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June 22, 2005

Weight Management Has Link to Bipolar Disorder

People who go to weight management clinics have a higher chance of having bipolar disorder than the general population does. "'We need to start thinking of obesity as a psychiatric disorder,' said principal investigator Renu Kotwal, MD, in an interview. 'When patients who live with obesity come in for counseling for it, we have to find out what is driving the obesity. We have to screen for eating disorder pathology, mood issues, and medications that could cause the problems.' Dr. Kotwal is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio" (Moyer, 2005).

Many people who are obese have psychological reasons for it and when they finally go out to find the help they need, they discover that they have some type of psychological disorder that is causing their weight gain. The link between the two should not be ignored, it should be focused upon so that the person can get their symptoms under control.

Those with bipolar disorder were found to be more likely to have an eating disorder, they were also more likely to have an impulse control disorder. Both of these disorders can result in weight gain. "'These findings show the importance of treating the whole person when an individual comes in for weight management counseling,' Dr. Kotwal said. 'Most of the patients [with bipolar disorder] had not been diagnosed, or they had been misdiagnosed, when they came to the weight management clinic. It is not enough to just give them a medication or a diet. We have to know what issues underlie the weight problems and deal with those in order to have any results'" (Moyer, 2005).

For more infomation on eating disorders go to:

The source of this article was the Medscape Medical News.


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