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Disordered eating: is it all in the mind?

Whether you are a self-confessed compulsive eater, or have been diagnosed with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, getting your eating habits back in balance and your body functioning optimally again is no easy task. Certainly, any type of disordered eating pattern usually has a psychological component that must be addressed. But there is also a strong physiological component that is overlooked in many medical circles.

By taking a look at various body systems, we can assess where problem areas lie that may be contributing to a disordered eating pattern. Examples of this are blood sugar regulation problems that may cause intense sugar cravings and fluctuations in energy; and food allergies, which can cause cravings and adverse reactions to particular foods.

We can also assess the stress that an eating disorder may have placed on the body: hormone levels that have been thrown out of whack can be brought back into balance; metabolisms that are now sluggish can be pepped up again; your poor digestive system that has taken so much abuse can be healed and as for those exhausted adrenals, they too can be nourished and strengthened.

In some cases, the physiological imbalances within a person’s body can be driving an eating disorder. One patient of mine had a strong intolerance to gluten (the protein component of wheat and other grains). She would crave breads and pastries so strongly that to not binge on them seemed out of the question. Some lab testing showed that she was indeed gluten intolerant. Once she had this information she was better able to make alternate food choices, and she found that avoiding gluten left her craving-free.

For others, the imbalances arise as a result of their eating disorder. This is particularly true of symptoms relating to the digestive system, hormonal imbalance and insulin resistance.

Either way, it is difficult to completely heal an eating disorder or compulsive eating pattern without addressing the physical aspect as well as the psycho-emotional.
Specialized lab testing can help us to assess which imbalances are affecting your body, and thus your ability to recover.

This type of approach has been successful with people in many different situations, from chronic dieters to bulimics, and even to alcoholics. Anyone who has tried to diet, stop drinking, stop overeating or curb any addictive pattern knows that willpower alone is not the answer. A program such as this brings the body back into balance, regulates the brain chemistry and provides relief from the powerful cravings and mood swings that go with feeling out of control of our own health and well-being. Once everything is back in balance, a healthy weight is easy to achieve and maintain.