Many BED individuals binge after long periods of excessive dieting; therapy helps normalize this pattern. The initial goal of BED treatment is to teach the patient to gain control over his or her eating behavior by focusing on eating regular meals and avoiding snacking. Cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, or interpersonal psychotherapy may be used to uncover the emotional motives, distorted thinking, and behavioral patterns behind the binge eating. The overweight BED patient may be placed on a moderate exercise program and a nutritionist may be consulted to educate the patient on healthy food choices and strategies for weight loss.
Binge-eating episodes that appear to be triggered by stress may be curbed by educating the patient in relaxation exercises and techniques, including aromatherapy, breathing exercises, biofeedback, music therapy, yoga, and massage. Herbs known as adaptogens may also be prescribed by an herbalist or holistic healthcare professional. These herbs are thought to promote adaptability to stress, and include Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), ginseng (Panax ginseng), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), borage (Borago officinalis), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), and nettles (Urtica dioica). Tonics of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriafolia), and oats (Avena sativa), may also be recommended to ease anxiety.
Paula Ford-Martin, Teresa G. Odle, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,