Binge Eating: Diagnosis & Therapy

Table of contents:

Binge Eating: Diagnosis & Therapy
Binge Eating: Diagnosis & Therapy
Video: Binge Eating: Diagnosis & Therapy
Video: Binge Eating Disorder (BED) | Pathophysiology, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment 2023, February

Binge Eating: Diagnosis & Therapy

In order to clarify a binge eating disorder, the doctor will have a detailed discussion with those who may be affected.

Among other things, it addresses questions about eating habits, physical and mental state, lifestyle and social environment. Food intake, frequency of binge eating and the type and quantity of food are clarified.

The doctor will also carry out a thorough physical examination or initiate examinations.


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Diagnosing binge eating disorder
  • Therapy for a binge eating disorder
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Diagnosing binge eating disorder

The diagnosis is based on the conversation and the clarification of physical and psychological complaints or illnesses.

  • Body weight & physical illness. Affected people can be overweight or obese. Depending on the severity of the disordered eating behavior and the level of body weight, examinations are carried out (e.g. if diabetes mellitus type II is suspected, high blood pressure, etc.). Especially in the case of long-term illness and high weight, those affected have the same consequences as overweight or obese patients. In addition, other diseases (e.g. thyroid gland) may be associated with weight gain.
  • Psyche, Medication & Substance Abuse. The doctor will find out about any medication you may be taking. Certain drugs such as glucocorticoids, estrogens, insulin and psychotropic drugs can lead to changes in eating behavior and weight gain. The clarification of mental illnesses is important (e.g. depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders). Other forms of eating disorders also need to be considered. Any substance abuse (e.g. alcohol) is also taken into account.
  • Laboratory values. In the course of the diagnosis, various laboratory values ​​are determined, such as blood count, lipid metabolism (triglycerides and cholesterol), blood glucose, kidney values ​​(creatinine and urea), urine status, total protein and albumin, amylase, transaminase. Hormones such as thyroid hormones can also be collected. Further values ​​will be clarified in individual cases. Information on the respective values ​​can be found under laboratory values ​​table.
  • Further investigations. If necessary, the doctor will order further examinations, e.g. an EKG, or have orthopedic problems (e.g. the spine, knee joints) clarified and much more

Therapy for a binge eating disorder

Therapy for BES is often carried out using different approaches, which depend on the individual needs and health problems of the patient. In addition to avoiding cravings and treating physical and mental illnesses, one of the therapeutic goals is weight reduction.

The doctor decides which forms of therapy are necessary for the person affected. Both patients and their relatives are informed about the eating disorder, its consequences and the treatment. Often the patients come to the doctor because of their body weight and the desire to lose their weight.

Psychotherapy & eating behavior

Therapy usually takes the form of psychotherapy. Treatment can be carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis. Inpatient treatment is necessary, for example, if the psychological and / or physical condition of the person concerned requires it. The therapy sessions can take place individually or in groups.

Weight reduction can be achieved in various ways - for example, by gradually changing your lifestyle, through a healthy mixed diet or a reduced-calorie diet. Information about nutrition and the consequences of excessive food intake can also contribute to normalizing eating behavior (e.g. through nutritional advice). An exercise program, the use of medication, and surgery may also be necessary.

A prescription of medication (e.g. antidepressants) may be necessary, for example, if the eating disorder is related to depression. The doctor decides on the administration of medication.

Relapses or discontinuations can occur in the course of therapy.

Family environment

Family and close caregivers play an important role. The decisive factor is the contribution of the parents / legal guardians in all phases of treatment, from detection and initial presentation to intensive cooperation with the therapeutic team in order to adequately counter the disease.

Particularly with children, but also with younger adolescents, parents / guardians take on important decisions and tasks. Support from relatives is also required with regard to a possible relapse.

For more information, see Eating Disorders: What Family Members Can Do.

Specialized advice centers and outpatient clinics, addresses of resident psychotherapists and psychologists can be found under Eating disorders: Advice & help.

Whom can I ask?

The first point of contact for adults is often the family doctor. He / she will initiate transfers if necessary. For children and adolescents, specialists in paediatrics and child and adolescent psychiatry are the first point of contact. Doctors from other specialties are also usually involved in the therapy. Psychotherapists can be involved in the diagnosis and therapy process.

You can find specialized outpatient clinics, advice centers and hotlines under Eating Disorders: Advice & Help.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs of the medical examination to clarify a binge eating disorder as well as the treatment are usually covered by the social security authorities.

For certain services (e.g. psychotherapy with resident psychotherapists), an application for a cost subsidy can be submitted by the health insurance. The treatment of eating disorders (including psychotherapy) also takes place in specialized outpatient facilities that have contracts with health insurance providers. For these cases of treatment, the costs are generally covered in full.

For information on the respective provisions, please contact your health insurance provider, which you can find on the social security website.

Popular by topic