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WHAT IS FOOD ADDICTION?

WHAT IS FOOD ADDICTION?

Food addiction is like any other addiction. According to Psychology Today, addiction can be categorized as a condition in which it results when a person or user ingests a substance—such as sweet and salty foods—in which it can be pleasurable. However, the chronic use of the said substance then becomes compulsive and eventually begins to interfere with daily and ordinary life, which can have an end result affecting everyone from family, friends, loved ones, and coworkers. Often times, after an addiction sets in for a longer period of time, those suffering through the pangs of addiction commonly find themselves unable to control themselves, feeling that their behavior grows out of control.

Addiction can also be caused by a variety of different factors, from genetics, exposure, or simply by mistake as is the case for prescription painkiller addictions. Food addiction has been found in several different experiments conducted on both animals and humans, to trigger the same regions of the brain responsible for the reward and pleasure systems activated by drugs such as cocaine and heroin, especially in those high palatable foods.

In a study conducted by the Nurses Health Study in 2016, it found that of the people surveyed, nearly 5.8% of nurses in the United States met the criteria for food addiction.

HOW FOOD ADDICTION CAN AFFECT YOU

Food Addiction Impact

The problem that arises with issues such as food addiction, is that like addiction in drugs—such as heroin and cocaine—highly palatable foods activate certain parts of the brain that then trigger and release dopamine—a feel-good chemical in the brain.

Once an individual experiences the rush of the feel-good chemical dopamine that is felt with indulging in highly palatable foods, those very people will then feel the need and urge to eat again immediately following the last bite. The highly palatable food then begins to rush reward signals to the brain, that typically also overrides the feelings of satisfaction and fullness that usually come after eating. This then commonly causes people to keep eating, regardless of how much they already ate.

SYMPTOMS OF FOOD ADDICTION

Food Addiction Symptoms

It is common that people who show signs of food addiction may at times also develop a type of tolerance to it. Those people might find that the more they eat, the more the reward region of the brain is activated, then the less they might find food satisfying.

While scientists have commonly known that food addiction can often lead to obesity, recent studies show that even in people not obese but of normal weight, they also suffer through food addiction—in some cases to a further extent. Scientists have found that one of the reasons some people of normal weight might be suffering so commonly through food addiction, might have to do with the fact that they might be unaware of their own addiction. Calories are handled by everybody’s body differently, where some individuals handle calories better than others.

Symptoms of having a food addiction include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Find yourself eating more than planned
  • Eat when you’re no longer hungry
  • Continue eating even after you’re full
  • Try to obtain foods that are unobtainable
SEEKING HELP

Food Addiction Help

Due to the very destructive and complex nature of addiction in general, especially that of food addiction, it can be incredibly difficult to overcome when dealing with it by oneself. It is often vitally important for those suffering from an addiction of any kind, to immediately seek help and assistance in an attempt to avoid any long term and permanent damages left behind. An all too common mistake many different people make when encountering and suffering through addiction, is the idea that they can handle the problem within themselves. Having this kind of attitude towards addiction often times only ends up making life harder and makes overcoming addiction more severe and more difficult to overcome in the end.

When it comes to fighting and combating food addiction, seeking help in treatment is extremely necessary in effectively dealing with the issue and attempting to curtail and lessen its effects. At Drug Treatment Center Finder, we have the resources to connect you with a medical and addiction specialist immediately to help get you on the right track in overcoming food addiction.

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