Why You Should Start Screening Your Patients for Binge Eating
The importance of identifying binge eating early
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a serious mental health condition marked by recurrent episodes of consuming a large amount of food in a short period of time, often accompanied by feelings of distress, guilt, and lack of control. If left untreated, BED can lead to significant physical and mental health issues.
As a healthcare provider, it’s important to screen for binge eating in your patients to identify and treat the disorder early. Here are some steps you can take to screen for binge eating:
- Start by asking your patients about their eating habits. Ask if they have episodes of eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, and whether they experience a loss of control during these episodes.
- Assess for emotional and psychological symptoms. Patients who binge often experience feelings of guilt, shame, or depression. Ask about their mood, self-esteem, and overall mental health to help identify these symptoms.
- Evaluate your patient’s weight status. Individuals who are binge eating may experience significant fluctuations in weight due to the bingeing episodes. Assess the patient’s weight status and changes over time to help identify if they may be struggling with binge eating.
Many patients experiencing binge eating may feel ashamed or embarrassed about their eating behaviors and may not disclose their symptoms unless directly asked. Therefore, it’s helpful to approach the topic of binge eating in a non-judgmental and supportive manner and create a safe and comfortable environment for patients to discuss their symptoms.
If you suspect your patient may be binge eating, refer them to an eating disorder treatment provider for further evaluation and care. Early identification and treatment of binge eating is key for giving your patient the best chance of long-term recovery.
Why should my patient receive specialty care for their binge eating disorder?
A binge eating treatment program can provide significant benefits to patients struggling with the disorder. Here are some ways a treatment program that specializes in BED can help:
- Address underlying psychological issues: BED is often associated with psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. A treatment program can help patients address these issues and develop coping strategies to deal with the emotions and triggers that may lead to binge eating.
- Provide structured support: A BED treatment program can provide patients with structured support in the form of therapy, education, and nutrition counseling. This can help patients develop healthy habits and coping mechanisms to feel more in control of their eating behaviors.
- Offer a safe and supportive environment: BED treatment programs offer a safe and supportive environment where patients can share their experiences with others who understand what they’re going through. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and shame and increase feelings of validation and support.
- Monitor physical health: People with BED are at risk of developing physical health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Depending on the level of care recommended, a treatment program that monitors patients’ physical health and provides medical support may be needed.
- Improve overall quality of life: BED can have far-reaching consequences on a person’s life, affecting their relationships, school or work, and social life. By providing comprehensive support and treatment, a BED treatment program can help patients regain control of their eating behaviors, improve their mental health, and enhance their overall quality of life.
Binge eating treatment at Veritas Collaborative
At Veritas Collaborative, our approach to treating binge eating is based on a combination of evidence-based treatment and medical interventions tailored to each individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Veritas Collaborative treats binge eating and compulsive overeating at all levels of care, including inpatient, residential, PHP, IOP, and OP levels of care for all ages and genders. In-person and virtual treatment options are available so patients can find care options that fit their lives.
CARE IOP (which stands for Cultivating Awareness and Resilience with Experience/Eating/Emotions Intensive Outpatient Program) is Veritas’ virtual treatment program for adults experiencing binge eating. CARE IOP is an ideal treatment option for those seeking early intervention for BED or OSFED with a pattern of binge eating. The program takes place four days per week, three hours per day, and features a cognitive behavioral therapy-based curriculum focused on body appreciation, individualized meal plans, therapeutic meal support, individual and group therapy, and nutritional counseling.
To learn about Veritas Collaborative’s treatment programs for binge eating or to make a referral, contact us at 855-875-5812 or veritascollaborative.com.