To diagnose binge-eating disorder, your doctor may recommend a psychological evaluation, including discussion of your eating habits.

Your doctor also may want you to have other tests to check for health consequences of binge-eating disorder, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, GERD, and some sleep-related breathing disorders. These tests may include:

  • A physical exam
  • Blood and urine tests
  • A sleep disorder center consultation

Criteria for diagnosis

For a diagnosis of binge-eating disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association, lists these points:

  • Recurrent episodes of eating an abnormally large amount of food
  • Feeling a lack of control during bingeing, such as how much you're eating and whether you can stop eating
  • Binge eating that's associated with at least three of these factors: eating rapidly; eating until you're uncomfortably full; eating large amounts when you're not hungry; eating alone out of embarrassment; or feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty after eating
  • Concern about your binge eating
  • Binge eating at least once a week for at least three months
  • Binge eating that's not associated with purging, such as self-induced vomiting, or other compensating behaviors to lose weight, such as excessive exercise or laxative use