The Dangers of Alcohol and Anorexia
The desire to look good and have an attractive appearance is normal. There’s nothing wrong with trying to stay healthy by taking care of your body. But sometimes, a person might resort to extreme measures to lose weight. In these cases, the normal desire to look good may be affected by a distorted self-perception. This condition may lead to eating disorders such as anorexia. Alcohol may aggravate this problem by becoming used as way to cope with the physical and emotional problems related to anorexia.
Alcoholism and Anorexia
Anorexia is a life threatening eating disorder that involves the restriction of food based on the fear of gaining weight. Symptoms of this serious mental illness are:
- Low body weight
- Bad eating habits
- Irrational fear of gaining weight
- Obsession with staying thin
- Constantly checking the mirror
- Eating only small portions of food even when still hungry
- Hormonal and metabolic imbalance due to calorie restriction
- Loss of bone density
- Organ failure
A study by the National Institutes of Health showed that anorexia is more common in females than in males by a ratio of 1 to 10.
(The full comparison results can be read in, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11282690.)
Alcohol abuse might also be the response to a stressful perception of being fat or not thin enough. Also, since the body keeps making an effort to satisfy the hunger, alcohol is used to stay relaxed and continue with the food restriction. This constant abuse of alcohol can easily lead to alcohol dependence, also called alcoholism.
In some cases, a person may become alcohol-dependent and begin to rely only on alcohol for caloric intake. This can be a deadly combination. To the dangers of anorexia we can add the potential dangers of alcoholism:
- Heart diseases
- Stomach diseases
- Cirrhosis of the liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
To effectively treat both problems, a person might need to attend specialized treatment for both the eating disorder and the substance addiction.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Alcoholism
A Dual Diagnosis rehab center addresses two problems at the same time. While treating the addiction through medication and medical supervision, the mental illness that might have been the trigger factor for the addiction is also treated. Sometimes, both problems can be solved by a therapy and counseling approach. Regardless of the method, these kinds of programs have proved their efficacy when treating two problems at the same time – making it a perfect option for recovering from alcoholism and anorexia.
Need Advice on Finding Adequate Anorexia and Addiction Help?
Sometimes doubts or questions regarding treatments and rehab centers can paralyze us on the idea of actually attending some of them. You might not even know where to start looking. That is why we have made available to you our toll free helpline, where you can find free information on Dual Diagnosis rehabilitation centers, intervention services, transport to and from rehab, family counsel, assistance on using insurance, and advice on how to get the better values on a rehabilitation program. We will be glad to guide you on your way to recovery or the recovery of a loved one.