Symptoms and Signs of Binge Eating Disorder

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/18/2021

Doctor's Notes on Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is in a type of eating disorder characterized by binge eating that is not followed by behavior to compensate for the eating such as purging, use of laxatives, or excessive exerciseBinge eating disorder is believed to be more common than anorexia (avoiding eating) and bulimia (binge eating and purging). 

Symptoms of binge eating disorder include binge eating that is characterized by:

  • inability to control binges
  • guilt or distress because of binges

Binge eating disorder is also associated with:

  • eating more quickly than usual,
  • eating until uncomfortably full,
  • eating large amounts of food even though the person is not physically hungry,
  • eating alone because of feelings of embarrassment, and
  • feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty afterward.

Other symptoms that may result from binge eating include:

What Is the Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder?

Treatment for binge eating disorder usually involves a combination of methods, which may include:

  • Individual or group psychotherapy, including family therapy
  • Medications:
    • Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), the first FDA-approved drug to treat binge eating disorder
    • Other types of medications, such as antidepressants and certain antiseizure medications, which have been shown to help some people with binge eating disorder
  • Nutrition counseling and support for a healthy lifestyle

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.