has been accepted as a formal diagnosis only recently, few studies have investigated genes associated with the disorder. However, some studies suggest that there may run in families, but the genes causing this have not been identified. More studies including larger numbers of families will need to be done for specific genes to be identified.

2. Biological factors

Certain brain chemicals and brain regions may be affected in binge eating disorder.

3. Psychological factors

The main symptom of binge eating disorder is binge eating, accompanied by an inability to control the binges, and guilt and/or distress because of these eating episodes. Other signs are not specific to binge eating disorder but are related to the consequences of binge eating. Some of these signs may be gaining weight, being overweight, high cholesterol, or blood sugar levels.

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Binge Eating Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders requires the following criteria for a diagnosis of binge eating disorder:

What Are The Latest Statistics On Binge Eating Disorder

Which Medications are Used to Treat Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder is increasingly recognized as a common cause of morbidity and mortality in young individuals. Binge eating disorder is a serious medical disorder that can result in death from health complications related to binge eating.

In the United States, the lifetime prevalence rate for BED is 2.9%. In survey samples from weight loss clinics, about thirty percent of the participants met the criteria for the BED diagnosis. Almost half of the patients with BED are of normal weight and less likely to seek treatment.

Many individuals suffering from binge eating disorder will eventually seek treatment, but many of them seek treatment for associated medical or psychiatric conditions and not for the eating disorder itself.

Binge eating disorders are more common in women than men, The lifetime prevalence in females and males was 3.5% versus 2%. There are probably similar numbers of American teens with binge eating disorder like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder usually starts in adolescence. The actual numbers may be higher, since those with binge eating disorder may keep their symptoms and behavior a secret and never go to a health-care professional for diagnosis or treatment. Binge eating disorder does not appear to be related to race, marital status, or employment status.

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Cbt For Binge Eating Disorder

Manual-based cognitive behavioral therapy is the most researched psychotherapy for BED, and at present, is the best-supported among all treatment options. CBT is a time-limited approach that focuses on the interaction between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Key components of the treatment include psychoeducation, mindfulness, self-monitoring of key behaviors, cognitive restructuring, and establishing regular patterns of eating. CBT for BED addresses dietary restriction and the incorporation of feared foods. It also tackles thoughts about shape and weight and offers alternative skills for coping with and tolerating distress.

Finally, CBT teaches people strategies to prevent relapse. It is important to note that the goal of CBT is behavior change, not weight loss. When used for treating binge eating disorder, CBT doesn’t necessarily lead to weight loss.

Findings from randomized control trials consistently show that CBT can help people recover and abstain from binge eating.

Accessing Treatment For Binge Eating Disorder

If you are not sure where to start looking for help, you can try The National Eating Disorder Association which has an online directory of specialists.

You can also make an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor can help you find help that is right for your symptoms, covered by your health insurance, and is located near you.

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When Is Medication Used

Cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling are usually the first steps in treating the disorder. But sometimes doctors recommend medications and therapy together. Your doctor might prescribe medication alone if therapy isnât working or available to you.

Binge eating disorder can happen along with other mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. If you have one of these conditions, treating it with certain medications might help against your bingeing, too.

Using Medicine To Treat Food Addiction

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) Treatment

Patients with disordered eating may have co-occurring psychiatric problems that are too often ignored or misdiagnosed. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and, perhaps most common, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder complicate effective treatment for patients struggling with disordered eating. Receptors and molecules that modulate hunger and satiety are intertwined with receptors and molecules that control emotions, behavior, and cognition.

Most of my patients have struggled to break the stranglehold of food addiction for a long time. They have worked hard. They have suffered through failed diets, endured shame, and wrought havoc with their metabolism by bingeing and often purging.

If medication can change the biochemistry that ensnares them in food addiction, why is there so much resistance on the part of professionals to use medications?

Medicine is not the enemy!

Several medications have been shown to be useful in treating patients with disordered eating. Often, treatment with a combination of medications provides permanent solutions.

As disordered eating is a complicated problem, it should be no surprise that sometimes a combination of medications is necessary to completely resolve symptoms. After all, most complicated chronic diseasesincluding heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertensionrespond best to a combination of medicines.

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Home Treatment For Binge Eating Disorder: 21 Natural Treatments And Herbs

Researchers and clinicians are beginning to find out that there are two different groups of binge eating disorder patients:

  • Individuals with binge eating features and obesity but who have no significant psychological issues
  • People with similar eating abnormalities but more severe and prolonged emotional distress

While therapy forms the backbone of binge eating disorders and pharmacological treatment is sometimes used as well, herbs and natural treatments can also play a role in helping you overcome your binge eating disorder. A good number of home remedies and herbal therapies emerged for the binge eating disorder treatment as a result of safety concerns and side effects associated with the use of pharmaceutical antidepressant medications.

Medications For Binge Eating

In addition to therapy, your doctor may recommend medication. Vyvanse® is the only medication explicitly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat binge eating disorder, and many patients take it alongside therapy. It was first used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder , which should serve as a reminder that binge eating is a mental health issue, says Atkinson.

Some doctors also may prescribe Topamax® , a medication commonly used to prevent seizures and migraines. It can also help curb the urge to overeat. But if anxiety or depression is the cause of the binging, your doctor may recommend antidepressants.

Above all else, you shouldnt feel shame or embarrassment about your disorder. And you shouldnt let it undermine your health. We want to help people erase that shame, says Bulik. Help is available, and its effective.

Looking for help paying for medication? and youll have easy access to coupons that work at more than 64,000 U.S. pharmacies.

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