When you consider addictions what do you think about? Do you think of drugs, alcohol, or nicotine? Do you think of food? The medical profession is becoming more receptive to the concept that people can suffer from food addiction. What is food addiction? Food addiction is a compulsive need to eat a particular type of food. It usually leads to compulsive binge eating and uncontrolled cravings. The body can become dependent on these foods. Usually, if someone has a food addiction it involves food high in sugar, flour, fat, and salt. Studies show that certain foods can release dopamine. According to an article in Psychology Today, dopamine is the feel-good neurotransmitter. The brain releases it when we eat food that we crave contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Sometimes when we see people who are obese, we assume they lack willpower when they can be dealing with a food addiction.
Food addiction can be serious. It can lead to overeating which can cause weight gain. It can also cause physical symptoms including headaches, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, and depression. It is difficult for someone with an untreated food addiction to live a healthy lifestyle. A person can have a food addiction and go on a diet and lose weight; however, once the diet is completed, they will typically relapse and go back to eating the same food and gain the weight back.
Each person will have to judge for themselves if they have a food addiction. It will take some self-reflection. Do you have uncontrolled food cravings? Do you binge eat? Are you secretive or ashamed about your eating habits? Do you get irritable or agitated when you do not consume certain foods? Do you use food for emotional support? If you determine that you have a food addiction there are support groups available to you. You can search the Internet for a location near you. If you have a food addiction do not let shame or embarrassment stop you from getting the help you need.
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