10 Percent of Bipolar Patients Also Have a Binge Eating Disorder
New research suggests that bipolar disorder patients who also binge eat may be more likely to have suicidal thoughts, psychosis, anxiety disorders and substance abuse, than bipolar patients who do not.
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According to researchers from the Linder Center of HOPE and the University of Minnesota, they found that while up to 4 percent of Americans have some form of bipolar illness, around 10 percent also have a binge eating disorder-a higher rate of binge eating than seen in the general population, according to co-author Mark Frye, M.D., a psychiatrist and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
As mentioned previously, bipolar patients who binge eat may be more likely to exhibit certain dangerous behavioral patterns. However, obese bipolar disorder patients that do not binge eat may be more likely to have serious physical problems, including trouble with arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Overall, researchers also found that this problem was more common among women than men.
"The illness is more complicated, and then by definition how you would conceptualize how best to individualize treatment is more complicated," Dr. Frye said, via a press release. "It really underscores the importance of trying to stabilize mood, because we know when people are symptomatic of their bipolar illness their binge frequency is likely to increase. We want to work with treatments that can be helpful but not have weight gain as a significant side effect."
Researchers hope to take a more in-depth look at binge eating and bipolar disorder with further studies.
More information regarding the study can be found in the Journal of Affective Disorders.