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Compulsive Eating Treatment Center

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 have an eating disorder, with binge eating disorder, which is often called compulsive overeating, considered the most prevalent. It’s 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,post-traumatic stress disorder and others.

Symptoms of Compulsive Eating Disorder

Common symptoms to look for in someone you suspect may engage 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
  • Bad Body Image

Health Consequences of Compulsive Eating

Many dangerous physical symptoms can result from compulsive overeating. These include the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Digestive problems
  • Menstrual problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Treatment for Compulsive Eating Disorder

Treatment for Compulsive eating disorder can include many approaches, a common one being therapy. When the sufferer deals with the psychological issues behind the overeating, they can begin to eat healthy again. Nutritional counseling from experts is often needed in order to address any needed weight loss in a healthy way.

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