Most people understand when they’re full and only eat when hungry. While many may eat more than they should from time to time, it generally only occurs after several hours of fasting or during the holidays (when everyone may eat more than usual). However, some people are victims of chronic compulsive overeating, which means they eat or feel hungry even after a large meal or when they know they’ve had enough to eat.
A Description of Compulsive Overeating
Compulsive overeating often is a response to an emotional problem or a way for a person to comfort herself after a rough day at work. It generally entails eating a large amount of food in a short period of time and then feeling guilty about it afterward. Some who suffer from this issue think about food on a regular basis and feel guilty about what they believe may be an unhealthy obsession with food.
To be diagnosed with this problem, an individual must typically overeat at least three times a week for a period of a month or more. A doctor may diagnose an individual with binge eating disorder when such symptoms present themselves. However, it may also be considered overeating even if the food is consumed throughout the day as opposed to in one sitting.
Those who don’t overeat on a regular basis may still suffer from this condition. For example, people who compulsively eat when stressed, bored or lonely may be suffering from a more mild form of this condition. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, it’s important to seek food addiction help to stave off negative impacts in the short- and long-term.
Short-term and Long-term Effects of Compulsive Overeating
Those who suffer from compulsive overeating could be putting themselves at risk for both short- and long-term health issues, as the body isn’t designed to eat large amounts of food at once. Some people may experience stomach pain and cramping for hours after eating a large meal. It could also be harder to get through the rest of the day, as those who’ve eaten a large amount of food may feel sleepy or sluggish. The guilt of consuming mass amounts of food could lead to depression, which can result in a lack of desire to be social.
Those who feel depressed may have trouble finding work or staying with an employer for more than a few weeks or months. It may also be hard to develop meaningful romantic relationships, as those who overeat may feel ashamed of their habit or unworthy of love. However, these short-term issues simply lead to longer-term complications that may require counseling and other forms of professional help to overcome.
One of the biggest problems an individual may face is losing excess weight that has been gained through overeating. For those who are morbidly obese, it may be necessary to take several different medications to manage blood sugar and keep fluid buildup to a minimum. It may also be harder to walk or stay active for long periods of time. Even with a coherent plan to lose weight and get in shape, it could take years to shed the weight and regain the endurance needed to live a normal life. Consulting with a physician and nutritionist offers the safest way to go about weight loss under these circumstances.
Where to Go for Food Addiction Help
You can get food addiction help by talking to a doctor or other medical specialist. A doctor can do a physical examination to determine what your healthy weight is and how the target weight can be met. Medical professionals can also provide education as to how problems with food are often related to physical or emotional health issues.
In many instances, regular exercise can help you get into better physical shape and manage emotional issues like depression. Your doctor may put you on a diet while also recommending an exercise regimen that can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Additionally, a medical doctor may know of a therapist you can see or mental health programs you can attend.
Talking to a therapist or finding support groups in your area can help you see that food addiction isn’t something you need to face alone. By talking to others, you may also establish a social component to your life that may have been missing. Simply having someone to spend time with after work or on a Saturday night may be all you need to overcome your body issues or other confidence problems. Once you start to see yourself in a better light, your issues with food may recede or go away completely.
If you’re looking for food addiction help, call the hotline at 800-447-9081. Doing so can help you take that first step toward finding a solution to your problem. If you know someone who’s going through issues with food, calling this number may help you come up with ways to assist that person as well.