Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Amy Hendel | Jul 16th 2015

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If I’m struggling to maintain my weight could I possibly have BED?

If you find yourself consuming large quantities of food and feel unable to stop even if you feel quite full, then you may have binge eating disorder or BED.

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Is BED a serious condition?

It is a serious condition and can lead to obesity, poor quality of life, social isolation, problems functioning at work and other medical conditions.

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Are there specific behaviors associated with BED?

People who suffer with BED engage in excessive overeating, multiple times during a day or week and often feel out of control.  The consumption of large quantities of food usually becomes a regular habit and crosses the line of an occasional overindulgence.  There is a persistent compulsion to overeat and binge, often accompanied by feelings of embarrassment.

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Who is most at risk for BED?

You may have a higher risk if other family members have an eating disorder.  Triggers for a binge can be stress, poor body image, loneliness, or boredom.  If you have a history of cyclical dieting it may also lead to BED. Teens and young adults have a higher risk.

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How does one identify BED versus another condition?

Bulimia is another eating disorder that involves consuming enormous quantities of food, but the individual also typically purges or vomits after the large meal.  In BED, one rarely engages in that behavior choice.

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How is BED diagnosed?

A history of your eating patterns, a physical exam, blood and urine tests, and possibly a sleep study consultation (if you routinely wake to eat) are all part of testing and diagnosis.

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Who can help me if I have BED?

A doctor and psychiatrist or psychologist “team” often partner to treat the disorder.  You may also benefit from a support group, and family counseling.  Cognitive behavioral therapy, medications and a weight loss program may also be part of the treatment plan.

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Are relapses common with BED?

Relapses can occur which is why it is so important for you to commit to the treatment program and report cravings or moments when you feel tempted to binge.

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Why is BED so dangerous?

With a list of complications including cardiovascular issues, joint problems, and sleep-related conditions, BED is clearly a serious health condition.

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Is there hope for someone with BED?

Eating disorders like BED are difficult to manage because you have to face food daily.  Enlisting a support group, finding healthy ways to manage your emotions, and treating any underlying emotional or psychiatric conditions can help you battle BED successfully.