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eating disorders - compulsive eating
Please note that the contents herein are not presented from a medical practitioner, and that any and all health care planning should be made under the guidance of your own medical and health practitioners.
The content within only presents an overview of the topics and does not replace medical advice from a professional physician.
Compulsive overeating is characterized by uncontrollable eating and consequent weight gain. Compulsive overeaters use food as a way to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and daily problems. The food can block out feelings and emotions. Compulsive overeaters usually feel out of control and are aware their eating patterns are abnormal. Like bulimics, compulsive overeaters do recognize they have a problem.
Compulsive overeating usually starts in early childhood when eating patterns are formed. Most people who become compulsive eaters are people who never learned the proper way to deal with stressful situations and used food instead as a way of coping. Fat can also serve as a protective function for them, especially in people that have been victims of sexual abuse. They sometimes feel that being overweight will keep others at a distance and make them less attractive. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, there is a high proportion of male overeaters.
The more weight that is gained, the harder they try to diet and dieting is usually what leads to the next binge, which can be followed by feelings of powerlessness, guilt, shame and failure. Dieting and bingeing can go on forever if the emotional reasons for the bingeing is not dealt with.
In today's society, compulsive overeating is not yet taken seriously enough. Instead of being treated for the serious problem they have, they are instead directed to diet centers and health spas. Like anorexia and bulimia, compulsive overeating is a serious problem and can result in death. With the proper treatment, which should include therapy, medical and nutritional counseling, it can be overcome.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
- Binge eating
- Fear of not being able to stop eating voluntarily
- Self-deprecating thoughts following binges
- Withdrawing from activities because of embarrassment about weight
- Going on many different diets
- Eating little in public, while maintaining a high weight
- Believing they will be a better person when thin
- Feelings about self based on weight
- Social and professional failures attributed to weight
- Feeling tormented by eating habits
- Weight is focus of life
PHYSICAL / MEDICAL COMPLICATIONS
- Weight gain
- Hypertension or fatigue
- Heart ailments
- Mobility problems
- Varicose veins
- Hiatal hernia
- Sleep depravation
- Toxemia during pregnancy
- High blood pressure
- Shortness of breath
- High Cholesterol levels
- Cardiac arrest and death
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