Bulimia - Binge Eating
Bulimia is an eating disorder. The essential features of bulimia are
binge-eating, interrupted by deliberate efforts to avoid the consequences of
over-eating by vigorous exercise, fasting, self-induced vomiting, and purging
with laxatives. Bulimics report foods cravings and loss of control during food
binges; they are overwhelmed by short-term gratification and are often
ambivalent about treatment attempts. Bulimics often use and abuse drugs and have
high rates of alcoholism. Between 33 and 83 percent of bulimics may have a
first-degree relative suffering from alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
The bulimic pattern is associated with guilt feelings, secrecy, and overt
depression. Binge-eaters sometimes report extravagant food intake with prolonged
feasts of many foods in bizarre combinations - the Roman banquet effect. The
basic technique is to eat until your stomach is full, retreat to the nearest
bathroom, and then induce vomiting by putting your index finger down your
throat. For those of us who find vomiting an unpleasant experience, the idea of
voluntary vomiting is a little hard to accept. But, an experienced regurgitator
can induce vomiting with little effort, and thinks nothing of several vomiting
sessions a day.
The effect on body weight varies with each person. Many bulimics have a
history of weight fluctuations, usually within a range they attempt to control
by vomiting. Some are overweight, but most are within a normal weight range.
Some bulimics lose weight progressively, alternating between binges, purges and
food restriction. Popular media repeats the myth "Most bulimics are focused on
weight control" This is often a ruse, a convenient and widely accepted
Losing and Regaining Control
Among our patients, there is a consensus that eating-control is difficult to
achieve, even when wrong food choices involve risk of serious illness. The
consensus is also that some foods trigger compulsive eating, uncontrollable by
ordinary acts of consciousness. We compare binge eating with binge drinking and
find compelling similarities.
There are many theories of causation and a variety of treatment strategies.
"Eating disorders" are often interpreted as personal and social problems and not
related to food choices. Self-induced vomiting in the bulimic patient is a
rather complex behavior that involves a rational component - avoiding the
consequences of eating the wrong food and an irrational, compulsive component.
If you eat compulsively, you know you have lost control; one way to regain
control is to induce vomiting and get rid of the food that you did not want to
eat in the first place.
The rational concern is not just avoiding weight gain, but also avoiding the
awful feelings that can follow bingeing. Many bulimics with food allergy,
initially vomited spontaneously after eating offending foods, only to feel much
relieved; they then learned self-induced vomiting as a method of avoiding food-
related symptoms. Some bulimics have a split personality or different
eigenstates. Foods act as molecular switches, often changing the eigenstate
abruptly. Here are three typical eigenstates:
One eigenstate (part of their personality) craves and compulsively eats foods.
A second state methodically gets rid of the problem.
A third state acts as if neither the bingeing nor the purging are happening at
Many fail to recognize their food addiction, and do not admit that they are
ill. They will seem surprised when it is suggested that food allergy may be
involved and resist advice that "favorite" foods such as bread and cheese may be
a problem. They are involved in typical addictive denial. Their denial that food
makes them ill is often reinforced by treatment programs that fail to recognize
food allergy symptoms and discourage efforts to change food choices. Some
bulimics are also alcoholics; the patterns are similar in any case since
compulsive drinking of alcoholic beverages is just another type food addiction.
Treat compulsive eating as an "addiction".
- Identify trigger foods and abstain from eating them.
- Use the Alpha Nutrition Program to create a new approach to eating.
Psychogenic explanations of binge-eating focus on the personalities of the
women involved. The personality profile suggests that women who are
high-achievers, perfectionistic, lonely, dissatisfied, and frustrated are at
high risk. A phobic fear of being too fat is usually mentioned as the cause of
fasting, purging, and vomiting. The psychological or psychogenic explanations
take the easy route. They simply restate a description of the problem and say it
is the cause. If the patient says: "I am intense, frustrated, and concerned
about my body weight...", the psychological rendering just turns this around:
"Women become bulimic because they are intense, frustrated, and are concerned
about their body weight.
Many patients with compulsive eating and eating disorders wisely and
appropriately do not accept the psychological explanations. Patients often
describe, "...something inside is not working properly; there is something
chemically wrong with me". One patient stated it succinctly: "I think there is a
little gizmo in my brain gone crazy...if you can only get in there and fix it,
I'll be OK again."
The practical biological questions are:
If I hunger excessively for food, what procedure in my brain is activated by
Am I experiencing an error in the appetite system or has a molecular message
What corrective action is likely to diminish or remove the drive-state?
What responses to my hunger are likely to compound the error and lead to
repetition of the unsuccessful eating behaviors?
What do the craving-compulsion experiences for all substances have in common?
Hunger is the monitor image of appetite, the drive to get food. Appetites
create ready-for-action states known as "drives". Drives produce seeking
behaviors, which get results. If the drive for food produces wrong results,
further drives emerge to renew the opportunity to get what is needed. An
automatic brain system regulates food-seeking behavior and food intake. If we
move into this system, toward the molecular level of function, our description
will have to account for the effect of incoming food molecules on the brain. We
would recognize that the systems which determine appetite and eating behavior
monitor chemicals in the blood and receive information from diverse body systems
about their chemical environments. The same system projects an image of body
states into consciousness.
The Book Eating and Weight Management teaches rational food selection,
appetite control, weight management.
Read this book and use
the Alpha Nutrition Program to resolve food-related symptoms, restore more
normal appetite regulation and build optimal disease-preventing nutrition. The
book reveals the basic concepts of weight management and emphasizes aspects of
the Alpha Nutrition Program that are most useful in achieving normal eating
behaviors and weight management. Your efforts are first directed toward changing
food selection, eating behaviors and increasing physical activity. The Alpha Nutrition Program is a set of instructions and nutrient tools designed
to resolve disease through diet revision. The program is nutritional therapy, a
personal technology of health restoration and health maintenance. The books is
available in a print version and as an inexpensive eBook for download. 151
eBook version, Eating and Weight Management
- Eating &
Weight Starter Pack
Help understanding and managing overweight, obesity, and compulsive eating
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No one should claim that weight loss is easy, but weight management can be
pursued in a rational manner with an expectation of success. First, you have to
understand that the goal is not really weight loss. The goal is to become a
smaller, leaner person and stay that way. The key phrase is "stay that way". A permanent
change in food selection and eating behaviors is required for a permanent change
in body weight. We like to think that successful weight management is a natural
by-product of new healthy habits. A healthy lifestyle means that you feel and
act well, you eat well, you exercise, stay in shape, and seek mind-body balance.
- Order Eating & Weight Rescue
Alpha ENF is the principle meal replacement formula. Alpha PMX is a fat free version of Alpha ENF can be used as food replacement. Alpha
DMX is used instead of Alpha ENF for diabetes 2.
Printed books are available from Alpha Online. Click the add to cart button on the left;
to begin an order for printed books. Click the download buttons on the right for
eBook downloads. eBooks are available immediately at low cost - a good way to
begin if you need more information
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