Effects of Food Addiction – Facts You Should Know
An understanding of the effects of food addiction can help sufferers realize the results of their addiction, compare with their realities to know how far they have gone, and the kind of redemption they would need to get back to functioning normally. This is what I hope to achieve with this article. We will be dealing with the effects of food addiction.
An age long addiction to food, results in negative consequences to all aspects of a person’s life. Here, we would be highlighting these negative consequences in different life aspects.
First, let’s look at short-term physical effects of food addiction like food coma. This is just like reaching that deadly phase of intoxication on alcohol or the peak of highness on hard drugs. It is an immediate yet momentary effect of overeating compulsively. It is like a calm sedated state with a low level of euphoria or excitement, a decrease in both anxiety and emotional pain, when dopamine is released in the brain reward center.
Now with that is said, we can look at more long lasting side effects of food addictions whether binge eating (compulsive overeating), bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, or night eating. These side effects occur as a result of consistent indulgence in these unhealthy eating habits. These effects can be seen in different aspects of human living.
Health effects of Food addiction
You can already expect that this would not be looking good. The biological or physiological effects of food addiction are usually devastating and fatal. Some of these effects can be averted, while some others can be so advanced that they now threaten the life of the food addict.
An obvious one is excessive weight gain and obesity: If a food addict is obsessed, it can be linked with the following health problems; heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, bone weakness, arthritis in the knees, hips and back; fungal infections in skin folds that are hard to clean, congestive heart failure, tightness of the chest, coronary artery disease, and ultimately death. These effects are common among obese people. Other health effects of food addiction include; digestive problems, stomach ulcers, malnutrition, obesity, chronic fatigue, chronic pains, sleep disorders (this can multiply if the food addict is a night eater), reduced libido, incessant headaches, lethargy, low energy, stroke, kidney/liver diseases, and osteoporosis.
Psychological effects of food addiction:
Food addiction can be detrimental to your mental health especially if there is a lack of support or inadequate help from family and friends or social structures. Food addiction can prove intense and plague your emotional wellbeing for years. Some psychological effects that may be experienced include;
- Increased irritability, especially if restrained from eating desired food.
- Low self-esteem and hopelessness
- Panic attacks and powerlessness
- Increased feelings of anxiety and isolation
- Shame and sadness
- Depression and self-loathing
- Guilt and despair
- Suicidal thoughts
- Emotional detachment or numbness,
- Self-injurious behaviors.
A strong social support system is instrumental in helping food addicts recover.
Social effects of food addiction
Food addiction impacts relationships, especially those within the family. Many times loved ones experience anger and frustration, since they are completely unable to understand why their brother, sister or daughter just won’t stop eating, especially when it is clearly jeopardizing the addict’s health.
A food addiction can result in many negative social consequences, as an excess of food is desired to be consumed by the food addict or abnormal eating behavior exhibited at social gatherings, and it is seen to be embarrassing to others. The reason for this is the person with the addiction wants to be more involved with food than with people – it becomes their safest, most important and meaningful relationship.
When it comes to food and the food addict – commitments, interactions and conversations with friends and family take a back seat. This often leads to a deep seated sense of separation from loved ones, division within family members, and avoidance of social events or functions. Spouses often misperceive their husband’s or wife’s behaviors, believing his or her actions indicate they are no longer committed to their marriage. Comments like “if you loved me, all you do wouldn’t be just eating all the food you find,” are common.
For people with obesity, they are often bullied and ridiculed by friends and loved ones
Effects on functionality
As a human being; you have a purpose, something you were created for, dreams, things you would love to do with your life and while you are alive. This is what fuels why we work, study, make money, have family, friends and so on.
Food addiction will definitely take these things away – as it causes decreased performances at work or school, lack of enjoyment in hobbies or activities once enjoyed, risk of jeopardizing finances or career, as you lose focus on building a better life for yourself, and invests time and money on food instead. Proper function in these aspects of life emaciate over your preferred attachment to food
As it has been well highlighted and expatiated in this post, repercussions that food addiction do have on various facets of your life can be overwhelming. It should not be left untreated, because it will quickly ruining your life, relationships, finances and health. Get the help you need now!
Photo Credit: http://madaid.org/food-addiction/