Food Addiction: How To Recognize And Treat It

Food addiction: how to recognize and treat it

Food addiction is a psychological disorder which is characterized by an obsession and dependence on food, a compulsive behavior similar to that seen in other addictions.

But… is this the same as an eating disorder? Unlike the latter, in food addiction:

What defines food addiction?

Food addiction is a disorder in which a person experiences a dependence on food that goes beyond physical hunger, which would be known as emotional hunger.

Among its possible causes and risk factors, we find that It may be due to a combination of biological, psychological, environmental, learning and social factors:

Some of the symptoms and signs that may indicate a food addiction are usually eating large amounts of food in a short time, even when you are not hungry, with difficulty controlling yourself, which results in a loss of control and mood changes if you cannot eat. or if you try to limit food consumption. This can sometimes lead us to avoid social situations that involve food, such as dinners with friends or family, due to shame or guilt.

What consequences could it have?

Some of the most visible may be digestive problems (gastroesophageal reflux, abdominal pain, diarrhea…) or the increased risk of chronic diseases (diabetes, heart disease…). However, the effects can also be seen on a psychological level, such as depression, anxiety, social isolation or sleep problems.

How is it treated?

Regarding treatment, it will be important to acquire skills to manage stress and anxiety without turning to food as a form of relief, identifying and changing the patterns of thinking and behavior that contribute to food addiction through cognitive behavioral therapy. It will also be advisable to improve interpersonal relationships and address the emotions that can contribute to food addiction, through interpersonal therapies, as well as training in achieving effective coping skills to manage stress, anxiety and other emotional triggers that They can contribute to food addiction. It is very important to have a multidisciplinary team of health professionals, including psychologists and nutritionists, to determine the best treatment approach for each person.

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What can I do until I get a professional evaluation?:

If you can follow these types of recommendations, you will have already started down this path, and with professional help, it will become much more bearable. We walk together?