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Food Pollution and the Treatment of Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and Emotional Eating

Food Addiction Treatment

Roberta Foss* says that Americans suffer from “Overconsumptive Undernutrition.” I wish I had come up with this phrase as I think it is very apt. There are three conditions on the rise in the U.S. that can be shown to be directly related to Food Pollution (FP) that are good examples of this researchers work:

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS), Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), and Metabolic Syndrome. Of the three conditions, Leaky Gut is the most difficult to diagnose in the early stages, and often goes undetected until it causes other more serious conditions. All three begin with dis-ruption, (for example high blood sugar levels due to too much High Fructose Corn Syrup) progress to dys-regulation (of the endocrine system in many cases) and end in dis-ease (such as Type 2 Diabetes). But most importantly, all three may be driving eating disorders. Certainly, they drive obesity, but they may also be driving bulimia, binge and emotional eating disorders.

In general, the medical community sees these conditions as the result of eating too much. So they get the overconsumption piece, but they are generally missing the part about the deadly undernutrition caused by food pollution. With Leaky Gut, for example, the body is often unable to use the nutrients in the food, and the individual feels “hungry” all of the time. Some patients report feeling as if they are starving. What do we eat when we are starving? Carbs, something processed because it is quick, or worst of all, we go for the fast food. Of course, these are the same foods that cause the Leaky Gut in the first place. This is why I recommend abstaining from “polluted” foods and relying upon 100% grass-fed protein sources, organic fruits and vegetables and healthy fats such as coconut oil. No lo-fat, lo-cal anything! It should have come off of a tree, not out of a bag or it should have had a mama 🙂

The hunger one experiences with Leaky Gut drives disordered eating, in as much as the polluted ingredients that abound in the U.S. food supply are often highly addicting as well as fattening. I believe that this is what is driving the complications that are on the rise in my patient population. Polluted foods directly impact the endocrine system, which in turn results in damage to the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, and adrenal glands. In addition the endocrine system also regulates mood, which means that damage can lead to anxiety and depression.

The_endocrine_system.jpeg

diagram used under a creative commons license

How does food pollution lead to disordered eating? Well if you are eating food you assume to be safe, and it isn’t, you will continue to eat it even when you develop symptoms as you will not associate the symptoms with the safety of your food. You will likely assume that you are eating too much, and that the negative consequences are your fault. Because you are blaming yourself, you will feel bad and eat more!

I believe that many people suffering from eating disorders such as binge eating disorder (BED), bulimia, bulimarexia and emotional eating** are individuals who find themselves eating too much and panic. Because they are unaware of the impact that food pollution is having on the way they eat, they use unhealthy ways of managing their calorie intake, i.e. they restrict, binge and purge or yo-yo diet. This increases the three syndromes mentioned above and leads to more disordered eating. A very vicious cycle.

In the eating disorder treatment field, it is considered anathema to suggest that an Anorexic or Bulimic patient abstain from eating anything, no matter how bad it is for you. Refeeding strategies, which are designed to restore the patient to a “normal” weight as quickly as possible, espouse that we should be able to eat anything as long as we eat it in moderation. I could not disagree more. We should absolutely not eat polluted food. There are over 2000 food additives on the market today and more all the time. Many of them are genetically engineered from the DNA of aborted fetuses.

Instead, we need to seek out the “clean” alternative, whenever and wherever possible, and we should encourage those we love to do the same. Treatment outcomes in the eating disorder treatment field are abysmal, often as low as 30% success.  Eating clean works much better. The recovery rates I see with my patients are a testament to the success of this approach.  However, it is not for everyone. As with any treatment, there are potential side-effects. It is possible to get triggered while trying to eat clean.  I make that clear from the get-go and work with my patients, whether they need to lose weight, gain weight or stop bingeing and purging, to build that expectation into their treatment and manage it proactively.
Food Addiction
How Do We Become Addicted?

One of the drivers of disordered eating is food addiction. Humans are hard-wired to become addicted to processed free glutamate (MSG), damaged proteins, sweeteners and hyper-hybridized (HH) grains.  The biotech, agribusiness and food industries leverage this part of our neurochemistry to sell more product. What scientists and watchdog groups have known for many years, i.e. our food supply contains ingredients that are neurotoxic, autogenic, carcinogenic, obesogenic and most importantly, addictive, is only now breaking into the American consciousness.

Although Leaky Gut Syndrome, Metabolic Syndrome and GERD are more common among obese individuals, one does not have to be obese to have any of them. The disorders are also rising at alarming rates among those suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) and  “emotional eating”**. They are driven in many cases by food addictions, which in turn are the result of the excitatory neurotoxins that abound in processed (polluted) foods.


Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.
 


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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’.

Sources:
*Roberta Foss-Morgan, D.O. – September 5, 2010
** I do not accept the diagnosis emotional eating, and see it as a symptom of food addiction.

Show Notes – Why Do You Overeat? When All You Want to Be is Slim.

Eating Disorder Pro Radio Show

Photo Used Under a Creative Commons License

On this week’s episode we spoke with Zoë Harcombe, author of Why Do You Overeat? When All You Want to be it SlimWe talked about a variety of topics including food addiction and we shared tips to help people overcome overeating!

Listen to internet radio with Eating Disorder Pro on BlogTalkRadio

In this episode we covered:

6:13  – About Zoë Harcombe
9:00 – How Zoë Harcombe become interested in the obesity epidemic.
10:00 – Zoë Harcombe’s position on food addiction.
11:10 – The Four Stages of Food Addiction.
16:40 – The Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
18:40 – Zoë’s Story.
23:15 – Bulimarexia.
28:30 – Characteristics/Attributions of Food Pollution
33:50 – The Paleo Diet.
36:40 – What do you recommend for those that don’t tolerate milk?
40:20 – Do you change dietary recommendations for a patient with leaky gut?
44:12 – What type of exercise do you recommend?
48:50 – Are GMOs labelled in the UK? Why isn’t the government protecting us from GMOs?
52:45 – Which of your books should my listeners read first?

Links we discussed:

www.zoeharcombe.com

www.theharcombediet.com

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’

Eating Disorder Pro Podcast – Why Do I Overeat? With Zoë Harcombe

Zoe harcombe

Join us Wednesday May 29 at 7:30 pm as we talk with Zoe Harcombe, author of Why Do You Overeat? When All You Want to Be is SlimWe’ll be talking about a variety of topics including food addiction and we’ll be sharing tips to help people overcome overeating! You can tune in HERE!

“Zoë Harcombe is a qualified nutritionist with a Diploma in Diet & Nutrition and a Diploma in Clinical Weight Management, but she is first and foremost an obesity researcher. She works exclusively in the area of weight and obesity and reads, writes and talks about obesity as many hours as possible, seven days a week. Her complete goal and drive is to reverse the obesity epidemic.”

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. http://edpro.wpengine.com’.