What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Today we’re diving into the meaning of Binge Eating Disorder including symptoms, signs, side effects, statistics and treatment to help you or a loved one get the help needed…


What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (also known as compulsive eating) is an illness that affects millions of people and can have a devastating effect on the sufferer’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

Sufferers of this disorder have a compulsive relationship with food that includes periods of overeating or bingeing followed by feelings of guilt, shame and despair.

“Binge eating disorder involves regularly eating large portions of food all at once until you feel uncomfortably full, and then often upset or guilty.” – NHS

If you suffer from this you are probably desperate to know how to stop your compulsive eating, but may just think you are ‘greedy‘ or lack willpower.

You may not realise that you have a recognised eating disorder for which you need to seek treatment or therapy.


Why Do People Suffer From Binge Eating Disorder?

Like all eating disorders, Binge Eating Disorder emerges as a way of trying to cope with emotions.

Sufferers of Binge Eating Disorder are usually people who have poor self-esteem and feelings of self-loathing. Eating disorders often affect high achieving individuals who become obsessed with achieving perfection. It may arise if there is a history of eating disorders or addiction in your family, you have been criticised about your weight, size or shape, or you have suffered trauma.


How Can We Help You Beat Binge Eating Disorder?

We can help you or your loved one to beat eating disorders. Whether you think that you are suffering from food addiction, comfort eating, binge eating or compulsive overeating, we will assess your needs and make sure that you receive the support and treatment to help you overcome your eating disorder.

Resolving the root causes of the eating disorder is the key to recovery so we created a much more holistic program for our clients – including creative therapies, meditation, a chance to explore spirituality (whatever that might mean for you), alongside advice on nutrition, and the physical assessments which allow us to tailor our treatment to you.

We work with you to find solutions for healing – we don’t believe in trying to drag anyone through recovery. We have the most wonderful team of women who combine both clinical skill and deep levels of compassion and kindness.


Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

We always treat every client as an individual so the treatment we recommend will depend on your particular needs, but it could include referral to a residential clinic, outpatient treatment with our counselling team, or one-to-one therapy.

As part of your treatment, you would usually come along to one of our Food Groups – these are very much social occasions where we help you heal your relationship with food in a gentle way.


What Are The Symptoms Of Binge Eating Disorder?

The symptoms might be hard to hide but too often people don’t recognise them as symptoms of an eating disorder, and so dismiss them. Take a look at the warning signs below.


Behavioural Symptoms Of Binge Eating:

  • Buying lots of food
  • Eating large amounts of food in one go
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes
  • Hiding food and storing up supplies of food
  • Hiding empty food wrappers and containers
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Preoccupation with weight and size
  • Obsession with appearance/body shape
  • Eating very little in front of other people
  • Eating alone
  • Guilt, secrecy, shame
  • Having mood swings
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Irritability
  • Alcohol/drug abuse
  • Agoraphobia (not wanting to leave the house)


Physical Symptoms Of Binge Eating:

  • Weight Fluctuation
  • Tiredness – difficulty sleeping
  • Bedsores
  • Stomach pain/other stomach problems
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Cold sores
  • Bad complexion


Am I A Binge Eater?

Do you…

  • think about food most of the time?
  • plan to binge in secret?
  • use food to escape your worries?
  • feel your weight has an impact on the rest of your life?
  • have low confidence and self-esteem?
  • try countless diets with little or no success?
  • feel guilty and shameful after overeating?
  • have intense cravings for sugar?
  • receive treatment for obesity or a food-related condition?
  • feel unhappy about your behaviour around food or does it make those you love unhappy?

If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then you may have a problem with binge eating or compulsive overeating.

What Are The Side Effects Of Binge Eating Disorder?

This is a summary of the side effects of Binge Eating. They are very similar to the side effects of Bulimia.


Medical Side Effects Of Binge Eating

  • High blood pressure
  • Gastric rupture (the stomach can tear)
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart palpitations)
  • Fatigue
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • Cancer
  • Bowel problems (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Gastrointestinal difficulties
  • Joint and back pain
  • Difficulty conceiving and infertility
Statistics About Binge Eating
  • 1 in 5 women report symptoms of binge overeating at some point in their lives
  • 40% of people with binge overeating are male
  • Men and women of any age can get binge eating disorder, but it typically starts in the late teens or early 20s [Source: NHS]

Don’t Suffer In Silence

Call our team today for help and advice on 0845 603 6530 or fill in our short contact form.



Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Posted in , , by The Recover Clinic

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