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Eating Disorders

This section focuses on the often taboo subject of eating disorders. Here, we shed light on these topics and introduce the risks of each, as well as ways to overcome them.

Binge Eating Disorder | Bulimia | Sibutramine


Sibutramine Helpful for Binge Disorder

A few years ago, the medication sibutramine made a real splash when it hit the market as Meridia, a weight-loss treatment for medically overweight patients. Now it appears there's even more it can do.

New data shows that sibutramine, originally investigated as an anti-depressant, is also particularly effective for people who suffer from a binge eating disorder. This disorder is characterized when a person engages in frequent episodes of eating large amounts of food that is triggered by emotional stress.

Most medically overweight patients don't have binge eating disorder, and many people with the disorder are not medically overweight. But among overweight people who do suffer from binge eating disorder, its been observed that they respond better to behavioral therapy when aided by sibutramine.

Recent studies have shown this.

Most studies showed that over a 12-week period, patients who took sibutramine reduced their binging behaviors by half. They also lost an average of 16 pounds, compared to the control group, which actually had a slight weight gain.

That's just a little extra help for doctors--and their patients--to consider.

What is Binge Eating Disorder, and What Causes it?

Most people who are overweight feel some emotional discomfort about it. But there are those whom their weight is as much a complication of an emotional upset as it is the cause of one.

People with eating disorders need special care that most overweight people don't need, and they have problems most overweight people don't have. Yet new research on binge eating disorder shows that few with this problem seek care for it. As their special needs go untreated, their overall health care costs also rise.

This is not unique to eating disorders. When virtually any medical needs are ignored or left untreated, they inevitably lead to greater needs and higher costs down the road.

With binge eaters, the usual reasons for not seeking care (i.e., lack of access, inability to pay) are also compounded by the patients' own confusion and deep personal shame about their uncontrolled eating episodes.

They need compassion and encouragement to seek care, because their disorder is very treatable, if treatment is sought. Also, once their underlying psychological issues are addressed, there's so much more hope for them to overcome their physical issues.

Bulimia & Binge Eating: How Do You Identify the Problem?

While both bulimia and binge eating are hard to identify because they are hidden behaviors, those close to people with these eating disorders may recognize that something is wrong, even if they can't put their finger on it, or catch the person in the act.

You can often tell if someone has a healthy relationship with food or not. You might not always be able to do something about it, but bulimics and bingers can respond well to intervention and therapy, and like anyone, they can always benefit from compassion and support.  

Is It Possible to Have a Normal Relationship with Food?

Do you sometimes feel like food is the enemy? If you are overweight, odds are high that you view food with deep suspicion. But even if you aren't overweight, you might have the same dim view. Many people of average weight often do.

Defining food as the enemy can only lead to unhappiness and problems, according to obesity experts. When you think about it, it's to your advantage to put a friendly face on food because you can't get away from it. You need food to live. Food is energy and it is the fuel that powers our bodies. Food is a necessity; without it, we become ill and eventually cease to live.

Wanting to eat and needing to eat is not a judgment call. It's part of being human.

To see food in a more "healthy" light, it is important that you mentally train yourself to think of food in a positive way. It's also beneficial to categorize foods in your mind that you know aren't good for you.

By seeing food in a more positive light will cause your brain to motivate your body to avoid unhealthy temptations. It's all about the attitude, and with the right one, you CAN have a healthy relationship with food.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on January 06, 2015.


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