Can Drinking Cause Eating Disorders?

Can Drinking Cause Eating Disorders?Sometimes drinking can lead to more serious issues than expected. It is not uncommon for binge drinkers or heavy drinkers to replace their daily food intake with alcohol or beer. The most common groups of people to engage in this behavior are either college students or women, and many times they aren’t aware of the damage that is being done to their body as a result of their alcohol consumption.

How Drinking Can Cause an Eating Disorder

The unofficial term “drunkorexia” describes the state that arises when a person develops an eating disorder because of his drinking habits. Some of the ways in which drinking can lead to an eating disorder like anorexia can include:

  • Trying to save money – College students are notorious for having little spending cash and heavy drinkers usually spend all their money on alcohol. Therefore, when deciding whether to buy food or booze, those with traits of alcoholism will likely choose to buy alcohol rather than food. This serves as a way for them to save money by not buying both, but can also lead to an eating disorder.
  • Avoiding weight gain – Most common in women and young adults, it can be a struggle to maintain a weight that is deemed socially acceptable. Since these groups frequently socialize around drinking, people may choose to limit their eating in order to counteract the calories consumed by drinking.
  • Getting drunk faster – The more food you eat, the less likely you are to feel drunk. Therefore, those who want to experience the feelings of being drunk are at risk for not eating so they can become intoxicated quicker. This not only increases the potential for fainting, seizures, and injury, but also promotes an eating disorder.

Between trying to save money, fit in with friends, and get drunk at a faster pace, a person may find himself developing eating disorder tendencies and the negative health effects that come with them. There is also great potential for this same group of people to develop bulimia, as they either want to eat and drink but don’t want to gain the calories from both indulgences or they habitually vomit after drinking as a result of feeling hung over.

Getting Help

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from the co-occurring disorders of alcoholism and an eating disorder. In this situation, the most effective route to sobriety is to seek Dual Diagnosis treatment where you can get help for both of your problems simultaneously in order to become sober and healthy.

Do You or Someone You Love Need Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

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