Overcome Binge-eating Disorder With Treatment

Reviewed Nov 9, 2017

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Summary

  • Counseling is proven to help people with BED stop or reduce binge eating and develop and maintain healthy eating patterns.
  • Support networks are an important part of binge-eating treatment plans.

If you have a problem with binge eating, you may feel powerless to overcome it. But treatment can help people with binge-eating disorder (BED) stop or reduce it, and can also help develop and keep healthy eating patterns. An eating disorder expert can suggest a plan that is best for you.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, or counseling, is the treatment of choice because studies have proven that it works at stopping or reducing binge eating in people with BED. Not all types of counseling are useful in treating BED. Two types proven to work are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, you learn to see how faulty beliefs or feelings about food, eating, and your body interfere with normal eating. You identify cues that trigger you to binge eat and learn strategies to break the binge-eating cycle. You also learn to be more accepting of your body.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT). With IPT, you identify interpersonal problems in your life related to binge eating and make changes to address these problems.

Counseling can take place in group or one-on-one settings. Treatment lasts many weeks. Some people with less severe BED may do just as well with guided self-help that is based on CBT. This method also involves counseling. People who need intensive treatment and extra support may do best in live-in programs.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a mind-body approach that shows promise in reducing binge eating. Some therapists use it with CBT. This technique is proven to reduce stress and emotional pain, which are binge-eating triggers for some people with BED. Mindfulness may also heighten self-awareness and sense of self-control, which are important when treating BED. For example, improved self-awareness may make it easier for you to know when you are hungry and when your hunger is satisfied. Many people with BED have a hard time telling hunger cues apart from other cues to eat.

Medicine

No medicines have been found to cure BED. However, some, such as antidepressants, appear to lessen binge eating and other symptoms in some people with BED. In time, research may reveal a role for new or existing drugs in the treatment of BED.

Weight loss treatment

Many people with BED are overweight or obese, and many want to lose weight or have an urgent health reason to lose weight.

Behavioral weight loss programs can help people with BED lose weight by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. This means eating nutritious meals with fewer calories and increasing physical activity. These programs often address emotional eating, body image, and other issues related to BED, but they do not directly target the eating disorder. Although such programs can help people with BED lose weight in the short term, long-term outcomes are less promising. People with BED risk regaining weight over time if binge eating continues.

Bariatric surgery

Many people who undergo bariatric surgery have a history of binge eating. Surgery appears to stop binge eating in the short term. But over time, some people report problems with loss-of-control eating, which result in less weight loss or more weight regain.

Complementary therapies

Addressing your general well-being is an important part of recovery. Many people turn to complementary therapies to help handle stress, find peace and solitude, and become more mindful of their bodies, thoughts, and feelings. You might want to try:

  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Therapeutic dance or movement

Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle and also can complement your treatment. It can:

  • Improve fitness
  • Boost mood
  • Reduce stress

Treatment support

Overcoming BED takes time and hard work. There is no quick fix. Having a solid support network can help you achieve your treatment goals. Self-help and support groups can put you in touch with people struggling with many of the same issues as you. You can draw strength from each other’s progress. Connecting emotionally with people you care about, including your family and friends, can also strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to recover.

Resources

National Eating Disorders Association
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
www.anad.org

Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-HOW
www.ceahow.org

Overeaters Anonymous
www.oa.org

By Christine Martin
Source: Binge-Eating Disorder: Clinical Foundations and Treatment, by James E. Mitchell, MD, et al. The Guilford Press, 2007; Iacovino JM. "Pyschological treatments for binge eating disorder." Curr Psyschiatry Rep. (14) 2012; Wilson GT. "Treatment of binge eating disorder." Psychiatry Clin N Am (34) 2011; Wilson GT; International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy; Kristeller JL et al. "Mindfulness-based eating awareness training for treating binge eating disorder: the conceptual foundation." Eat Disord (19) 2011.
Reviewed by Rose Marie Sime, MD, VP DABPN, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Counseling is proven to help people with BED stop or reduce binge eating and develop and maintain healthy eating patterns.
  • Support networks are an important part of binge-eating treatment plans.

If you have a problem with binge eating, you may feel powerless to overcome it. But treatment can help people with binge-eating disorder (BED) stop or reduce it, and can also help develop and keep healthy eating patterns. An eating disorder expert can suggest a plan that is best for you.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, or counseling, is the treatment of choice because studies have proven that it works at stopping or reducing binge eating in people with BED. Not all types of counseling are useful in treating BED. Two types proven to work are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, you learn to see how faulty beliefs or feelings about food, eating, and your body interfere with normal eating. You identify cues that trigger you to binge eat and learn strategies to break the binge-eating cycle. You also learn to be more accepting of your body.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT). With IPT, you identify interpersonal problems in your life related to binge eating and make changes to address these problems.

Counseling can take place in group or one-on-one settings. Treatment lasts many weeks. Some people with less severe BED may do just as well with guided self-help that is based on CBT. This method also involves counseling. People who need intensive treatment and extra support may do best in live-in programs.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a mind-body approach that shows promise in reducing binge eating. Some therapists use it with CBT. This technique is proven to reduce stress and emotional pain, which are binge-eating triggers for some people with BED. Mindfulness may also heighten self-awareness and sense of self-control, which are important when treating BED. For example, improved self-awareness may make it easier for you to know when you are hungry and when your hunger is satisfied. Many people with BED have a hard time telling hunger cues apart from other cues to eat.

Medicine

No medicines have been found to cure BED. However, some, such as antidepressants, appear to lessen binge eating and other symptoms in some people with BED. In time, research may reveal a role for new or existing drugs in the treatment of BED.

Weight loss treatment

Many people with BED are overweight or obese, and many want to lose weight or have an urgent health reason to lose weight.

Behavioral weight loss programs can help people with BED lose weight by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. This means eating nutritious meals with fewer calories and increasing physical activity. These programs often address emotional eating, body image, and other issues related to BED, but they do not directly target the eating disorder. Although such programs can help people with BED lose weight in the short term, long-term outcomes are less promising. People with BED risk regaining weight over time if binge eating continues.

Bariatric surgery

Many people who undergo bariatric surgery have a history of binge eating. Surgery appears to stop binge eating in the short term. But over time, some people report problems with loss-of-control eating, which result in less weight loss or more weight regain.

Complementary therapies

Addressing your general well-being is an important part of recovery. Many people turn to complementary therapies to help handle stress, find peace and solitude, and become more mindful of their bodies, thoughts, and feelings. You might want to try:

  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Therapeutic dance or movement

Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle and also can complement your treatment. It can:

  • Improve fitness
  • Boost mood
  • Reduce stress

Treatment support

Overcoming BED takes time and hard work. There is no quick fix. Having a solid support network can help you achieve your treatment goals. Self-help and support groups can put you in touch with people struggling with many of the same issues as you. You can draw strength from each other’s progress. Connecting emotionally with people you care about, including your family and friends, can also strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to recover.

Resources

National Eating Disorders Association
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
www.anad.org

Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-HOW
www.ceahow.org

Overeaters Anonymous
www.oa.org

By Christine Martin
Source: Binge-Eating Disorder: Clinical Foundations and Treatment, by James E. Mitchell, MD, et al. The Guilford Press, 2007; Iacovino JM. "Pyschological treatments for binge eating disorder." Curr Psyschiatry Rep. (14) 2012; Wilson GT. "Treatment of binge eating disorder." Psychiatry Clin N Am (34) 2011; Wilson GT; International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy; Kristeller JL et al. "Mindfulness-based eating awareness training for treating binge eating disorder: the conceptual foundation." Eat Disord (19) 2011.
Reviewed by Rose Marie Sime, MD, VP DABPN, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

Summary

  • Counseling is proven to help people with BED stop or reduce binge eating and develop and maintain healthy eating patterns.
  • Support networks are an important part of binge-eating treatment plans.

If you have a problem with binge eating, you may feel powerless to overcome it. But treatment can help people with binge-eating disorder (BED) stop or reduce it, and can also help develop and keep healthy eating patterns. An eating disorder expert can suggest a plan that is best for you.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, or counseling, is the treatment of choice because studies have proven that it works at stopping or reducing binge eating in people with BED. Not all types of counseling are useful in treating BED. Two types proven to work are:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, you learn to see how faulty beliefs or feelings about food, eating, and your body interfere with normal eating. You identify cues that trigger you to binge eat and learn strategies to break the binge-eating cycle. You also learn to be more accepting of your body.
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT). With IPT, you identify interpersonal problems in your life related to binge eating and make changes to address these problems.

Counseling can take place in group or one-on-one settings. Treatment lasts many weeks. Some people with less severe BED may do just as well with guided self-help that is based on CBT. This method also involves counseling. People who need intensive treatment and extra support may do best in live-in programs.

Mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a mind-body approach that shows promise in reducing binge eating. Some therapists use it with CBT. This technique is proven to reduce stress and emotional pain, which are binge-eating triggers for some people with BED. Mindfulness may also heighten self-awareness and sense of self-control, which are important when treating BED. For example, improved self-awareness may make it easier for you to know when you are hungry and when your hunger is satisfied. Many people with BED have a hard time telling hunger cues apart from other cues to eat.

Medicine

No medicines have been found to cure BED. However, some, such as antidepressants, appear to lessen binge eating and other symptoms in some people with BED. In time, research may reveal a role for new or existing drugs in the treatment of BED.

Weight loss treatment

Many people with BED are overweight or obese, and many want to lose weight or have an urgent health reason to lose weight.

Behavioral weight loss programs can help people with BED lose weight by focusing on a healthy lifestyle. This means eating nutritious meals with fewer calories and increasing physical activity. These programs often address emotional eating, body image, and other issues related to BED, but they do not directly target the eating disorder. Although such programs can help people with BED lose weight in the short term, long-term outcomes are less promising. People with BED risk regaining weight over time if binge eating continues.

Bariatric surgery

Many people who undergo bariatric surgery have a history of binge eating. Surgery appears to stop binge eating in the short term. But over time, some people report problems with loss-of-control eating, which result in less weight loss or more weight regain.

Complementary therapies

Addressing your general well-being is an important part of recovery. Many people turn to complementary therapies to help handle stress, find peace and solitude, and become more mindful of their bodies, thoughts, and feelings. You might want to try:

  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Therapeutic dance or movement

Physical activity is part of a healthy lifestyle and also can complement your treatment. It can:

  • Improve fitness
  • Boost mood
  • Reduce stress

Treatment support

Overcoming BED takes time and hard work. There is no quick fix. Having a solid support network can help you achieve your treatment goals. Self-help and support groups can put you in touch with people struggling with many of the same issues as you. You can draw strength from each other’s progress. Connecting emotionally with people you care about, including your family and friends, can also strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to recover.

Resources

National Eating Disorders Association
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
www.anad.org

Compulsive Eaters Anonymous-HOW
www.ceahow.org

Overeaters Anonymous
www.oa.org

By Christine Martin
Source: Binge-Eating Disorder: Clinical Foundations and Treatment, by James E. Mitchell, MD, et al. The Guilford Press, 2007; Iacovino JM. "Pyschological treatments for binge eating disorder." Curr Psyschiatry Rep. (14) 2012; Wilson GT. "Treatment of binge eating disorder." Psychiatry Clin N Am (34) 2011; Wilson GT; International Society for Interpersonal Psychotherapy; Kristeller JL et al. "Mindfulness-based eating awareness training for treating binge eating disorder: the conceptual foundation." Eat Disord (19) 2011.
Reviewed by Rose Marie Sime, MD, VP DABPN, Medical Director, Beacon Health Options

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