Binge eating disorder (BED) is a form of disordered eating affecting millions of men and women. Anyone can experience an eating disorder (ED). According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), “Researchers are finding that eating disorders are caused by a complex interaction of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses a whole-person approach to treatment to help clients manage EDs like BED and underlying issues contributing to them.

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

Individuals with BED have difficulty controlling their food intake and may experience episodes of food bingeing. This is where an individual feels out of control and consumes a large portion of food. Unlike bulimia nervosa, the binge is not followed by excessive exercise, purging, or other attempts at weight loss. Often, this leads to frequent weight gain and obesity. Extreme feelings of shame and guilt often accompany episodes of overeating.

Some of the risk factors for developing BED include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Preoccupation with weight
  • Negative body image
  • Family history of mental health issues or substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Substance abuse
  • Family history of EDs
  • Childhood abuse or neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Trauma

The majority of individuals with BED have co-occurring mental health disorders. Trauma is a common underlying cause of EDs and other mental health issues. According to Eating Disorders, “Many studies have documented trauma history in patients with eating disorders (ED), with childhood sexual abuse (CSA) being the most well-documented trauma in these patients.” Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses a trauma-focused approach to treatment. Clinicians help clients successfully reprocess trauma and manage trauma responses, including unhealthy behaviors related to body image.

Common Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of BED vary depending on a wide range of factors, including a person’s age, gender, and coping skills.

Some of the most common signs of BED include:

  • Frequently overeating
  • Sneaking food at night and throughout the day
  • Eating multiple meals in a short period of time
  • Being unable to control serving size
  • Preoccupation with weight and fear of gaining weight
  • Eating to the point of physical discomfort
  • Unrealistic body image or body image expectations
  • Eating very quickly
  • Extreme feelings of guilt or shame related to loss of control when eating
  • Eating large amounts of food even when not hungry

The loss of control people experience when binge eating may make them feel afraid, especially if they are preoccupied with not gaining weight. Dread often creates an unhealthy mental connection with food, eating, and body image. Early intervention and treatment is the best way to help people recognize their maladaptive behaviors and ensure they have the resources to successfully build healthy routines surrounding meals and eating.

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Potential Health Side Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

BED has many potential health side effects. The longer a person experiences the disorder, the more damage they may do to internal body systems. Chronic bingeing often leads to weight gain. Many people with the condition are obese or morbidly obese, increasing health risks.

Some of the most common health side effects of short-term and chronic binge eating include:

  • Increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or arrhythmia
  • Severe weight gain
  • Sleep apnea
  • Type II diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of various cancers
  • Arthritis
  • Increased risk of developing co-occurring depression or anxiety

Many people with BED have multiple co-occurring conditions affecting their physical or mental health. Care programs at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab are personalized to ensure clients receive the care and guidance they need to successfully address any active and underlying issues.

Experience True Healing

Our deeply-caring staff and the surrounding natural beauty offer an unparalleled healing experience.

Treatment Options at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

Exclusive Hawaii Rehab offers the following evidence-based treatments and services:

  • Adventure therapy
  • Activity therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Behavior modification
  • Accelerated resolution therapy (ART)
  • Creative healing
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Experiential therapy
  • Exposure and response prevention
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  • Play therapy

Clients also have access to a wide range of alternative holistic therapies, including:

  • Yoga
  • Breathwork
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Energy healing
  • Essential oils
  • Mindfulness
  • Sound bath therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Art therapy

Clinicians collaborate closely with clients and ensure they have the information necessary to make educated decisions and control the direction of their recovery.

How to Help a Loved One With Binge Eating Disorder

BED is one of the most common EDs, and many families must learn how to navigate the side effects during and after treatment. In some cases, long-term health issues caused by BED require additional treatment and referrals after the disorder is addressed. For example, some people may continue to attend individual therapy and support group meetings for months or years after completing treatment. Every person has a unique recovery journey. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab helps clients and their loved ones identify the root cause of BED to ensure the best possible outcome.

Families support their loved ones by practicing compassion, empathy, and patience. Treatment often comes with challenges, and family support increases the effectiveness of therapy and healthy coping skills. In addition, sometimes underlying issues affecting mental health are caused by maladaptive family dynamics. Exclusive Hawaii Rehab uses family therapy and alumni services to help clients and their loved ones heal and grow together.