Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterized by regularly eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, even when the person is not physically hungry. Binge Eating Disorder is often accompanied by a feeling of guilt, embarrassment, and/or depression.

Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

Signs and symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder may include:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time
  • Feeling a lack of control over eating
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone or in secret due to embarrassment
  • Feeling depressed, guilty, or ashamed after eating
  • Rapid weight gain

Causes of Binge Eating Disorder

The exact cause of Binge Eating Disorder is unknown. However, research suggests that it may be related to a combination of psychological, biological, and environmental factors. Psychological factors may include difficulty expressing emotions, trouble regulating emotions, and a history of trauma or abuse. Biological factors may include hormone irregularities or genetic predisposition. Environmental factors may include lack of access to healthy foods or social pressure to be a certain size or shape.

Treatment of Binge Eating Disorder

Treatment for BED typically involves therapy, nutritional counseling, and medications. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a popular therapy approach for treating BED. It focuses on helping people identify and change unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior related to food. It can also help people find healthier ways to cope with emotions, such as stress, boredom, and sadness. Nutritional counseling can help people create a balanced, healthy diet. Finally, medications may be helpful for those whose symptoms do not improve with therapy and counseling.