Eating Disorders & Alcoholism

Eating Disorders, Alcoholism? How do they go together? How do they work against each other? What do you do for help? There are solutions.

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Not all who struggle with an eating disorder abuse alcohol, but there are a growing number of women and men who are, particularly those in their early 20s. Young adults are restricting their food intake by day to offset calorie intake, thereby balancing their alcohol consumption by night – at least as far as calories are concerned. The slang, non-medical term for this pattern is “Drunkorexia.”

Anorexics generally avoid alcohol because they restrict their calorie intake by restricting food intake. However some have found that the effects of alcohol ease anxiety, particularly when they must engage in a social meal. Some anorexics choose to consume alcohol rather than food, exacerbating the eating disorder, experiencing greater intoxication and posing an even more dangerous threat to their health.

Bulimics are also engaging in alcohol abuse. Some bulimics consume normal amounts of food and then purge the food soon after by vomiting. Some take laxatives and diuretics to expel waste from the body. Some bulimics consume great amounts of food, immediately purging it. A growing number of bulimics are also abusing alcohol, sometimes in great quantities (particularly in social settings) and then going to the bathroom to purge. This allows them the ability to consumer greater amounts of alcohol while reducing the caloric absorption. But this practice multiplies the challenge to the body systems.

Eating Disorders, Alcoholism – Individuals with eating disorders have a life-long challenge ahead of them, and coupled with alcohol abuse, the journey to wellness is a rough road. Treatment is available and recovery is possible but it will require professional help. Medical intervention may be required. If you or your loved one is concerned about eating disorders and alcohol abuse, seek advice from an eating disorder specialist.