Keywords: alternative treatment for binge eating; homeopathic treatment for binge eating; alternative treatment for eating disorders; homeopathic treatment for eating disorders; alternative treatment for bulimia; alternative treatment for anorexia,
• Frequent binge eating is often a symptom of an underlying eating disorder, such as bulimia nervosa (BN) or binge eating disorder (BED). The role of homeopathy in the treatment of binge eating remains poorly explored.
• The study intended to measure the efficacy of individualized homeopathic treatment for binge eating in adult males.
• This case study was a 9-wk pilot using an embedded, mixed-methods design. A 3-wk baseline period was followed by a 6-wk treatment period.
• The setting was the Homeopathic Health Clinic at the University of Johannesburg in Johannesburg, South Africa.
• Through purposive sampling, the research team recruited 15 Caucasian, male participants, aged 18-45 y, who were exhibiting binge eating.
• Individualized homeopathic remedies were prescribed to each participant.
Primary Outcome Measures
• Participants were assessed by means of
(1) a self-assessment calendar (SAC), recording the frequency and intensity of binging;
(2) the Binge Eating Scale (BES), a psychometric evaluation of severity; and
(3) case analysis evaluating changes with time.
• Ten participants completed the study.
The study found a statistically significant improvement with regard to the BES (P = .003) and the SAC (P = .006), with a large effect size, indicating that a decrease occurred in the severity and frequency of binging behavior during the study period.
• This small study showed the potential benefits of individualized homeopathic treatment of binge eating in males, decreasing both the frequency and severity of binging episodes. Follow-up studies are recommended to explore this treatment modality as a complementary therapeutic option in eating disorders characterized by binge eating.