Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Separation of Addiction and Overeating

We overeaters are a subset of the population who's first reaction to many things in life is to reach for food, consume food, too much, too frequently. Any event or condition will be sufficient. Anything produces a cue. Then, we need to decide how to react to the cue.

Lets stop for a moment and separate out several other situations, true hunger, and food addiction. These can and do occur, but we must learn to separate these out. I can tell the difference, can you? I have all three issues.

The separating characteristic of food addiction is the craving is very specific, and will not be satisfied by anything but the desired food. Normal overeating, emotion based, almost any food will do. And also, when the cause is removed, the craving goes away. Chemical induced craving (like glucose-insulin issue) can also be specific, but these behave differently. With food addiction, there was no relief for several days, and ongoing severe intermittent cravings for months, and with any taste, the craving returns. Complete abstinences may be primitive but it works and the medical community has nothing to offer. It is no more difficult than a person with a nut allergy staying away from nuts, or a celiac staying away from gluten.  The approach is scoffed on and at, and decried, criticized by many, but have you got anything that works better short and long term? We all would like a softer easier way.   

The overeater will respond to almost any emotion or chemical stimulus in the same way, a craving for food, as separated from appetite, the desire to eat. Any emotion will do, celebration, stress, boredom, indecision, to busy, to quite, people, lack of people, and then there is chemical, drop in blood glucose, insulin rise, insulin surges, glucose-insulin- leptin issue, or just the presence of palatable food is enough.

Anybody got any real solutions?

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