What is Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is a mental illness that is characterized by uncontrolled consumption of large amounts of food in a short period of time, someone with BED may also eat very quickly, even when they are not hungry. In most cases, the person with binge eating disorder feels out of control during the binge eating episode. There are many different factors that contribute to binge eating disorder, such as genetics, stress, depression, or anxiety. Some people who have binge eating disorder also suffer from other mental illnesses such as bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa. 

Since BED is a mental illness, it is important to approach the person with empathy and understanding. It is also important to be mindful of triggers. For example, if you are going to be around someone with BED, it may be best not to bring up food or dieting at all. It is important to remember that people with binge eating disorder have been through a lot and need support from those around them. It can take some time for a person who has this illness to recover and they may need help from their loved ones or professionals. 

Call: 844.951.1888
Physical Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

A person with binge eating disorder will often have physical signs that can be observed by others. Some of these signs include: 


Rapid weight gain or weight loss.
Excessive focus on food and eating, including reading cookbooks, watching cooking shows, and looking through recipe magazines. 
Feeling guilty after overeating. 
Eating in secret or in places where they are unlikely to be seen by others. 
Frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, including immediately after eating a small amount of food. 

Physical signs of someone with binge eating disorder are not always easy to spot. The person might not be overweight and they might be able to maintain their weight. 

Who Is Impacted By Binge Eating Disorder

BED affects an estimated 2.8 million adults in the US and is more prevalent than anorexia and bulimia combined. It is more common in woman than in men, with women being almost twice as likely to have a binge eating disorder. Further research, although limited, has also found a prevalence of BED in adolescence with a peak at 16-17 years old. 

Factors that contribute to the risk of a person developing BED include: 

People with a history of emotional eating 
Physiological issues like negative self-image and excessive stress.
Serial dieting.
Family history of BED.
Type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms

The causes of BED are not known, but it is thought to involve both biological and psychological factors. In some people, binge eating may be triggered by depression or stress. The symptoms of binge eating disorder can be grouped into two categories: physical and mental. 

Physical symptoms may include:

  • Weight gain 
  • Feeling bloated or full 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Chest pain 
  • Frequent indigestion or heartburn 
  • Excessive sweating 

Mental symptoms may include:

  • Feeling guilty or ashamed after overeating 
  • Feeling out of control when overeating 
  • Using overeating to cope with negative emotions 
  • Having thoughts about food that are intrusive and consuming 

BED can cause many problems in a person’s life. People with BED may feel ashamed and embarrassed about their weight and they may avoid social situations to keep from feeling self-conscious or judged. A person can have many physical and mental problems because of BED. 

Physical issues:

  • Obesity 
  • Type 2 diabetes 
  • Digestive issues 
  • Joint or muscle pains 
  • Certain types of cancers 

Mental Issues:

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Social Isolation 
  • Suicidal thoughts 

BED has also been associated with many other health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 

Treatment Options For Binge Eating Disorder

It is important that those with binge eating disorder get professional help and treatment so they can learn how to manage their condition and avoid relapse. BED patients should receive immediate medical attention if any of these warning signs are present: 

  • Experiencing any severe or sudden onset of abdominal pain 
  • Distension and/or painful bloating in the abdomen 
  • Experiencing nausea but being unable to vomit

Contact us at 844.951.1888 to find out more about how Koru Spring can help you.

Common Treatments For Binge Eating

  • Psychotherapy This type of therapy helps patients understand the triggers and feelings that cause them to eat excessively. The therapist will also teach them how to change their behavior and get back in control of their life. 
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) CBT focuses on changing the behaviors associated with binge eating disorder. The goal is to help patients identify what they are feeling before they start bingeing. 
  • Medication There are some medications that have been proven effective in treating binge eating disorders, such as fluoxetine and topiramate.