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Health And Wellness > Health Issues > Addictions > Eating Addictions

Eating Addictions
Author: FreeDigitalPhotos

Food addiction can be classified in many ways. Whether it’s compulsive eating, or an obsession with weight and body image, most sufferers cope with overwhelming emotions of shame and depression and have low self-esteem. In some ways, food addiction can be compared to alcohol or drug addiction. A food addict can crave refined sugar and fat the way an alcoholic craves alcohol. A food addict can also experience withdrawal when attempting to cut down on foods that trigger cravings.

Symptoms of food addiction include:

  • Being obsessed with thoughts of food
  • Eating to relieve worry or stress, or to reward yourself
  • Feeling anxious while eating
  • Overeating or bingeing
  • Hiding food to eat in secret
  • Bingeing and purging
  • Feeling that your weight is negatively affecting your daily life
  • Starving or using laxatives/diuretics in an attempt to lose weight
  • Seeing food as something harmful
  • Feeling depressed when you can’t eat the food you want
  • Feeling like you can’t control your eating habits

Like other addictions, food addiction can take over and destroy your life. Food addiction can lead to obesity, which can cause problems such as:

  • Being obsessed with thoughts of food
  • Eating to relieve worry or stress, or to reward yourself
  • Diabetes 
  • Heart problems 
  • Breathing problems
  • Stroke
  • Osteoarthritis
  • High blood pressure
  • Gall stones
  • Infertility
  • Depression

People with food addictions may develop excessive exercise regimes in order to lose weight, putting themselves at risk of injury. Food addictions are treatable via nutritional and medical counseling, individual and group therapy, medication and self-help groups such as Overeaters Anonymous. Other tips include drinking lots of water, practicing yoga, meditation, or deep-breathing techniques, and avoiding “triggers” (situations that may cause you to overeat). Consult your doctor to decide which option may be best for you.

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