Binge Eating Disorder

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What is binge eating disorder?

It may be difficult to know if you need binge eating disorder treatment. Also known as compulsive eating, binge eating disorder involves recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating large amounts of food, often quickly, and a sense of loss of control over eating behaviors.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition states that these binge eating episodes are associated with three or more of the following:

  • Eating more rapidly than normal
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating
  • Eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry
  • Eating alone over embarrassment about the quantity of food being consumed

These are also additional criteria:

  • Apparent, marked distress regarding binge eating
  • The binge eating occurs at least once a week for three months
  • The binge eating is not associated with recurrent use of inappropriate, compensatory behavior, nor does it occur during bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa

Signs and Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

Symptoms of binge eating disorder can often be hard to notice, but they include emotional, behavioral, and physical signs such as:

Emotional and behavioral

  • Evidence of binge eating such as the disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or empty wrappers and containers
  • Eating more rapidly than normal
  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  • Eating alone (due to shame about how much one is eating)
  • Practicing new fads with diets or food such as eliminating entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism)
  • Extreme concern with body weight and shape
  • Developing food rituals such as eating only one food or food group, excessive chewing, or not allowing foods to touch
  • Stealing or hoarding food
  • Low self-esteem


  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight
  • Stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.)
  • Difficulties concentrating

Health Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder

Just over two-thirds of individuals with binge eating disorder are labelled as clinical obese, but many of those who struggle with the disorder are of normal or higher-than-average weight. Binge eating disorder can be diagnosed at any weight and it can lead to severe health consequences if left untreated. Individuals could experience any of the following:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia or sleep apnea
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Heart disease
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Muscle and/or joint pain

If you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, we can help you get your lives back on track.

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How We Treat

At the Toledo Center, our clinicians customize a treatment plan to meet the specific needs of individuals with binge eating disorder. Individual and group therapies include treatment modalities such as:

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Exposure and response prevention
  • Experiential and symbolic experiential therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Narrative therapy
  • Symbolic modeling (metaphor) therapy
  • Reality therapy

Our treatment program offers a comprehensive spectrum of services for treating eating disorders and co-occurring conditions such as low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, OCD, and trauma. The levels of care we provide help to target the needs of our clients.