According to a top health professional, many people who have difficulty with their weight and eating may not be diagnosed with binge eating disorder (BED).

“The good news is that BED is highly treatable,”Dr. Julie Friedman is a health psychologist from the Eating Recovery Center.

“The bad news is that most people have never heard of BED and have no idea how to get treatment,”She continues.

Dr. Friedman explains that BED can be a disorder and not just a lack or inability to adhere to a diet.

“Unaware that they have a mental health disorder, binge eaters typically blame themselves, and the anxiety and stress associated with these negative thoughts can be considerable,”She insists.

According to Dr. Friedman 12 million people are affected by BED.

“Binge eating changes your brain in a way that makes your cravings for food and your urge to binge worse,”Friedman.

“Your dopamine receptors start to drop out because your body is overwhelmed by the amount of rewards you’re getting in one sitting.

“You lose more of these receptors and your body stops making the dopamine hormone. This means that you are always looking for the next fix.” she explains.

“People believe that they can stop binging on their own. However, unless there is a change in brain chemistry, this is unlikely to be true.” she says.

Dr. Friedman identifies several signs that indicate that a binge eater needs professional medical treatment, including feeling out of control around food or “addicted” to food, binge eating at least once a week, eating large amounts before bed or during the night, and feeling guilty and depressed after binge eating.

To this end, traditional eating disorder treatment focuses more on restrictive patterns of eating, such as anorexia, while the Eating Recovery Center’s Binge Eating Treatment and Recovery Program (BETR) focuses on restricting and binging.

“There are treatment centers all over the country. The treatment program is specifically designed to treat BED patients.” Friedman says.

“With special furniture, medical equipment and space planning that makes patients feel at home, our centers are comfortable and easily accessible.”

“The treatment of eating disorders is not just the responsibility of dieticians, physicians, and therapists. They also address the root causes, such as anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress.”?she adds.

BETR is covered by most major commercial insurance plans.

“BETR is your one stop shop. Everything is covered under one roof.” she says.

Friedman adds that the outcome of treament gives patients new life and points to the following statistics:

* 83 percent report that they have fewer binge eating episodes per week;

* 88 percent report their lives are better;

* 91 percent say they manage stress better;

* 80 percent say they enjoy more satisfying relationships;

* 75 percent say they feel less anxious or depressed.

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