How are eating disorders related to food addiction?

In this short post, we identify the two distinct eating disorder types (anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa) and relate them to the physical, psychological and spiritual underpinnings of any addiction.

minute read

What are the main eating disorders?

Eating disorders are serious behavior problems. They include:

1. Anorexia nervosa – extreme weight loss or restriction of caloric intake due to a misconception of being overweight
2. Bulimia nervosa – periods of overeating followed by purging through self-induced vomiting or laxatives
3. Eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS)

How are eating disorders related to addiction?

1. Physical causes – Researchers are currently investigate possible biochemical or biological causes of eating disorders. Certain chemicals in the brain that control hunger, appetite, and digestion have been found to be imbalanced. Current research also indicates that there are significant genetic contributions to eating disorders, as eating disorders often run in families.

2. Psychological causes – Eating disorders are often an attempt to manage overwhelming feelings and emotions. Behavioral control of diet can be a way to cope with painful emotions and to feel in control of one’s life,

3. Spiritual causes – Eating disorders are, at heart, the result of disconnection with a greater power that brings purpose, meaning and hope to life.

How do doctors treat eating disorder?

Appropriate and necessary treatment for an eating disorder will include a combination of medical treatment and psychiatric treatment. The first goal for the treatment of an eating disorder is to ensure physical health by restoring healthy weight. The next goal of treatment is to reduce or eliminate the person’s eating behavior. Behavioral therapy can help a person return to healthy eating habits. Supportive group therapy may follow, and self-help groups within communities may provide ongoing support.

What’s the cure for an eating disorder?

In my opinion, the only way to cure any behavioral addiction is total abstinence from the substance or behavior, which is supported by a 12 step program. The 12 steps are designed to address the psychological and spiritual causes of an addiction, and to clean up the inner life which drives a person to addiction. If there are any other opinions or experiences out there, I’m interested to hear them…can the 12 steps work for a lifetime to help stop eating disorders?

About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.
I am ready to call
i Who Answers?