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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Alternative Answers for Appetite Disturbances


Alternative Answers for Appetite Disturbances

Appetite Disturbances, either experiencing loss of appetite, or having difficulty controlling it, several alternative therapies can help. If you experience a notable change in appetite, you should first consult a physician, to rule out any illness or nutritional deficiencies. Whether you want to stimulate your appetite or control it, changing the way you eat may help.

Appetite loss is the body's defense against ingesting anything that could slow the healing process. Almost any infection can cause a loss of appetite. A passing cold or flu virus could be responsible. So could more serious things like tuberculosis, low thyroid function, diseases of the heart or lungs or liver problems.

Bulimia is an illness characterized by uncontrolled episodes of overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting. Eating binges may occur as often as several times a day. Induced vomiting known as purging allows the eating to continue until interrupted by sleep, abdominal pain, or the presence of another person. The person is usually aware that their eating pattern is abnormal and may experience fear or guilt associated with the binge-purge episodes. The behavior is usually secretive, although clues to this disorder include overactivity, peculiar eating habits, eating rituals, and frequent weighing. Body weight is usually normal or low, although the person may perceive themselves as overweight.

The exact cause of bulimia is unknown, but factors thought to contribute to its development are family problems, maladaptive behavior, self-identity conflict, and cultural overemphasis on physical appearance. Bulimia may be associated with depression. The disorder is usually not associated with any underlying physical problem although the behavior may be associated with neurological or endocrine diseases. The disorder occurs most often in females of adolescent or young adult age. The incidence is 2 in 10,000 people.

Bulimia is a bit different from anorexia because the person with bulimia doesn't avoid eating. Instead, he or she eats a large amount of food then gets rid of it quickly by vomiting or taking laxatives. This is commonly known as "binge and purge" behavior.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder associated with a distorted body image that may be caused by a mental disorder. Inadequate calorie intake results in severe weight loss. The exact cause of this disorder is not known, but social attitudes towards body appearance and family factors play a role in its development. The condition affects females more frequently, usually in adolescence or young adulthood.

Unique features of anorexia are not only the strong desire to be very thin, but also the altered body perception that goes with it. People with anorexia have an intense fear of being fat. When a person has anorexia, he or she hardly eats at all ├»¿½ and the small amount of food that is eaten becomes an obsession. A person with anorexia may weigh food before eating it or compulsively count the calories of everything. It is not unusual for a person with anorexia to also exercise excessively in an attempt to lose weight.

Statistics show the risk factors are seen most often in Caucasians, having an upper or middle economic background, being female, and having a goal-oriented family or personality. The incidence is 4 out of 100,000 people.

Other culprits of appetite loss include anti-histamines, over the counter drugs, pain killers and perscriptions.

Aging itself can take its toll on the appetite. In older people the metabolism slows down, muscle mass decreases and physical ailments impede activity. On top of all this, taste sensations diminish and stomach secretions don't flow like they used to. All of these things contribute to appetite loss.

Controlling your appetite, is another matter. We often eat out of habit, not hunger. People who do try to stop an addictive behavior, such as smoking, often find themselves overeating. One reason is habit: They're used to doing something with their hands and mouth, so they eat. Or they could be battling the misery of nicotine withdrawal with the nurturing pleasure of food. Regardless of the excuse, this lack of control often leads to many health problems. See related topics: weight loss , aging , depression , stress , sleep difficulties , pms , anxiety , thyroid problems , diabetes and smoking .

According to the American Institute of Gastroenterology, the best strategy to promoting good overall health is to eat a balanced, predominantly plant-based and nutritionally dense diet. Most of your daily calories should come from vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans.

Best Balancing Tips

1. Recognize the problem: People with an appetite disturbance often do not recognize or admit that they have a problem. A trusted family members or other individual you believe in can be helpful in making sure that needed care or rehabilitation are received.

2. Determining your needs: Appetite disturbances, eating disorders, depression and anxiety all require a comprehensive diagnosis, in which, the clinician will determine whether the person is in immediate danger and/or requires hospitalization. Nutritional counseling, psychosocial interventions, monitoring, as well as medical care maybe appropriate.

3. Talk Therapies: Individual psychotherapy (especially cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy), group psychotherapy that uses a cognitive-behavioral approach and family or marital therapy can be very effective. Overcome low self-esteem and addressing distorted thought patterns and behaviors are crucial. Families are sometimes included in the therapeutic process.

4. Severe weight loss: requires an inpatient hospital stay, where proper nourishment is given and the person's medical needs are met. In some cases, intravenous feeding is appropriate.

5. Moderate exercise is crucial: for both successful weight loss or for those suffering from anorexia and bulimia. Not only does it help burn excess calories, but by increasing your physical activity you can modify the way your brain regulates hunger, making you less susceptible to food cravings and can increase hormones in order to stabilize mood or anxiety disorders . If exercise is done excessively, in the case of anorexia and bulimia, encouragement of healthy but not excessive exercise is the specific goal in this strategy.

6. The primary goal of treatment for bulimia: is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior.

7. The primary goal of treatment for anorexia: is restoring weight lost due to severe dieting and purging.

8. Vitamin Therapy: is a good way to help your body regulate what you may not be getting through your diet or what you are losing through purging and abuse. A good daily multivitamin is the best start.

9. Drink Plenty of Water: Not only will you loss water as you exercise, drinking water makes you feel full, therefore, not as much room for food.

10. Control blood sugar levels: this is a good way to balance your system by eating 5 small high protein meals a day.

11. Limit Animal-based Foods: such as meat and dairy products, which are loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol. Use olive oil or canola oil instead of butter or margarine to reduce your intake of saturated fat and hydrogenated fat (trans fat). Moderate your consumption of fried, salted and smoked foods.

12. Portion Control: Eat portions to satisfy hunger, not to clean the plate. By dinner, if you have complex carbs (potatoes, yams, brown rice├»¿½) with your meal; it should be no more than a cup full. Half of your plate should be vegetable. The meat, fish, chicken portion should be the size of your fist. Portion control is the secret to a healthy weight! Avoid coffee, sugar, alcohol.

13. Believe: Your belief system has everything to do with the mental and spiritual aspects of any eating disorder. Fight anxiety with relaxation exercises rather than food. Utilize meditation, yoga, stretching. By creating healthy eating habits and regular exercise, you are sure to lose weight without depriving yourself of nourishing food. And if you continue those good habits after you reach your goal, you will have an excellent chance of maintaining your desired weight and see it more as maintaining a lifestyle as opposed to a diet.

11. Sleep Well: Good quality sleep is important, especially when you are trying to loss weight or recover from anorexia or bulimia. It is most important to go to sleep with a "Quiet Mind". Sleep rejuvenates, detoxes and regulates the body.

12. Overcome Fear: Fear can be an underlining problem in many cases. There are many ways to quiet the mind. Doing 15 to 30 minutes of meditation or yoga can be very helpful. You must allow yourself to be distracted or get into your meditation or yoga and "let go" of the days thoughts...see Meditation. Address your fears or phobias by journaling.

Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit

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