Binge Eating Disorder, or BED, may affect more people than we think, researchers say.
Eating disorders affect millions of people, but BED is tricky because those with the affliction tend to hide their symptoms.
Binge Eating Disorder can lead to ill health, ruined relationships and death. Millions of people in the United States have eating disorders, but the number of those with BED is hard to track, according to reports.
Guilt is a symptom of the disease, which may be rooted in psychology, some researchers argued. Others believe that with proper medical treatment, the binging and purging behavior can be managed.
The Eating Disorder Foundation revealed that among the fastest-growing groups of people with eating disorders are women in their 30s, 40s and 50s and female college students. Boys and men can also be susceptible to BED.
While clinicians and psychologists have studied possible causes for eating disorders, it has been cited that unrealistic media depictions of body weight are partially to blame.
Two companies are among several already working to help cure the deadly disease and end the binging cycle.
LCS Therapeutics of New Haven, Connecticut, announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Lucerne Biosciences, LLC to commercialize a patent called "Method of Treating Binge Eating Disorder," according to Providence Journal.
The patent encompasses the use of an amphetamine called lisdexamfetamine dimesylate either alone, or in combination with other pharmacologic therapies, for the treatment of BED.
BED is a serious eating disorder currently without any FDA-approved medication treatments, and for which there have been many public misconceptions, said Dr. Louis Sanfilippo, CEO of LCS Therapeutics.
Two to three percent of the population suffers from BED at one point or another in their lives.
LCS and Lucerne Biosciences hope to gain FDA approval, and should have some information in February.
There is no one specific cause for eating disorders or BED, scientists said. While some people who are overweight may be prone to eating disorders, others say it is stress and addiction that are major causes of the illness.
Likely there may be a solution in a combination of treatments, including addiction counseling.