Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating is characterized by compulsive overeating, which means individuals consume large amounts of food and feel unable to control this behavior. The symptoms of binge eating disorder often start in late adolescence, usually following significant weight loss.

How Does Binge Eating Occur?

Binge eatingBinging usually occurs in episodes” which last anywhere from two hours to a full day. Binge eaters will start eating when they are hungry but will usually continue eating long after they are full. In fact, they often gorge themselves at such speed that they do not taste or even register what it is they are eating. Individuals are usually reluctant to seek binge eating disorder rehab and treatment because of feelings of disgust, guilt and depression. After an episode, binge eaters generally recognize their lack of self-control and often feel angry with themselves.

It is also common for binge eaters to have health concerns if they are aware of the effects their binging is having on their bodies. If you believe you have a problem with binge eating, please call our confidential hotline at 1-888-287-0471.


According to the American Physiological Association (APA), around 8 percent of obese individuals suffer from a binge eating disorder.

Symptoms of Binge Eating

People suffering from a binge eating disorder are often embarrassed and ashamed of their eating habits. This means they are likely to hide while they are eating and also likely to make a concentrated effort to hide their symptoms. While some binge eaters are of normal weight, most people with the disorder are overweight or obese. There are a variety of potential compulsive eating disorder symptoms, including:

  • Inability to control food intake
  • Hiding food
  • Eating normally when around others but gorging in private
  • Stressing about eating
  • Desperate to control weight
  • Obsessed with self-image

Individuals may look into binge eating disorder treatment but will rarely make positive steps towards getting help without support and encouragement.


Many people believe a binge eating disorder is like anorexia nervosa; however, the two conditions are different. A binge eating disorder often involves personality and mental health issues, as well as issues with eating.

Side Effects

Binge eating can lead to a variety of emotional, social and physical problems. While the most prominent side effect of binge eating is weight gain, individuals also report insomnia, stress and thoughts of suicide. Because individuals suffering with a binge eating disorder are prone to weight gain and obesity, there are also many different potential health implications associated with the disorder, including:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gastrointestinal pain

The worse a person’s binge eating becomes, the harder it is to disguise the side effects. If you believe you have an eating disorder, please feel free to call our confidential helpline at 1-888-287-0471.


According to the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), 37 percent of people who suffer from a binge eating disorder will also have at least one other medical condition caused by or exacerbated by the disorder.

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

projectknow-shutter340548887-woman-bigne-eatingOvercoming a food and eating addiction is extremely difficult. Unlike most addictive substances, food is absolutely necessary for a person’s survival and cannot be avoided. Instead, sufferers have to retrain their brains and learn how to rebuild their attitudes towards food. While there are many different things individuals can do to stop binge eating, it is important that individuals seek professional binge eating disorder treatment.

Professional treatment and support can be provided by a combination of therapists, nutritionists and psychiatrists. An effective treatment program will also address the root causes of an individual’s eating disorder, as well as examine destructive eating habits. If a person is overweight or obese, any weight loss will have to be closely monitored by a dietician and obesity specialist. This is because dieting can be stressful for people who have a binge eating disorder and can often make their symptoms worse.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy is a large part of treating binge eating disorders.”Cognitive behavioral therapy is a large part of treating binge eating disorders. This therapy concentrates on addressing an individual’s behaviors and thoughts with regard to self-image and eating. The main goal of therapy is to help patients recognize binging triggers, as well as teaching them how to avoid them. Psychotherapy concentrates on an individual’s relationship with food, as well as helping to fine-tune real life relationships with family and friends.

Group therapy is usually introduced to an individual following, or in conjunction with, successful one-to-one treatment. Group sessions help sufferers cope if they are still feeling the urge to binge and teaches them healthy eating strategies. Group sessions are usually hosted by a trained psychotherapist, although some are run by volunteers who have successfully recovered from a binge eating disorder. If you would like to have this sort of support with an eating disorder, please call our free confidential helpline at 1-888-287-0471.


There is currently no medication available to treat people with binge eating disorders, although certain medications may be used in combination with other treatments.
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