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5 things you didn't know about overeating disorders


Overeating disorders, like binge eating disorder or bulimia, can pose long-term problems that threaten both mental and physical health and well-being.

And while the symptoms of these conditions tend to be overgeneralized, there are lesser-known facts about overeating disorders that might surprise you.

Here are five things you may not know:

1. Males suffer more than you think

Males have certainly become a part of the larger conversation about eating disorders in the last few decades, but they are still underrepresented in research studies and media coverage. According to MedicineNet, about one-third of people with binge eating disorder are males.

2. Medication may help

Treatment for overeating disorders tends to include psychotherapy or behavioral modification techniques, but research is beginning to show that medication might also be very helpful. Drugs like topiramate, serotonergic and sibutramine could be effective in helping to reduce the number and severity of overeating episodes.

3. Health problems could be serious

Overeating disorders are also associated with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol levels.

Obesity is a common side effect of conditions like binge eating disorder, which also can increase risk for heart disease.

4. Anxiety is common

The most common anxiety problems among people with binge eating disorder are phobias and panic disorder, according to Medicine Net's Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards.

These symptoms may worsen over time or become problematic when they co-exist with physical health problems.

5. It's a long-term problem

In many cases, binge eating disorder can persist for more than 14 years. Only a small percentage of people will resolve the condition within the first year of developing the condition.

After six years, about half of individuals with binge eating disorder who have undergone intensive treatment will have symptom relief, Dr. Dryden-Edwards said.

Source: Medicine Net
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane/