Food and Eating Related Addiction Treatment Programs
Eating addiction treatment programs will benefit over 10 million women and 1 million men suffering from an eating disorder (National Eating Disorders Association). This is not surprising, because studies show that nearly 80 percent of all women are dissatisfied with their physical appearance. Eating disorders are the result of consistently eating too much or too little. The reason for this behavior often has to do with poor self-image. Overcoming a food-related addiction can be accomplished with the help of a professional.
How to Tell Whether You are a Food Addict
At some point in time, everyone overeats or goes without food for an extended period of time. Problems arise when individuals with a food-related addiction continues to do this for a long period of time. The behavior becomes involuntary. There are many symptoms to look for and questions to ask yourself to help identify an eating disorder.
- Do you eat for emotional reasons? Do you find yourself binge eating when you are worried or when you are feeling sad? Oftentimes, a food addict will eat to feel satisfied. The behavior is usually counterproductive because food addicts are usually dissatisfied with their physical appearance.
- Are you often afraid to eat out of fear of gaining weight? Those who suffer from anorexia nervosa will often count out calories and limit their intake, if they eat at all. Bulimia sufferers fear gaining weight but love the way they feel when they eat. They will gorge themselves on food and throw it up afterwards.
- Do you constantly think about food and what you will eat next or when you will eat? Constant thoughts of food usually indicate a food addiction.
- Do you abuse medications that help you maintain your weight? Use of laxatives to help you maintain your weight after binging can be very dangerous. If you frequently use diet pills, laxatives, or diuretics to control your weight, then you may have a problem.
- Are you consumed with how much you weigh? If weight has become your primary focus and your eating revolves around your weight, then this would indicate some type of eating disorder.
Types of Food Addiction
Bulimia is a disorder where people overindulge in food and then purge the contents of their stomach. These individuals often have a normal weight due to the fact that they do not overindulge every time they eat. This type of addiction can result in heart failure due to the loss of vital nutrients, such as potassium.
Anorexia is an addiction where the individuals starve themselves. They will often exercise to the point of exhaustion and will count every calorie that they put into their bodies. The result of this disorder is malnutrition.
Binge Eating Disorder
Individuals with a binge eating disorder are usually overweight and eat to make themselves feel better or to replace something that they are lacking in their lives. Overeating can cause a wide variety of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, gall bladder disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Treatment for Food Addiction
Treating food addiction is often difficult to accomplish because most Americans are obsessed about being thin. Anorexia treatment and bulimia treatment involve meeting with a nutritionist to help the person get back to a normal weight. The individuals must also undergo analysis to help them identify the root of the problem. Once the underlying problem has been identified, the person usually undergoes psychological treatment as well as medical treatment. All food addiction treatment methods require that the addict cooperate with intervention. Oftentimes, hospitalization is the only way to help fight the addiction.
Dangers of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can result in a wide variety of health problems, including:
- Poor nutrition
- Cardiac arrest
- Low blood pressure or pulse
- Irregular menstrual cycles
- Yellow skin
- Brittle hair and nails
Food addictions can be fatal if allowed to progress over a long period of time.
If you or someone you know needs to find an eating addiction treatment program, call the free national referral hotline at 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers?. This service can help you locate a treatment facility near you. Rest assured all your information is kept confidential, private, and secure.