Drunkorexia: How This Dangerous Practice Is Associated With Eating Disorders by Dr. Sanam Hafeez
Drunkorexia: “I want to drink but I don’t want to get fat so, I won’t eat.”
While binge drinking is in no way gender-specific, drunkorexia is a practice more common to females. This term is used to describe the unhealthy combination of extreme food restriction, bulimia and alcoholism; basically, it is a term for a female who starves herself throughout the day, then drinks to excess at night.
Those who engage in this practice rarely suffer from anorexia. This is because a female with anorexia tends to avoid alcohol consumption all together. Even if she eats nothing during the day, the high-caloric content of alcohol is too frightening. The fear of losing control is enormous. Rigid control is essential to maintaining anorexia. Alcohol may lead to a relaxation of this rigidity and she may fall victim to the allure of food which is why anorexics avoid alcohol.
For myriad reasons, a female with bulimia is much more likely to fall into the category of drunkorexia. In the case of the bulimic, alcohol may play a significant role in their binge-purge cycle. In addition to eating huge quantities of food, she drinks excessively. Not only does she experience the mood-altering effects of alcohol, but also the large amount of fluid helps her in the purge process. After purging, she may drink more to sustain the high of intoxication. It’s an incredibly damaging cycle.
The Dangers of Drunkorexia
Drinking on an empty stomach will definitely increase blood alcohol concentration, simply because there is nothing there to absorb the alcohol. This increase is more likely to result in blackouts, injury and poor decision making. It also can result in temporary dehydration because of excessive urination and lack of thirst. Also, engaging in this behavior frequently can lead to nutritional deficiencies. These are some of the more immediate effects, but longer-term effects can include increased damage to the liver and kidneys, as well as alcohol addiction.
If you are worried that you or someone you know are suffering from drunkorexia or you know someone that is, it is important that you seek professional treatment.
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