Eating - binge; Overeating - compulsive; Compulsive overeating
Binge eating is when a person eats a much larger amount of food in a shorter period of time than he or she normally would. During binge eating, the person also feels a loss of control.
A binge eater often:
Binge eating by itself usually leads to becoming overweight.
Binge eating may occur on its own or in the context of an eating disorder, such as bulimia. People with bulimia typically eat large amounts of high-calorie foods, usually in secret. After this binge eating they often force themselves to vomit or take laxatives. For more information, see: Bulimia
The cause of binge eating is unknown. However, binge eating often begins during or after strict dieting.
Call your health care provider if you think you might have a pattern of binge eating or bulimia.
The health care provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your eating patterns and symptoms.
Blood tests may be done.
Medication is usually not needed for this disorder. However, your doctor may prescribe antidepressants if you are anxious or depressed.
Talk therapy is often recommended. Individual, group, family, and behavioral therapy may help.
Biofeedback training may also be recommended.
Treasure J, Claudino AM, Zucker N. Eating disorders. Lancet. 2010 Feb 13;375(9714):583-93.
Gowers SG. Management of eating disorders in children and adolescents. Arch Dis Child. 2008;93:331-334.
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