Binge eating disorder

Like bulimia and anorexia, binge eating is a psychological eating disorder.

Overview

Like bulimia and anorexia, binge eating is a psychological eating disorder. A variety of factors influence the development of this disorder, such as stress, low self-esteem and frustration. This leads to compulsive episodes of overeating and eating very large amounts of food, usually in secret. It's important to discuss such symptoms with a specialist.

Symptoms

  • Compulsive episodes of binge eating
    • Loss of control
    • Eating very large amounts of food
    • Eating without being hungry
    • Eating until you feel uncomfortably full
    • Eating very fast (bolting food)
  • No measures to reduce weight (in contrast to bulimia)
  • Eating disorder
    • Periodic
    • Chaotic
    • In secret, not in public
    • Distorted perception of satiation
  • Dissatisfaction with own body
    • Embarrassment, shame and disgust (in particular after episodes of binge eating)

Consequences

Causes and treatment

Causes

Coincidence of several causes

  • Emotional lability, frustration
  • Low sense of self-worth
  • Personal stress situations
  • Unhealthy relationship with food
  • Dissatisfaction with figure, weight (body image)

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Psychological counselling
  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
Possible therapies

Objective: regaining control over eating habits

  • Psychological measures (incomplete list)
    • Psychotherapy
    • Behavioural therapy
  • Anti-depressants (medication), if necessary
  • Options for losing weight (not the main objective of therapy), see:

What can I do myself?

  • Gain understanding
    • Own situation
    • Eating disorder
    • Background
    • Options
  • Involve other people
    • Accept help
    • Open up to the outside
  • Eating behaviour
    • Regaining of self-control
    • Healthy, balanced diet
    • Regularity
    • Reduce amounts
    • Don't use food as a coping mechanism

When to see a doctor?

  • Episodes of bingeing
    • Gobbling of food
    • Loss of control
    • Excessive amounts
    • Distorted feelings of hunger/satiation
  • Feeling unwell for a lengthy period
  • Obesity
  • Psychological strain

Further information

Schweizer Gesellschaft für Essstörungen SGES (Swiss Association for Eating Disorders)
www.sges-ssta-ssda.ch

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Ess-Störungen AES (Association for Eating Disorders)
www.aes.ch

Synonyms

binge eating disorder, binge eating, eating disorder, BED, bingeing attack, snack attack, excessive eating, compulsive eating, overeating

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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