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Adrienne Dellwo

Fibromyalgia & Binge-Eating Disorder

By April 3, 2008

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Add binge-eating disorder (BED) to the list of conditions that frequently come along with fibromyalgia (FMS).

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found several conditions that are likely to overlap with BED. Along with FMS, they found high levels of it in people with irritable bowel syndrome, major depressive disorder and most anxiety disorders. (No surprise, since those are also common with FMS.)

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

BED is defined as recurrent episodes of binge eating, with both of the following:

  1. The amount of food is larger than most people would eat in the same situation or amount of time
  2. AND there's a sense that you cannot stop eating or control what/how much you eat.

True binge eating is associated with fast eating; eating when you're not hungry or to the point of discomfort; embarrassment, guilt, disgust or stress about how much you're eating.

Stress is one of our biggest enemies, and how we eat can impact FMS symptoms as well. For those reasons and for your overall health, talk to your doctor if you think you may have BED. For more information, About.com Guide to Eating Disorders Matthew Tiemeyer has a lot of information on BED.

It's hard to admit this, but I've struggled with what I'm pretty sure is BED most of my life, and while I knew it was a problem I never considered it an "eating disorder." It's mostly under control at the moment, but now I know realize I should get treatment the next time those tendencies take over.

Have you struggled with an eating disorder? How do you feel it's impacted your FMS? Has treatment been successful? Post your comments here on in About.com's Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forum, in the Newsletter & Blog Topics folder.

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April 3, 2008 at 11:52 pm
(1) rosan-yahraus says:

i have a question-it seems at least every other week i feel like i am getting a cold-i don’t actually get the cold but it feels just like it(i do get a sore throat) achey feela little dizzy then in about 2 days it goes away–does anyone else get these symtoms thanks, rosan

April 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm
(2) VaBreeze says:

I’ve struggled with being an ‘emotional’ eater. Because of stress, there are times when I have binged. I’m aware of doing this though and have been able to get more control over it. I know of others who have a very serious issue with binge eating and it always seems to link back to stressors.

April 4, 2008 at 8:19 pm
(3) mizduckie says:

OMG! I have been complaining to psych for last 2-3 years about unbelievable binge eating getting worse. I would never have related it to my FMS. I have also started “sleep-eating”. That is also quite bizarre. Ask my family!
…and ps i am thoroughly disgusted at trying to get help from ss disability. i will be dead before they approve me.

April 4, 2008 at 11:51 pm
(4) Jamie says:

I just talked with my Dr at the VA hospital 2 weeks ago about binge eating (at the time though we didn’t think of it as binging though) and she has ordered lots of blood work and set me up with a nutritionist. she will be very happy when I give her acopy of this report. She is an awsome Doc and always listens to what I find on this sight!!

April 5, 2008 at 11:20 pm
(5) Hello says:

My guess is that binging is because of something else going on, for example dips in blood sugar that cause you to want to eat, or poor nutrition and the body is signaling you to keep eating because your cells are not getting what they need. For the first comment, usually the dizziness and sore throat are from underlying viruses that everybody has, but in CFS our bodies can’t keep the viruses under control because our immune response is poor. This is sometimes due to Addison’s Disease or low adrenal function.

June 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm
(6) JC says:

Where do you find help for BED? You discribed me but I don’t have Fibromyalgia.

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