Physical Complications Related to an Eating Addiction

Ice cream Food Addiction Withdrawal

For countless of people across the nation, addiction is a reality they are faced with every day. Some individuals may find their struggle with an addiction to a particular substance or behavior, including drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, and even food.

While some forms of addiction or more widely understood then others, it is important to generate greater awareness about the types of addiction that may develop, potential consequences of addictions if left untreated, and the ways in which individuals can connect to help and treatment.

Food Addiction

Perhaps lesser understood than other forms of addiction, a food addiction is a form of addiction in which a person becomes addicted to consuming certain types of foods or the act of eating in general.

Often dismissed for a lack of self-control, individuals who struggle with a food addiction often experience biochemical changes in the brain/body when consuming certain types of foods, which perpetuates their need and/or desire to eat and continuing eating, even in the presence of physical fullness.

Rear view of woman looking at the sea

While it may be thought that an addiction to food is harmless because it does not impact the body like substance abuse, the cycle of eating beyond a point of fullness repetitively throughout the day can create adverse physical consequences.

Not everyone who struggles with a food addiction is necessarily overweight or obese, though many individuals who continue to eat to feed an addiction can likely overstress many normal functions in the body due to a higher than needed caloric intake.

Physical Effects

This can lead to many physical effects over time, including cardiovascular complications, poor blood sugar control and/or diabetes, gastrointestinal distress, kidney/liver malfunction and more.

A person who is addicted to food often struggles with metabolic concerns as well, which can influence energy levels and overall mood.

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While the adverse effects of a food addiction are not only limited to the physical body, understanding the potential consequences in important to creating an awareness about the severity of this disorder.

If you or someone you care for may be dealing with a food addiction, it is crucial to seek out professional help in order to protect your health and wellness. Talk with a specialist today about treatment options that may be right for you.


Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 19, 2016
Published on

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.