What is Compulsive Eating?
Compulsive eating disorder is characterized by the act of consuming a large amount of food in a short time. There is a sense of a lack of control in stopping eating, and the act is often followed by feelings of guilt and remorse. The sufferer often eats when they are not physically hungry and they eat until they are uncomfortably full.
A compulsive overeater may sometimes use compensatory behaviors in an attempt to make up for the binge, such as diet pills, restriction of calories, or vomiting.
Eight million Americans are estimated to struggle with disordered eating patterns, with compulsive eating disorder (also called binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating) considered the most prevalent. It is common for sufferers to believe that they only need to develop and use willpower and go on a diet in order to resolve everything. Ironically, it is often dieting that triggers the desire to overeat in the first place.
Causes of Compulsive Eating
When people deprive themselves of needed calories, the desire to overeat or binge eat will sometimes overtake them. Thus begins a cycle of dieting and overeating, with weight going up and down and the issue never being resolved.
Along with dieting, episodes of overeating can be triggered by many emotional issues and life events such as depression, financial troubles, anxiety, divorce, or break-ups. Compulsive overeating is not really about the food but rather the underlying psychological issues such as low self-esteem.
Co-occurring conditions can occur, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and others.
Symptoms of Compulsive Eating Disorder
Common symptoms to look for in someone you suspect may be engaging in compulsive overeating include:
- Eating an excessive amount of food in a short time
- Eating until the point of discomfort or pain
- Finding hidden supplies of binge foods or empty food wrappers
- Eating secretively
- Change in weight, often with weight reaching overweight or obese status
- Lack of energy
- Obsessed with food and weight
- Poor body image
Health Consequences of Compulsive Eating
Many dangerous physical symptoms can result from compulsive overeating, which is why those who suffer from compulsive eating should be treated at a premier rehab center. These symptoms include the following:
- High blood pressure
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Digestive problems
- Menstrual problems
Treatment for Compulsive Eating Disorder
The best treatment for compulsive eating can include many approaches, a common one being therapy. When the sufferer deals with the psychological issues behind the overeating, he or she can begin to eat healthy again. Nutritional counseling from experts at our treatment center is often needed in order to address any needed weight loss in a healthy way.
Sierra Tucson offers the best treatment for all our patients. If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from a compulsive eating, look no further than our rehab center.