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Food is just not a necessity of life. It has also become a means of social engagement and a source of pleasure. People use food beyond its nutritional value as a source of comfort and to celebrate special events.
This change in the concept of how and why we consume food has changed how many people perceive eating today. For instance, some people can show desire and the need to consume food to the extent that it becomes uncontrollable.
Yes, by now, you must have guessed where we are going with this article.
Food addiction has always been a controversial topic because of its vague definition. However, this issue has gained legitimacy over the last couple of years, thanks to several studies.
Today, we will discuss food addiction and see what the necessary things you must know about it.
What Is Food Addiction?
Food is an essential element to human survival. It is an important aspect of our wellness. Food not only provided the needed sustenance but also added several gratification factors.
However, food can become an addiction and affect them as a drug does for many. For individuals who are suffering from food addiction, highly palatable food can stimulate their brains to trigger different chemical reactions and induce feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Individuals suffering from food addiction can find themselves dependent on food to keep their emotional behavior in check.
This eating behavior can generate a vicious cycle that can lead to several physical problems and social consequences.
If you are suffering from food addiction, we advise you to take professional help. However, if you don’t find any available professionals in your area, some are certainly available at Ocean Recovery`s website.
Is Food Addiction A Serious Disorder?
Despite the fact that food is necessary to live, it sure is harmful if consumed more than what you need to.
Food addiction is a behavioral trait that has now been considered an addiction. It is a state where an individual associates themselves with unhealthy eating practices.
- Eating a large portion of a meal.
- Eating while emotionally stable.
- Eating even after being full.
– It simply means Eating All The Time.
Now coming to the question.
– Yes, it is a serious problem!
It can cause physical harm and lead to chronic health conditions like obesity and diabetes. In addition, it might impact the individual’s self-esteem, self-image, degrade their confidence, and make them feel ashamed about their body.
Things You Should Know About Food Addiction
We all know how delicious all the junk food, processed food, and ice creams are. After all, they are called comfort food for a reason.
But did you know that these comfort foods have certain effects on the brain? Once your brain is accustomed to these foods, its reward system starts functioning differently.
Or just say, eating becomes an addictive activity!
Food addiction is a new term that only a few are aware of. If you are one of the individuals that only knows what food addiction is and have no idea about its other aspect, keep reading.
1. Causes Of Food Addiction
Food addiction is the culmination of several factors that interplay in the overall causes of this disorder. A person might develop this addiction due to biological, psychological, and social reasons.
Biological: Biological causes that may influence the progression of the eating disorder can be due to hormonal disbalance, abnormalities in brain functioning, medicinal side effects, or having other family members with this type of addiction.
Psychological: Psychological factors include emotional and sexual abuse, chronic self-esteem, or experience of grief. Psychological factors such as these can encourage eating food as a coping mechanism to relieve painful emotions.
Social Impacts: Social impact includes the environment in which the patient is living. It can be a disturbing family function, peer pressure, child abuse, and social isolation.
2. Types Of Food Addiction
Just like any addiction, food addiction also comes with different types. It includes:
- Sugar addiction.
- Addiction to salty foods.
And the list just goes on…
Study shows that food addiction has a serious impact on the patient’s health, and once a person has fallen for food addiction, it becomes hard to get rid of it.
3. Signs Of Food Addiction
Like any other addiction, there are no blood tests or lab examinations to determine whether you are suffering from food addiction. Hence, people sometimes neglect its existence.
However, experts have researched and found that there are certain foods that stimulate the opiate in the brain. If we consider this reaction, food can certainly be considered addictive.
Like any other addiction, food addiction is diagnosed based on a person’s behavior.
Here are a few signs that will help you identify individuals suffering from food addiction.
- Frequent craving for food despite being completely full.
- Eating larger portions of food.
- Eating certain food that you are full enough to throw up.
- Feeling guilty about overeating yet repeating the same mistake.
- Repeatedly tried to quit food addiction but have failed dozens of times.
- Binge eating.
- Ashamed of your own eating habit.
- Find it hard to resist a certain food despite knowing its consequences on health.
4. How Food Addiction Affect Your Health
If you or your loved one is suffering from food addiction, you may understa=nd the implication it may have on life. If food addiction is left untreated, it might start affecting your health and create damaging symptoms.
Physical Effects Of Food Addiction
Food addiction can result in many negative physical consequences. Out of all, some are mentioned below.
- Digestive problems.
- Sleep disorder.
- Reduce sex drive.
- Liver diseases.
Psychological Effect On Food Addiction
Food addiction can be debilitating to mental health, especially when you lack help and support from your friends and family.
Some of the psychological effects are:
- Panic attacks.
- Increased irritability.
- Suicidal ideation.
Food addiction treatment is different from drug or alcohol addiction – you cannot refrain from eating all together as a part of your recovery. This is why food addiction is a problem that cannot be resolved without additional help.
There are several food addiction therapies available to cure eating disorders. Addiction therapies like:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
- Nutritional Therapies.
- Group Support.
– have proven themselves to be effective against food addiction.
Although food addiction might not be as addictive and dangerous as drug/alcohol addiction, they are certainly bad news. It is a problem that will not go away by simply stopping eating. You need to start treating the root cause of the problem.