The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medication for Binge Eating Disorder, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse). This is the first FDA-approved drug to treat Binge Eating Disorder in adults.
Most people overeat from time to time, and many people believe they frequently eat more than they should. Eating large amounts of food, however, does not mean that a person has binge eating disorder. Most people with serious binge eating problems have some of the following symptoms:
Binge Eating Symptoms
- Frequent episodes of eating what others would consider an abnormally large amount of food
- Frequent feelings of being unable to control what or how much is being eaten
- Eating much more rapidly than usual
- Eating until uncomfortably full
- Eating large amounts of food, even when not physically hungry
- Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten
- Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating
- Fluctuations in weight
- Feelings of low self-esteem
- Loss of sexual desire
- Frequent dieting
Serious Health Problems Caused by Binge Eating
When you overeat, you wind up with a sore, stuffed belly. Everyone feels like this from time to time. But, if you have binge eating disorder, your eating habits could lead to serious problems that might last a lifetime. Here are four major health issues you should watch for. Learn what you can do about each one.
Weight gain is common when you binge eat. Two-thirds of those with the disorder are overweight. You put on extra pounds by eating lots of food in a short period of time and not burning the calories off with exercise. A lot of people who binge feel bad about their weight, too. This leads to low self-esteem, which can cause more overeating. Being overweight or obese can also raise your chances of getting long-term health problems such as:
- Breathing that stops many times during the night (sleep apnea)
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Medications to Treat Binge Eating Disorder
If you have binge eating disorder, your doctor might recommend a prescription medication as part of your treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling are usually the first steps in treating the disorder. (CBT is usually better than medication alone.) But sometimes doctors recommend medications and therapy together. Your doctor might prescribe medication alone if therapy isn’t 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.
Overeaters Anonymous offers a 12 step program for people with many different eating disorders such as binge eating and compulsive overeating. Visit http://www.swctoa.org/
Types of Medicines
Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse) is the first FDA-approved drug to treat binge eating disorder in adults. It’s also used to treat ADHD. It is not clear how the drug works in binge eating, but it’s thought to control the impulsive behavior that can lead to bingeing. In studies, patients who took the medicine had fewer episodes of binge eating.
BELVIQ® is an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication that, when used with diet and exercise, can help some overweight (Body Mass Index [BMI] ≥27 kg/m²) adults with a weight-related medical problem, or obese (BMI ≥30 kg/m²) adults, lose weight and keep it off.
Phentermine is a stimulant similar to an amphetamine. It acts as an appetite suppressant by affecting the central nervous system. It is used together with diet and exercise to treat obesity (overweight) in people with risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
Qsymia is a combination of two existing drugs: phentermine, an appetite-suppressing stimulant that has long been used for short-term weight loss, and topiramate, an anti-seizure medication used to treat epilepsy that makes people feel fuller after eating. Some doctors have already been prescribing the two drugs together for weight loss. Researchers say the key to Qsymia’s success is that it targets multiple brain pathways that trigger overeating.
If you are struggling with losing weight, talk to one of our Medical Weight Loss for Life staff about our program. We are medical providers here at Family Medicine Associates, that are trained in bariatric medicine. Our program begins with a physical evaluation, we monitor you throughout your plan, and we can coordinate your plan with your personal doctor.
To learn more about Medical Weight Loss for Life, visit familymedicineoldsaybrook.com/welcome-to-medical-weight-loss-for-life
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Information provided on this website and in the Doctor’s Blog is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care professional for evaluation of your individual case.