People should never try to diagnose themselves or others using information they gathered via the internet. For diagnosis and treatment the specialized assistance of a mental health professional should be asked.
The diagnosis of an eating disorder starts with a physical exam and a medical history. Urine and blood tests might be requires ruling out other possible problems then the patient might be referred to a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
The psychologist or psychiatrist will undergo a detailed interview where the eating habits will be discussed and the symptoms will be evaluated to determine if binge eating disorder diagnosis is appropriate.
Anyway if someone is overweight or obese it does not mean that person has binge eating disorder.
The treatment of binge eating disorder involves psychotherapy, medication and nutrition counseling.
In case symptoms of binge eating disorder are observed people should seek specialized help of a trained therapist. Physicians, psychiatrists, nutritionists or psychologists might be entitled to offer specialized help for affected people.
The most useful therapies used so far involve cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, family therapy.
This type of therapy will help the patient understand the disorder and the personal beliefs, the connection between the motional states and food as well as the perceptions of self-image. After undergoing cognitive-behavioral therapy the patient might understand the beliefs that lead to this problem were irrational and unrealistic.
This type of therapy helps the family of the patient and gives the family o better understanding how the whole group of relatives and friends works together and how it might have had any implications in the development of the binge eating disorder. Also it helps the family understand how important their role is in the recovery of their dearly beloved and how they can do that.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
This therapy combines mindfulness meditation and cognitive- behavioral therapy top teach the binge eaters how to regulate their own emotions, accept themselves just the way they are and tolerate stress.
The therapy includes group therapy session as well as individual therapy sessions.
It focuses on social interaction and communication skills. Relating better with others might help a binge eater get the emotional support and evade the negative emotions linked with binge eating disorder.
Attending the Food Addicts in recovery or Overeaters Anonymous meeting might be also a good idea.
It’s not a therapy but nutrition counseling might help people understand the importance of proper diet and nutrition. And people might learn how to get to a normal eating pattern.
There are three classes of drugs that proved to be useful in the treatment of binge eating disorder: anti-obesity medication, antidepressant and anticonvulsants.
The SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant medications such as sertraline, fluoxetine and fluvoxamine proved effective in the treatment of the binge eating disorder.
The anticonvulsant medication might include zonisamide and topiramate. But it seems the psychotherapeutic approach is more effective and medication is not the treatment of choice in the case of binge eating disorder.
Other than obesity there are a few other health consequences that might come along with binge eating disorder including:
- High levels of cholesterol
- Gallbladder disease
- Heart disease
- Musculoskeletal problems
- High blood pressure
Binge eating disorder affects both men and women almost equally. Some studies suggest that women might be more likely to be affected as it seems that only 40% of people with binge eating disorder are men. The rest of 60% of the people affected by binge eating disorder are women.
The overall incidence of the binge eating disorder is estimated between 1-5% of the population.