This health video looks into new treatments to help those who suffer from eating disorders.
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Jeniffer Mathews: Emily Wollman has been dieting most of her life, but avoiding food often did more harm than good. Emily Wollman: I would go and get anything that I had been deprived of. Jeniffer Mathews: Emily would eat up to three pints of ice cream and a half box of cookies during a binge. She says it deflected issues she didn't want to deal with. Emily Wollman: Food becomes like the Band-Aid you put on your emotional wounds. Jeniffer Mathews: Psychiatrist Nathan Shapira says binge-eating is a common outlet for emotions. Now, he's trying to stop the binging with the anticonvulsant drug topiramate or topamax. Nathan Shapira: One of the mechanisms of this compound may have a direct effect on, say, the satiety center or the appetite disregulation. Jeniffer Mathews: Earlier studies in epilepsy patients show the drug lessened appetites. Nathan Shapira: About 80% of them had completely stopped binge-eating on topiramate, versus about a quarter on placebo. People would typically go from binge-eating five times a week, down to one or less a week. Jeniffer Mathews: For some, that was a surprise. Nathan Shapira: They described that they used to be able to eat a Big Mac and fries, and now all they could eat was a Happy Meal, and it was very disturbing to them. Jeniffer Mathews: For Emily, coming to peace with herself and her body helped defeat her binging. Emily Wollman: I've gotten to the point where I can even -- when I'm really connected to myself like, cook a bowl full of spaghetti and, to the strand, know how much to put on the plate. Jeniffer Mathews: But, for those who need an extra push, help is on the way. This is Jeniffer Mathews reporting.