Binge eating disorder is more common than anorexia and bulimia combined, according to a national survey, but many physicians are unaware of the problem. The guidance and evidence discussed here highlight the key issues in recognizing and managing the disorder.
Eating disorders among adolescents and children are a
growing problem in the United States; the number of cases
has steadily increased over the last 50 years. Up to 5% of
female adolescents have bulimia nervosa, and an estimated
0.5% have anorexia nervosa.1
A 23-year-old woman has had 2 episodes
of syncope during the past month.
Her mother witnessed 1 episode in
which the patient collapsed and lost
consciousness for a few minutes. She
experienced tonic-clonic seizure activity
but no subsequent confusion.
A 30-year-old woman was brought to the hospital with syncope, bradycardia, and hypotension. For the past 6 years, she had vomited after eating meals and after occasional episodes of binge eating.
Evaluation of intermittently discolored, cold fingers was sought by a 39-year-old woman with long-standing anorexia nervosa. The patient had never smoked and was not taking any vasoconstrictive drugs.