Posted by: cindy | September 5, 2008

Drunkorexia: A Deadly Cocktail

Drunkorexia. It’s not a real word, but describes an emerging, confounding, and self-destructive behavior engaged in primarily by young women of college-age to twenty-somethings. They avoid food as much as possible, saving the calories for alcohol. Without food, of course, these young women may unwittingly get drunk quite quickly.

The Pop Culture influence on thin and sexy

In our celebrity-crazed society, maybe we can blame this practice in part on omnipresent images of super skinny celebs. These images are difficult to avoid, from the tabloid at the supermarket checkout, to television and movies. A number of stars and other high profile luminaries also seem to be going to rehab almost as if it was summer camp – a retreat from partying, a little therapy and back to hanging out with the same pals.

A frightening aspect of the recent rise of “drunkorexia” is that the young women who suffer from it don’t view this as a disorder, for the most part. They thought they’d live a fun lifestyle, but for many it has spun out of control. When it does, the dual occurrence of eating disorders and drinking is threatening their health and their lives.

How does this happen? Some influence are rooted in pop culture: look at a video of Sex and the City and you’ll see how sexy and smart it seems for young women friends to meet each other in hip settings for cocktails after work. And these are cool cocktails that taste sweet, like appletinis or every kind of Margarita imaginable. Drinking regularly and to excess while remaining thin has become fashionable.

Elevating the risk for “Drunkorexia”

Actually, the fact is, no one really knows all the causes for this phenomena in America today. Academic studies pose different theories but these dual disorders may have some common causes in a range of contributing factors. Does an eating disorder lead to alcohol abuse and vice versa? Bulimia is much more commonly associated with alcohol and substance abuse than anorexia, because while bulimia is associated with binging followed by purging, anorexia centers on continual and severely controlled restriction of food.

It could be that the attitude towards compulsive substance and alcohol abuse can lead to compulsivity and lack of control over drinking. Both behaviors can be self-soothing, although drinking on an empty stomach often leads to vomiting. And dehydration may require hospitalization. Some women suffered from eating disorders first, and even after purging, would drink because it self- medicated the guilt and tension they felt. Those suffering from anorexia who try to cope with the challenge of eating with other people may use alcohol to ease the stress.

Of course, a young woman may come into the wretched state of “drunkorexia” without an eating disorder, but only with the idea of having fun, being attractive and living the good life. But drinking repeatedly without food can be both humiliating and dangerous, and ongoing habits can eventually become addictive both biologically and psychologically. The brain pathways are actually altered.

Hope for recovery from”Drunkorexia”

Left untreated and unabated, the “drunkorexic” suffers serious consequences to her health, job or school status, and relationships. Medical stabilization is part of a treatment process that should address both the chemical dependency and the eating disorder. The Hanley Center’s Center of Women’s Recovery,, has increasingly treated young women with the dual diagnoses of eating disorders and alcohol and/or substance abuse. Earlier treatment methods for co-occurring eating disorders and alcohol abuse sought to treat the alcohol problems first, with the idea that this was the more serious problem. Eating disorders are deadly as well.

Treating both disorders concurrently, in a medically based, holistic program that is rooted in the Twelve Step philosophy has been shown to be effective, and therapists who treat eating disorders must also have received related training. Depression is usually associated with dual diagnoses like this, and there may underlying conditions such as bi-polar disorders. Recovery is a process that may entail longer treatment, a combination of pharmacology and interactive therapies such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, based on mindfulness and mood regulation, and expressive therapies that help to address and safely express deep-seated emotions. Hormonal Shift Assessment and care plans also help women understand and address mood swings, anxiety and cravings. Continuing care and support group participation are associated with more successful recovery.

The role of culture, environment, genetics and biochemistry

Studies now have shown that young girls who start to diet at about sixth grade are more likely to abuse alcohol and other chemicals as teenagers or young adults. Besides the pop culture images we’re bombarded with, family history of substance abuse, and genetic factors can be factors along with other environmental markers, such as history of abuse or abandonment or family instability.

Neurochemical changes that affect opiod peptides in the body, regulators of food intake, may also modulate intake of alcohol or cocaine, say some studies. Personality characteristics may hold clues too, such as extreme impulsiveness and difficulty in controlling behavior. Borderline Personality Disorder causes rapidly cycling mood swings and impulsively as well. Another behavioral profile is what has been called the Novelty Seeker, who continually pursues new stimuli and “more” of it. The young woman suffering from bulimia often fits a profile of the “Novelty Seeker” and one with mood wings and impulsivity.

“Drunkorexics” don’t share all the same behavioral or personality types, genetic background, hormonal makeup or family histories. By understanding some underlying causes, though, treatment can be more effective, and the individual more readily engages in the recovery process. Sustained support of Twelve Step groups, for example, can provide the stability to continue, and tools learned in such therapies as Dialectical Behavior Therapy can offer help in self-regulating moods without addictive and destructive behaviors.

How to find gender-specific treatment for recovery from addiction and dual diagnosis for women: for the Center for Women’s Recovery at Hanley Center, has developed a medically-based, holistic program for women that is rooted in the Twelve Step philosophyHttp:// Jeannie Provost, program director, is a distinguished professional with broad experience in the treatment of women who suffer from addictions.

To receive a brochure from a Premier Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, please reply via the comment section with your information and we will get it right out to you.

Posted by: cindy | August 28, 2008

Ultra-Thin Models Can Trigger Anorexia


ultra thin models

ultra thin models

On the heels of complaints about a junior women’s fashion catalogue, La Maison Simons company president Peter Simons said he pulled the catalogue in a bid to remove images from that public domain that are unsuitable and don’t align with his company’s values.


The 36 page color catalogue with a print run of 450,000 features Simon’s TWIK brand and photographs of young women displaying more bone than flesh.

“Those images are destructive to a more vulnerable portion of the population which is exposed to anorexia,” Simons said.

Quebec Health Minister, Yves Bolduc congratulated the company for reacting promptly to complaints. “Anorexia is a serious issue and I think Mr. Simons did the right thing.  It sends a message to the teenagers that they can be healthy, have a suitable weight and that they don’t need to be ultra-slim,” Bolduc said yesterday.

Dr. Steven Karp, Medical Director of Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders in Wickenburg, AZ has treated thousands of patients suffering from an array of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge-eating.  Anorexia is a disorder characterized by a distorted sense of body image, marked weight loss from self imposed starvation and a morbid fear of obesity.

“While advertising and media attention are not the cause of anorexia, they certainly are contributing factors and can be triggers”, commented Karp.  Anorexia is a serious illness, statistics tell us that 1% of female adolescents suffer from anorexia. The annual death rate associated with anorexia is more than 12 times higher than the annual death rate to all other causes combined for females between 15 and 24 years of age”.

Earlier this year, France adopted a bill that would criminalize the promotion of anorexia. The bill would make it illegal for anyone, including magazines, websites and advertisers, to promote or encourage extreme thinness or severe weight loss.










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Posted by: cindy | August 26, 2008

Dying to be Thin

Weight scale & tape measure

Weight scale & tape measure

As soon as school let out for summer break after Lina’s sophomore year, she started dieting. When she went back to school in the fall, she’d lost 35 pounds. She weighed 123 pounds, a normal weight for her 5’5″ small boned body.  But Lina didn’t feel thin enough, and six months later, her weight dropped to 95 pounds. She was hospitalized and diagnosed with anorexia.

During her treatment, she met some other girls with bulimia, so she started binging and purging too. She later dropped out of her treatment program because she didn’t feel she needed the help.

Lina felt most in control of her life when she didn’t eat.  Lina never met her parents and was raised by grand-parents.

When people told her she looked too skinny, she felt empowered to get even skinnier. Then Lina started to lose her friends. Boys mocked her by making vomiting noises when she passed by in the hall.

Once, those boys got to Lina, or got through her.

“I had on a bathing suit, and two guys walked by and said, “OMG, look at that girl-she looks like a walking skeleton,” she said. “I thought I looked so good. It really struck a nerve. I started eating.”

Lina gained weight. Her life became normal. But two years later, Lina’s longtime boyfriend was killed in a car accident.

Lina turned to drugs, then alcohol. She stopped eating. By the time she started starving herself, she was two months into a new relationship. She tried hiding her disorder but her boyfriend was suspicious of something. “My personality was nasty, miserable, and very unhappy,’Lina said.

They never went out with other couples because LIna’s disorder consumed her.
Lina then married and the newly wed couple moved to a larger city to begin their new life together. But Lina’s eating disorder moved in with them.

Crediting her compassionate husband, Lina once again entered treatment. This time they chose a treatment center in Arizona that their insurance would pay for.  After 60 days in treatment, Lina felt like she finally “got it”. She had the tools and skills she needed to fight ED and to separate herself from the disorder. Lina says ” treatment taught me that I am worth more than what I was doing to myself”.

Lina and her husband can now socialize with friends and share dinners in public. Lina says she outgrew her eating disorder. “As I got older,” she said, ” it became a burden, a dirty habit that needed to be broker”.

The trend seems to be true across the country, says Cynthia Bulik, director of the eating disorders program at UNC Chapel Hill. Fifty percent of her patients are over the age of 30, and that number is rising, she says.

Bulik says societal pressure for life-long thinness is prompting many women to develop disorders later in life.  It usually has a devasting effect on their familiies. “Partners are often besides themselves when their wife stops eating,” Bulik said. “They are often so worried about sheltering the kids from this.”

Women who are 30 and older are often more motivated than adolescents to get help, according to Dr.Steven Karp, Medical Director at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders in Wickenburg, AZ.“It makes for an interesting population mix in treatment when we combine younger women and older women in treatment. They can learn from eachother and tend to listen more when they aren’t related to eachother.  Group therapy is a powerful treatment tool, it creates a safe environment where the participants can openly share their feelings and emotions”.

To receive an information packet from a Premier Provider of Eating Disorder Treatment that accepts insurance, please comment to this post with your contact information.

Posted by: cindy | August 22, 2008

Night Eating Syndrome

MorganLast month, I met Morgan.  Morgan is a beautiful young woman about 23 years of age with long brunette hair and piercing hazel eyes.  She told me her ED story, a story of pain, embarrassment and humiliation.  Morgan had struggled with her weight since puberty.  She was always about twenty pounds overweight.  Her Mom constantly reminded her of it by telling her she would buy her a new wardrobe if she lost weight. 

Morgan starting noticing something was wrong.  She would wake up in the morning and find empty food wrappers on the floor next to her bed. She thought her younger brothers were torturing her, teasing her about her weight. She complained to her parents only to have them blame Morgan and make rude comments about her weight.  As time went on the food wrappers increased and now there were dirty dishes and empty leftover containers in her bed in the mornings.

Morgan finally put it all together and realized she was the one raiding the refrigerator at night and binging in her room, in her sleep.  The shame was overwhelming for Morgan, this was a behavior no one would believe or understand. She had decided that she was losing her mind and contemplated suicide.

Morgan became increasingly withdrawn as her night eating continued and her weight increased. One night, she put her suicide plan into action and it failed.  Her parents found her and took her to the ER where she was stabilized and transferred to the psychiatric unit. It was there, that Morgan learned what she was experiencing was a real disorder called Night-eating Syndrome, and most important to Morgan, that it wasn’t that uncommon. Two percent of adults in the general population have this problem, but research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests that about six percent of people who seek treatment for obesity have NES.

Morgan was transferred to an in-patient treatment center for eating disorders. Her weight dropped as the NES came under control with therapy and eventually disappeared. The treatment plan developed for her was holistic, treating her whole being, body, mind and spirit. The Medical Doctor managed her medications and medical issues and the Dietician developed a meal plan for Morgan that distributed her calorie intake throughout the day so that she was not so vulnerable to caloric loading in the evening. The counseling staff taught her new coping skills and stress reduction techniques using therapies such as psychodrama, equine, art, massage and cognitive/behavioral.  Morgan credits the treatment center for saving her life and most importantly her self worth.

Posted by: cindy | August 19, 2008

How to Afford Treatment for Eating Disorders?


Paying for in-patient eating disorder treatment can be challenging for some individuals in the best of economic times but in today’s economy it can be nearly impossible.

For over a decade, Rosewood Center for Eating Disorder’s mission has been to make treatment for eating disorders accessible to everyone no matter what their economic standing is.

At Rosewood, we work directly with insurance providers to determine insurance eligibility prior to admission and we accept 3rd party payment for treatment. Our team of case managers and insurance specialists develop the treatment plan and level of service that will serve the patient best based on their individual needs.

We offer a complete continuum of care for men and women at Rosewood, from our Intensive In-patient program to our more affordable, Intensive Outpatient Program with Transitional Housing.  We design the treatment program around the patient’s immediate needs.

The National Eating Disorders Association, NEDA publishes a free survival guide affording treatment, you can access it here, NEDA Eating Disorder Survival Guide

What Coaches, Parents, and Teammates Need to Know:

Olympic SwimmerIn a study of Division 1 NCAA athletes, over one-third of female athletes reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk for anorexia nervosa. Though most athletes with eating disorders are female, male athletes are also at risk–especially those competing in sports that tend to place an emphasis on the athlete’s diet, appearance, size, and weight requirements.

Involvement in organized sports can offer many benefits, such as improved self-esteem and body image and encouragement for individuals to remain active throughout their lives.  Athletic competition, however, can also cause severe psychological and physical stress.  When the pressures of athletic competition are added to an existing cultural emphasis on thinness, the risks increase for athletes to develop disordered eating.  In a study of Division 1 NCAA athletes, over one-third of female athletes reported attitudes and symptoms placing them at risk– especially those competing in sports that tend to place an emphasis on the athlete’s diet, appearance, size and weight requirements, such as wrestling, bodybuilding, crew, running, and football.

Risk Factors for Athletes:

  • Sports that emphasize appearance or weight requirements. For example:gymnastics, diving, bodybuilding or wrestling- i.e. wrestlers trying to “make weight”.
  • Sports that focus on the individual rather than the entire team.  For example:gymnastics, running, figure skating, dance or diving, vs. basketball or soccer.
  • Endurance sports. For example: track and field running, swimming.
  • Inaccurate belief that lower body weight will improve performance.
  • Training for a sport since childhood or becoming an elite athlete.
  • Low self-esteem, family dysfunction, families with eating disorders, chronic dieting, history of physical or sexual abuse, peer, family and cultural pressures to be thin, and other traumatic life experiences.
  • Coaches who focus only on success and performance rather than on the athlete as a whole person.

Three factors have been thought to contribute to the odds that a person will be dissatisfied with his or her body: social influences, performance anxiety and the athlete’s self appraisal.

Protective Factors for Athletes:

  • Positive, person-oriented coaching style rather than negative, performance oriented coaching style.
  • Social influence and support from teammates with healthy attitudes towards size and shape.
  • Coaches who emphasize factors that contribute to personal success such as motivation and enthusiasm rather than body weight or shape.

The Female Athlete Triad includes:

  • Disordered eating
  • Loss of menstrual periods
  • Osteoporosis (loss of calcium resulting in weak bones).  The lack of nutrition resulting from disordered eating can cause the loss of several or more consecutive periods, this in turn leads to calcium and bone loss, putting the athlete at greatly increased risk for stree fractures of the bones.  Each of these conditions is a medical concern.  Together they create serious health risks that may be life threatening.  While any female athlete can develop the triad, adolescent girls are most at risk because of the active biological changes and growth spurts, peer and social pressures, and rapidly changing life circumstances that go along with the teenage years. Males may also develop similiar syndromes.

The International Olympic Committee has published recommendations for reducing the risk of the Female Athlete Triad, click here for the link to the report.

This article is courtesy of the National Eating Disorder Association.

Posted by: cindy | August 12, 2008

Olympic Athlete Battles Bulimia

Dara Torres

Dara Torres

For athletes, being thin means more than succumbing to pressure from fashion magazines and the media. Much more.  Making your weight to increasing your speed, the pressure for athletes to keep their weight at a certain level equates to pleasing coaches and securing a victory.

Even though men are not immune from eating disorders, by and large, the majority of eating disorder cases affect females. Most often, it strikes females in late adolescent and college years and comes in the form of anorexia nervosa or bulimia.  According to the organization Athletes with Eating Disorders, female athletes are at a double risk for developing an eating disorder.  Female athletes that participate in sports that value appearance and a lean body like figure skating or gymnastics, are more prone to an eating disorder.

Dara Torres is a 41 year old Olympic swimmer, currently competing in Beijing. In a recent interview, she openly discusses the pressure to be think and make weight as a swimmer back in her college years.  When the scales were tipping too high for her coaches likes, a friend in her dormitory showed Dara how to purge.

Dara’s bulimialasted for about 5 years and during those years she competed in the 1988 Olympics and was ranked Number 1 in the world for 100 freestyle. Dara placed 7th in the 1988 Olympics.  When she decided to try out for the 1992 Olympics team, she realized that she could never make it if she continued on with her bulimia.  Even though she was making weight, she had no energy. So Dara decided to quit. Just like that. Cold Turkey.

Fast forward to today, 16 years and one pregnancylater and you have Dara’s inspiring physical and mental condition sending a clear message to all of us, including her young daughter.  If you treat your body with respect and protection, its power can surpass your wildest expectations.

Posted by: cindy | August 7, 2008

Athletes and Eating Disorders


The British Times On-line featured a story this week about British athlete Allie Outram who recently published her memoir “Running on Empty”.  The book describes Outram’s struggles with anorexia and bulimia and how her eating disorder and intense training regimens nearly killed her.  The former Olympic long distance runner developed anorexia in her teens.  She spent two years in an inpatient hospital setting being treated for her eating disorders but later developed bulimia while in recovery from anorexia.  According to Outram, she isn’t alone in her struggles.  In fact, she says, the athletic community and the nature of sports not only helped to conceal and legitimize her disorder, it also encouraged it:

“At one World Cross Country Championship, I can confidently say that, of six of us in the Great Britain junior women’s team, four had some form of eating disorder,” said Outram. “It is so common in the sport, yet no coach or team manager ever expressed concern.  I was never told that I was too thin, and was never withdrawn from a race because of my weight.”

“Outside of sport, people would think I ate too little and exercised too much, but within athletics my behavior was not only accepted but endorsed and encouraged,” she said. “There are lots of others like me so it was easy to hide.”

Last year a study was published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal, which revealed that almost one in five of Britain’s leading female distance runners has an eating disorder or has suffered from one in the the past, compared with just one percent of the general population.  Last month. researchers at the University of Denver revealed that female athletes and exercisers tend to exhibit eating disorder symptoms more often than those who don’t exercise as regularly.  At least one-third of female athletes have some type of disordered eating according to studies done completed by eating disorder experts.

Athletes who have spoken openly about their personal journey with eating disorder are Charlotte Dale, a former European junior cross-country champion, and Bryony and Kathryn Frost, 24.  The Frost twins were considered track medal contenders at the 2012 Olympics, but last year revealed how they survived on just a few pieces of fruit a day.  Liz McColgan counts her second place finish in the run-up to the 1988 Seoul Olympics to her low body weight and eating disorder. “I was so weak and undernourished that I didn’t have the energy to sprint for the line,” she said.  Kimiko Hirai Soldati, a 2004 Olympic diver, struggled with bulimia and now performs public speaking programs to other women to create awareness about eating disorders.  Gymnast and Olympic gold medal winner Nadia Comaneci come forward and admitted struggling with anorexia and bulimia, along with 1972 Olympic gold medal winner Cathy Rigby, who suffered from anorexia and bulimia for 12 years and went into cardiac arrest twice because of it.

These females athletes are the lucky ones. They admitted they had a problem and got the professional help they needed at eating disorder treatment centers. Eating Disorders is a deadly disease however.  World class gymnast, Christy Henrich, died in 1994 at age 22 from multiple organ failure brought on by anorexia.  Seven years later, German rower and 1988 Seoul Olympic eight time gold medallist, Bahne Rabe, died at age 37 as a result of an eating disorder.  And in 2003, Helen Lee, a former Middlesex county and South of England cross-country champion died at the age of 18 from pneumonia and organ failure thought to be a direct result of her long-term battle with anorexia.

Posted by: cindy | July 29, 2008

Can Men Have Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are liable to be considered “women’s disorders.” In our society, men are not allowable to show the weakness of having mental health disorders, much less suffer from eating disorders. In view of the fact that men and eating disorders is a problem, they virtually always keep this a painful secret. According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders, men comprise about one million Americans who are ill with from eating disorders.

When the problem of men and eating disorders comes up, and the men do see their doctors for help, physicians will take a detailed medical history. They more often than not discover that the disorder began to appear as teen-agers. An adolescent peer group can be incredibly emotionally harsh; “fat boys” are made fun of and isolated from others. The social pressure to be thin is overwhelming in the midst of today’s teens.

Men and eating disorders describe both anorexic and bulimic behavior as adolescents. On top to starving themselves, they play sports and exercise greatly just as teen-age girls and grown women do. “Boys don’t get fat” unenlightened pediatricians tell mothers. “He’s just got some baby fat that will get away on its own.” But it doesn’t, and trouble eating isn’t supposed to happen in men.

Do Men and Eating Disorders Boast the Same Symptoms as Women?

Yes, but with one exceptionally important difference. People of either gender can develop an eating disorder, and they remain their eating behavior secret. Men and eating disorders is a topic which sort of ties that knot of secrecy even tighter. As adults, they are nearly always morbidly obese. They don’t socialize with others, in particular women. They hardly ever date or get married.

Eating disorders, in the midst of either gender, aren’t a matter of conceit; wanting to fit into a smaller pair of jeans. In truth, eating disorders don’t really have anything to do with food! What drives men with eating disorders is a must to be in control of something, anything. They don’t do well expressing emotions, are perfectionists, and don’t tolerate themselves to be less than perfect and have an extremely seated self-loathing. The one thing men can at all times control is the amount of food they permit themselves to eat. The bathroom scale becomes their worldly enemy.

More Possible Causes

Some researchers have lately found that genetic factors may be the reason why a probable more than half of the population may develop the risk of contracting anorexia nervosa and more studies on the genetics of bulimia in addition to binge eating are ongoing.

Another cause of eating disorder may be personality of the person which is at least partially genetically determined and there are a number of personality types like the obsessive-compulsive or sensitive-avoidant who are additionally at risk of having an eating disorder, than are other people.

There is also one more point worth considering when judgment about the cause of eating disorder and that is that hormones that are produced when a person is stressed aid to form fat cells. In particular, in Western civilizations where life is competitive, quick paced as well as challenging and full of stress there may be a connection between this type of modern lifestyle and the increased instances of overeating.

A lot of people join an eating disorder and the media for the way those suffering are portrayed in the press. With the fashion industry apparently pushing for smaller and skinnier models and the press portraying them as something out of the ordinary, there is plenty of responsibility for an eating disorder and the media can be partially responsible.

In Spain, the country recently placed a bare minimum weight on models, recognizing that serious health problems can increase from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Spain’s legislators claimed many of the models were torment from an eating disorder and the media was helping push that unhealthy trend.

Whether other countries will go after Spain’s lead will depend on how the fashion industry reacts to charges of pushing the satisfactoriness of an eating disorder and the media’s reaction to the latest stand. The largest problem, however, is the models suffering a disease denial to admit they have a problem.

Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit Nighttime Eating Disorder to learn more about compulsive eating disorder and bulimia eating disorder.

Posted by: cindy | July 26, 2008

What is Compulsive Overeating?

Definition of Compulsive Overeating

The National Institute of Mental Health indicates that “community surveys have estimated between 2% and 5% of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.”

Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of
within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating
during the episode.

The binge-eating episodes are associated with at least 3 of the following: eating
much more rapidly than normal; eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large
amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry; eating alone because of being
embarrassed by how much one is eating; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed,
or very guilty after overeating.

Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior;
The binge-eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months,
The binge-eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate
compensatory behaviors (e.g. purging, fasting, excessive exercise).

People with binge-eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control
with the same binge-eating symptoms as those of bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust, and shame associated with this illness can lead to binging again, creating a cycle of binge-eating. The Institute recognizes binge eating as an eating disorder with severe consequences that cannot be reversed by simply attempting to apply willpower. The binge eater is seen as being out of control and obsessed with food.

But the National Institute of Mental Health also states that “eating disorders can be treated and a healthy weight restored. The sooner these disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be.”
A compulsive over eater is at health risk for a heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney disease and/or failure, cancer, arthritis and bone deterioration, and stroke. Additional health risks include decreased mobility due to weight gain, insomnia, sleep apnea, and deteriorating mental health accompanied by declining intimacy.





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