ICD-10 | Binge eating disorder (F50.81)

Empower your recovery with the F50.81 diagnosis code. Learn how to navigate and conquer binge eating disorder for a healthier future.

February 1, 2024

Understanding Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a serious mental health condition characterized by recurring episodes of uncontrollable overeating. Individuals with BED often consume large amounts of food within a short period, accompanied by a sense of loss of control. This eating pattern is not followed by compensatory behaviors like purging or excessive exercise, as seen in other eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is a recognized medical condition that falls under the category of feeding and eating disorders. It is a distinct diagnosis within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). According to the DSM-5, the criteria for diagnosing BED include:

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period (e.g., 2 hours) and experiencing a loss of control during the episode.
  2. The binge eating episodes are associated with at least three of the following:
  • Eating much more rapidly than usual
  • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
  • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
  • Eating alone due to embarrassment or shame about the amount of food consumed
  • Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating.
  1. The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  2. The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) and does not exclusively occur during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.
  3. The presence of binge eating causes significant distress and interferes with daily functioning.

It is important to consult a medical professional or mental health provider for a comprehensive diagnosis. They can evaluate your symptoms and determine if you meet the criteria for BED.

The Impact of Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder can have a profound impact on an individual's physical and emotional well-being. The consequences of BED can include:

  • Weight gain and obesity: Binge eating often leads to consuming excessive calories, which can contribute to weight gain and obesity.
  • Emotional distress: The shame, guilt, and embarrassment associated with binge eating can lead to significant emotional distress and negatively impact self-esteem.
  • Physical health complications: BED is associated with several health complications, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and digestive issues.
  • Mental health conditions: BED is commonly associated with other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and body image dissatisfaction.

Understanding the nature and impact of Binge Eating Disorder is an important step towards seeking appropriate diagnosis and treatment. If you suspect that you or someone you know may have BED, it is recommended to reach out to a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.

The ICD-10 Diagnosis Code: F50.81

Overview of the ICD-10 Diagnosis Code

In the realm of medical coding and billing, the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) serves as a standardized system for classifying and coding diagnoses. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is assigned the ICD-10 diagnosis code F50.81, which helps healthcare providers accurately document and track this specific disorder.

The ICD-10 code F50.81 falls under the broader category of Feeding and Eating Disorders. This code provides a clear identification for healthcare professionals when diagnosing and managing individuals with BED. It aids in facilitating communication between healthcare providers, insurance companies, and researchers, ensuring accurate reporting and appropriate reimbursement.

Criteria for Diagnosis

The ICD-10 diagnosis code F50.81 is assigned to individuals who meet specific criteria for Binge Eating Disorder. These criteria include:

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating: The individual regularly consumes an excessive amount of food within a discrete period, accompanied by a sense of loss of control.
  2. Binge eating episodes are associated with at least three of the following:
  3. Eating faster than usual
  4. Eating until uncomfortably full
  5. Eating large amounts of food when not physically hungry
  6. Eating alone due to embarrassment
  7. Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after binge eating
  8. Binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  9. The absence of compensatory behaviors: Unlike other eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa, individuals with BED do not regularly engage in inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such as purging or excessive exercise.

It's important to note that a formal diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder should be made by a qualified healthcare professional. They will conduct a comprehensive assessment, taking into account the individual's medical history, symptoms, and the diagnostic criteria outlined in the ICD-10 code F50.81.

Understanding the ICD-10 diagnosis code F50.81 is crucial for accurate documentation and appropriate treatment of individuals with Binge Eating Disorder. By using this code, healthcare providers can ensure that patients receive the necessary care and support for their specific condition.

Seeking Professional Help

If you suspect that you or someone you know may have binge eating disorder (BED), seeking professional help is an important step towards diagnosis and recovery. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of BED and understanding the steps to obtain a diagnosis can provide valuable guidance in navigating this journey.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of binge eating disorder is crucial in seeking professional help. While the exact presentation of BED may vary from person to person, common signs and symptoms include:

  • Frequent episodes of consuming large amounts of food in a short period, accompanied by a feeling of loss of control.
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes.
  • Continuing to eat even when feeling physically full.
  • Eating alone due to embarrassment or shame.
  • Feelings of guilt, disgust, or distress after binge eating episodes.
  • Frequently dieting or attempting to restrict food intake without long-term success.
  • Preoccupation with body shape, weight, and appearance.
  • Frequent fluctuations in weight.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and guidance.

Steps to Obtain a Diagnosis

Obtaining a diagnosis for binge eating disorder involves a collaborative process with a healthcare professional. The following steps are typically involved:

  1. Initial Assessment: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider, such as a mental health professional or primary care physician. During the initial assessment, the healthcare provider will gather information about your medical history, eating habits, and any emotional or psychological symptoms you may be experiencing.
  2. Diagnostic Evaluation: The healthcare provider will conduct a thorough evaluation to assess if the symptoms align with the diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder. They may use standardized questionnaires, interviews, or other assessment tools to gather the necessary information.
  3. Medical Examination: A medical examination may be conducted to rule out any underlying medical conditions that could be contributing to the symptoms.
  4. Collaborative Discussion: Once the evaluation is complete and a diagnosis is reached, the healthcare provider will discuss the diagnosis with you, explaining the findings and answering any questions you may have. They will also discuss the treatment options available, including therapy and medication, if necessary.

Remember, seeking professional help is an important step towards understanding and managing binge eating disorder. Proper diagnosis and guidance can lead to effective treatment and support.

Treatment Options

When it comes to addressing binge eating disorder, there are various treatment options available to support individuals on their journey to recovery. These options typically include therapeutic approaches and, in some cases, medication. It's important to note that treatment plans should be tailored to each individual's specific needs and may involve a combination of different strategies.

Therapeutic Approaches

Therapeutic approaches play a crucial role in the treatment of binge eating disorder. These approaches aim to address the underlying psychological factors contributing to the disorder and help individuals develop healthier coping mechanisms. Some commonly used therapeutic approaches for binge eating disorder include:

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a widely recognized and evidence-based therapy that focuses on identifying and modifying dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors. It helps individuals develop skills to manage triggers, challenging emotions, and negative self-perceptions. CBT can be effective in reducing binge eating episodes and improving overall well-being.
  2. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT): IPT is a short-term therapy that focuses on interpersonal relationships and their impact on an individual's well-being. By addressing social and relational issues, IPT aims to improve communication skills, resolve conflicts, and enhance support systems. This therapy can be particularly beneficial for those whose binge eating is influenced by interpersonal difficulties.
  3. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): DBT combines elements of CBT with mindfulness practices. It focuses on developing mindfulness skills, emotion regulation techniques, distress tolerance, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT can be helpful for individuals struggling with binge eating as a way to cope with emotional distress.
  4. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): ACT encourages individuals to accept their thoughts and emotions without judgment while committing to behaviors that align with their values. By fostering psychological flexibility, ACT helps individuals develop alternative ways of responding to triggers and cravings, reducing the likelihood of engaging in binge eating episodes.

Medication Options

In some cases, medication may be considered as part of the treatment plan for binge eating disorder. Medications can be particularly useful when individuals experience co-occurring conditions such as depression or anxiety. While medication alone is not typically sufficient for treating binge eating disorder, it may be prescribed alongside therapy to enhance the overall outcome. Some medications that may be prescribed include:

It's important to consult with a healthcare professional who specializes in the treatment of binge eating disorder to determine the most appropriate therapeutic and medication options for your specific situation. They will consider factors such as your overall health, symptoms, and individual needs to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

By combining therapeutic approaches and, if necessary, medication options, individuals with binge eating disorder can take significant strides toward recovery. Remember that treatment is a journey, and it's essential to seek support and guidance from qualified professionals who can provide the necessary tools and strategies to empower your recovery.

Empowering Recovery

Recovering from binge eating disorder (BED) is a journey that requires support, self-care, and determination. In this section, we will explore two essential aspects of empowering recovery: building a support network and implementing self-care strategies.

Building a Support Network

Building a strong support network is crucial for individuals with binge eating disorder. Surrounding oneself with understanding and compassionate individuals can provide the encouragement and understanding needed during the recovery process. Here are some key elements to consider when building a support network:

  1. Seek Professional Help: Reach out to qualified professionals who specialize in treating eating disorders. They can provide guidance, therapy, and support tailored to your specific needs. Consider finding a therapist or counselor who has experience in treating binge eating disorder.
  2. Connect with Support Groups: Joining a support group can be immensely helpful as it allows you to connect with others who have had similar experiences. Sharing your struggles, insights, and successes in a supportive environment can provide a sense of belonging and understanding. Look for local support groups or online communities where you can engage with others facing similar challenges.
  3. Involve Loved Ones: Educate and involve your loved ones in your recovery journey. Help them understand your triggers, challenges, and goals. Their support and involvement can make a significant difference in your recovery process.

Remember, building a support network is a continuous process. Regularly assess the individuals and resources that provide you with the most support and seek out new connections if needed.

Self-Care Strategies

Implementing self-care strategies is essential for individuals recovering from binge eating disorder. These strategies can help manage stress, reduce triggers, and promote overall well-being. Here are some self-care practices to consider:

  1. Practice Mindful Eating: Engage in mindful eating practices, such as paying attention to physical hunger and fullness cues, savoring each bite, and eating without distractions. Mindful eating can help foster a healthier relationship with food and reduce the chances of engaging in binge eating behaviors.
  2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Regular exercise can have a positive impact on both physical and mental well-being. Find physical activities that you enjoy and incorporate them into your routine. Exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and enhance body image.
  3. Prioritize Stress Management: Explore stress management techniques that work for you, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy. Managing stress effectively can help reduce the likelihood of turning to binge eating as a coping mechanism.
  4. Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself throughout the recovery process. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would extend to a loved one. Remember that setbacks are a normal part of the journey, and practicing self-compassion can help you navigate through challenges.

By building a support network and incorporating self-care strategies into your daily life, you can empower yourself on the path to recovery from binge eating disorder. Remember, recovery is a unique and personal journey, and finding what works best for you is key.

Navigating Life with Binge Eating Disorder

Living with binge eating disorder (BED) can present various challenges, but with the right strategies and support, individuals can navigate their daily lives more effectively. Here are two important aspects to consider when managing BED: managing triggers and temptations, and maintaining a healthy relationship with food.

Managing Triggers and Temptations

Recognizing and managing triggers is an essential part of managing BED. Triggers can be emotional, environmental, or situational factors that contribute to the urge to engage in binge eating episodes. Here are some strategies to help manage triggers and resist temptations:

  1. Identify your triggers: Pay attention to the situations, emotions, or thoughts that tend to precede your binge eating episodes. Keeping a journal can be helpful in identifying patterns and triggers.
  2. Develop coping mechanisms: Find healthy alternatives to cope with stress, negative emotions, or boredom. Engaging in activities such as exercise, journaling, practicing mindfulness, or spending time with loved ones can help distract from the urge to binge eat.
  3. Modify your environment: Create an environment that supports your recovery by removing or limiting access to foods that trigger binge eating. Stock your pantry with nutritious and satisfying options, and consider keeping a food diary to track your eating habits.
  4. Seek support: Reach out to a therapist, counselor, or support group specializing in eating disorders. They can provide guidance, support, and practical strategies for managing triggers and temptations.

Maintaining a Healthy Relationship with Food

Developing a healthy relationship with food is crucial for individuals with BED. Here are some strategies to foster a positive relationship with food:

  1. Practice mindful eating: Pay attention to the sensory experience of eating, such as the taste, aroma, and texture of food. Eat slowly, savor each bite, and listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Mindful eating can help you develop a more attuned and balanced approach to food.
  2. Avoid restrictive diets: Restrictive diets can often trigger or worsen binge eating episodes. Instead, focus on adopting a balanced and varied eating pattern that includes all food groups. Consulting with a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders can help you establish a healthy and sustainable meal plan.
  3. Challenge negative thoughts: Negative thoughts and beliefs about food, body image, and self-worth can contribute to the cycle of binge eating. Work with a therapist to challenge and reframe negative thoughts, develop self-compassion, and cultivate a positive body image.
  4. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote your overall well-being and self-care. Prioritize getting enough sleep, engaging in regular physical activity that you enjoy, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Remember, recovery from BED is a journey, and it's important to be patient and kind to yourself along the way. By implementing these strategies and seeking support, individuals with BED can navigate their daily lives with greater empowerment and resilience.


Binge eating disorder can be a challenging condition to navigate, but with the right tools and support, individuals can take significant strides toward recovery. This article has explored various therapeutic and medication options for treating binge eating disorder, as well as strategies for empowering recovery and managing daily life with BED. By building a strong support network, practicing self-care, managing triggers and temptations, and fostering a healthy relationship with food, individuals can develop the resilience and empowerment needed to overcome binge eating disorder.

Remember that recovery is a unique journey, and seeking guidance from qualified professionals is crucial in developing a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to individual needs. With patience, kindness, and determination, individuals with binge eating disorder can achieve lasting recovery and live fulfilling lives.