treatment for binge eating

Looking for treatment for binge eating? If you've ever felt overwhelmed by strong urges to eat large amount of foods in a short period of time, even when you're not hungry, only to feel riddled with guilt and shame after it, you've probably engaged in binge eating. Binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder (explained below) can make you feel helpless, alone and like there's no end in sight. At The Wellness Workshop we have a deep understanding of, and experience in treating binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder, as well as a variety of support services which help you understand the underlying reasons for binge eating, and strategies that aid you in overcoming the problem. We believe that with the right treatment approach, compassionate care and our Health At Every Size and Non-Diet philosophies, you can go on to lead a normal, happy life free of binge-eating, like so many of our clients have done before.

what is binge eating?

Binge eating involves episodes of uncontrollable eating in a short period of time, usually followed by feelings of guilt, shame and loss of control. Binge eating is considered a pattern of disordered eating, and is a common symptom in eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia. During a binge, a person is likely to consume large amounts of food even when not physically hungry, eat mindlessly and generally alone (away from others), eat until uncomfortably full and feel depressed or very guilty after. Binge eating is different to overeating - where a person may periodically have an extra helping of food or eat beyond satiety on a special occasion or holiday.

what is binge eating disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a recognised mental illness characterised by regular episodes of binge eating accompanied by feelings of loss of control, guilt, embarrassment and disgust (NEDC). Binge Eating Disorder is the most prevalent of all eating disorders in Australia affecting approximately 6% of our national population. It's believed both males and females experience Binge Eating Disorder equally, across a range of ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Sufferer's of BED don't engage in compensatory behaviour such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse or over exercising.

how is binge eating treated?

Binge eating, or regular episodes of binge eating, is the major characteristic used to diagnose Binge Eating Disorder, together with the presentation of guilt, shame and embarrassment after engaging in a binge. If a person's binges occur at least once per week for a period of more than 3 months, it may be possible that they are suffering with Binge Eating Disorder. Like most other eating disorders, Binge Eating Disorder can be treated using a range of different methods depending on the sufferer, their situation and the reasons for developing binge eating. To understand how Binge Eating Disorder is treated, it's important to first understand the symptoms of B.E.D as well as the warning signs and complications of the illness. The table below provides more information:

symptoms of b.e.d

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time

  • Feeling a sense of loss of control while eating

  • Feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing

  • Feeling distressed, anxious and depressed, particularly after a binge eating episode

  • Frequent episodes of binge eating

  • Rapid weight gain

  • Feeling lethargic

  • Feeling bloated

warning signs

  • Preoccupation with food, eating or body image

  • Sensitivity to conversations surrounding food, diet and body-image

  • Acting secretively or strangely around food

  • Eating alone away from others, or hiding food

  • Withdrawing from social activities, especially those involving food

  • Having a distorted body image

  • Dissatisfaction with one's self both physically and mentally

complications

  • Persons with B.E.D experience a higher mortality rate in comparison to the general population

  • Prone to unhealthy weight control behaviours such as extreme dieting 

  • Susceptible to Osteoarthritis, chronic kidney problems or kidney failure

  • Susceptible to high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease

  • More likely to have one or more comorbid psychiatric conditions

TREATMENT options for binge eating

psychology

Psychological treatment seeks to understand the thoughts, emotions, behaviours, habits and observations of a patient, and how these interrelate and contribute to an eating disorder. Through psychotherapy, a patient may become more aware of how their mind works, and the reasons for their behaviour, making them more likely to minimise or control triggers that may be detrimental to their health. Models for psychology adopted to treat Eating Disorder patients include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT).

general medicine

General medicine intervention for Eating disorder patients depend on the severity and stage of the disorder. In-patient programs (when a patient is admitted to hospital) usually involve the expertise of a psychiatrist, physician, dietitian and nurses. The common goals of the medical team are to treat medical complications and restore stability of the patient, begin the process of nutritional rehabilitation, reduce purging or other eating disorder behaviours, and assist in the development of appropriate eating behaviour.

psychiatry

Psychiatric intervention can often be effective for patients with an eating disorder, particularly when they are suffering with another illness or disorder such as depression, anxiety, psychosis or mood disorders.

 

Medications are usually used in conjunction with other forms of treatment and should be closely monitored by a registered Psychiatrist or General Practitioner.

self-help

Self-help​ strategies for Eating disorders can often be useful for patients suffering from Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder or OSFED (Other Specified Feeding & Eating Disorder) but is not recommended on its own for sufferers of Anorexia. 

Self-help approaches generally involve the use of books and work-books, manuals, smartphone apps, web-based platforms and other step by step programs designed to help the sufferer understand, manage and overcome their disorder. Guided self-help is considered to be more effective than pure self-help as it has the additional benefit of the support of a professional or facilitator.

dietetics

Nutritional management provided by a registered Dietitian ensures patients suffering from an eating disorder have adequate amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in their diets to sustain normal bodily functions, as well as develop regular and adequate eating behaviours. Our Dietitans  will also help you understand flexible eating, explore the challenging feelings you have around food, food rules and rituals, and help you feel less stressed around meal times. 

To book an appointment with one of our Dietitians who specialises in treatment for Binge Eating and BED, scroll down the page and click "Book Appointment."

allied health 

Allied Health Practitioners include the previously mentioned Psychologists and Dietitians, as well as Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists and others.  It's important for patients suffering with binge eating or Binge Eating Disorder that they seek the guidance and treatment of a practitioner who has experience treating eating disorders.

Unfortunately it is not uncommon for patients of B.E.D to have received incorrect, harmful and uncompassionate advice/treatment from practitioners who don't understand, are not experienced or not trained to treat eating disorders or disordered eating.

THE WELLNESS WORKSHOP advocates for

a health at every size approach when treating binge eating disorder

Frequently asked questions FOR BINGE EATING treatment

what should i do if i think i have BINGE eating disorder?

If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from Binge Eating Disorder, it's important you/they contact their General Practitioner first and book an appointment to explore binge eating treatment. You can also call us at The Wellness Workshop for further information, or for recommendations to a local GP that specialises in Eating Disorders.

The following symptoms are markers for Binge Eating Disorder in children or adults, and are considered warning signs:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, on a frequent basis (at least once per week)

  • Feeling a sense of loss of control while eating

  • Feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing

  • Feeling distressed, anxious and depressed, particularly after a binge eating episode

  • Rapid weight gain

  • Preoccupation with food, eating or body image

  • Sensitivity to conversations surrounding food, diet and body-image

  • Acting secretively or strangely around food

  • Eating alone away from others, or hiding food

  • Withdrawing from social activities, especially those involving food

  • Dissatisfaction with one's self both physically and mentally

what other support services can i explore?

If you're curious about support services other than conventional treatment to aid in the recovery of eating disorders, or have tried many forms of therapy with little improvement, The Wellness Workshop offers a range of options that might be suitable to you.

Wellness Coaching and Intuitive Eating Coaching can be particularly useful for sufferers of Binge Eating Disorder and Disordered Eating. Both allow the client to explore the psychological reasons and triggers that are fueling the disorder, while providing hands-on strategies to assist in dealing with overwhelming emotions, strained personal  relationships and poor body-image or low self-esteem. 

The Intuitive Eating Program, first developed by two American Dietitians has been proven to help free sufferers from yo-yo dieting and overcome their negative relationship with food using a 10 step approach that is now been tried and tested by millions across the globe. Our Dietitian is trained and accredited to deliver the Intuitive Eating Program. You can also buy both the workbook and book online to help in your recovery journey.

Does Medicare cover binge eating disorder treatment costs?

On November 1 2019, Medicare released new subsidies to support a model of evidence-based care for eligible patients living with an eating disorder. The below information summarises these subsidy payments as indicated by the NEDC (National Eating Disorders Collaboration):

Eligible patients will be able to receive a Medicare Rebate for:

  • the development of an Eating Disorder Plan (EDP) by a medical practitioner (including a General Practitioner, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician);

  • General Practitioner reviews of their progress against the treatment plan after every 10 sessions of psychological treatment;

  • specialist review by a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician after 20 sessions of psychological treatment;

  • up to 40 sessions of evidence-based eating disorder psychological treatment (in a 12 month period) with a suitably trained Clinical Psychologist, Registered Psychologist, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker or Accredited Mental Health Occupational Therapist

  • up to 20 dietetic services with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (in a 12 month period).

What are the risk factors for developing binge eating disorder?

The development of Binge Eating Disorder involves a combination of factors including psychological, sociocultural and genetic.

Risk factors include low self-esteem and poor body image, dieting, unhealthy weight control behaviours, parental and peer weight and shape related behaviours and high exposure to maintstream media, sociocultural ideals and weight discrimination.

what's the first step in getting treatment?

The first step to getting treatment for Binge Eating Disorder is booking an appointment with your GP. Your GP will then ask you a series of questions, usually in the form of a mental health questionnaire as well as conduct a physical examination (heart rate, blood pressure...etc) 

Alternatively, if you haven't been diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder by a qualified Medical Professional like a GP, but feel like binge eating is a problem for you, you can contact The Wellness Workshop directly for information and advice on which step to take first. We're more than happy to speak with you in confidence and answer any questions you might have.

HOW MUCH DOES treatment COST?

Depending on the type of binge eating treatment or support service you select, consultation costs may differ. See below for details: 

 

Dietetics & Nutrition Therapy

Initial 50 minute consultation: $115                 
Follow-Up 30 minute consultation: $70


* Medicare and private health rebates may be claimed for some services provided by a Dietitian. If you have an EDP (Eating Disorder Plan) you will be covered for 20 x sessions in a calendar year. If you have a private health policy with at least Medium Level Extras cover, usually it will cover Dietetics/Nutrition consultations for up to $400 per year.

how many sessions will i need to recover from binge eating?

The amount of sessions required to overcome binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder will depend on a number of factors including the severity of binges, duration of time you've suffered with disordered eating, and your psychological readiness for change. Every person is unique, therefore no two treatment plans look the same. The Wellness Workshop's Practitioners have assisted clients in overcoming their binge eating behaviours in as little as 2 sessions, and as much as 30 sessions in a calendar year.

For more information, or to chat with our Practice Manager to find out whether our binge eating, and Binge Eating Disorder treatment options and support services are right for you, please email us at info@thewellnessworkshop.com.au or call 0412 370 476 for an obligation free private conversation. Appointments are available over the phone and using telehealth or Zoom video call technologies.

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