Why People with Bulimia don’t get Satisfied when they have Eaten Enough Food?

May 19, 2008 – 4:01 pm

By Dr Irina Webster.

People with bulimia don’t experience a proper sense of satisfaction when they eat. They can eat food then more food and the feelings of hunger or cravings can still be present: this then makes them eat more and more. When they go on a binge it seems there isn’t enough food for them to stop and feel satisfied. Bulimics eat until they get so full they must purge it all up.

Why can normal people stop easily when they full and bulimics can’t?

For people without bulimia the intake of food is perfectly regulated so that they will be satisfied when they have eaten enough. And at that point eating more does not feel desirable, they feel happy and content.

Satisfaction with food is a feeling that the brain creates from different signals from different parts of the body.
For example, rising blood sugar levels during eating signals to the brain that the body is satisfied. When the stomach gets full it signals to the brain that it is time to stop eating. And of course, the knowledge about how much you have eaten can send a message to the brain that you have finished your meal time.

There are special enzymes like enterostatin that are produced when fat is digested in the intestines. Enterostatin sends impulses to the receptors saying “I am full”. These impulses go to the reward centers in the brain which then tells the brain and body “I am satisfied and I don’t want any more food”.

So, for normal people the brain puts together all these factors to decide that they are full. For people with bulimia or other eating disorders these factors do not work anymore or work only partially.
Some people do have feelings of satisfaction but ignore it (don’t listen to their body).

The reasons why people with bulimia and other eating disorders lose their feelings of satisfaction are:

1.A person who has been dieting recently gets messages from the body saying: “Eat more, this is a famine. Eat when the food is available. You don’t know when you will get food again.” This makes them lose sense of satisfaction from eating.  
2. A person who has vomited recently has similar signals from the body about the body is starving and needs food for nourishment.

3. The food a bulimic normally eats (like biscuits, chips, candy,  sweets, white bread etc.) does not give proper satisfaction impulses.  You have to eat food like root vegetables, meat, fish, porridge, eggs etc to make your body satisfied with the eating.
4.When people eat rapidly (compulsively like people with bulimia) the satisfaction processes fail to work. The slower you eat, the longer you chew the greater satisfaction you get.

5. Anxiety can be a reason for losing sense of satisfaction. A person who is anxious and agitated eats to reduce these feelings because food reduces anxiety. Managing anxiety with different strategies (like meditation, relaxation etc.) will help to obtain
proper satisfaction from eating.

6.Some bulimic people are not aware of their hunger and satisfaction feelings. They may just need to learn it again. Learn to differentiate hunger from anxiety, from fear or tiredness. They need to learn to name their feelings, acknowledge them and cope with them by other means (not with food).
To conclude, people with bulimia need to work on their subconscious first of all to return their sense of food satisfaction back to normal.  Feelings of satisfaction are an important component for bulimia recovery. You can return you feelings of satisfaction back by removing subconscious blockages from your mind. This will then in turn, allow
the proper feelings to return and normalize once again,

Successful Eating Disorder Treatment

May 15, 2008 – 2:29 pm

 By William Webster

Getting the right help for eating disorders isn’t easy.

Why you may ask? This is because most people relapse and suffer again, even after repeated treatment programs and hospital stays.

 Medical literature often characterizes anorexia-bulimia as “cunning” and “baffling.” It doesn’t have to be that way, but how do you find the best treatment possible?I have been dealing with eating disorder people for many years and I have noticed that people who go to clinics feel OK while they are in the clinic or with the counselor but lose all sense of self-control when they are at home. They normally slip back to their bad eating habits in a matter of weeks even days after visiting medical professionals.What has been proved to be helpful for these sort of people is an eating disorder home treatment program that a sufferer can follow at home (herself or with family). One of the most successful programs I know is by Karen Philips her Home Treatment Program is called “Mom Please Help” designed for sufferers of anorexia-bulimia. http://stores.ebay.com.au/Asarakas-Treasures 
Karen is a dedicated mother who successfully treated her daughter Amy for 11 years of eating disorder hell after all the conventional treatments for Amy failed.
She developed a step by step individual home treatment program: one for adults and one for under 18s. This eating disorder home treatment program has already helped many people to recover. Karen also does individual counseling for people who have read her book and she does it for free as her personal contribution to eradicating eating disorders. In her book Karen tells you everything she did to treat her daughter. She also shows everything what works and what doesn’t work in a successful eating disorder treatment process. So, for those who have tried many methods to treat their eating disorder and failed Karen’s book “Mom Please Help” will be a good alternative to try. Read about it at http://stores.ebay.com.au/Asarakas-Treasures

A Growing Trend

May 4, 2008 – 4:42 pm

 By Dr Irina Webster

I have noticed a growing trend in the emails I receive from people asking for help with eating disorder problems. It has become obvious that something is terribly wrong with the normal medical approach to helping eating disorder sufferers.I would like to share with you just some of the pleas for help I get so you can see what I mean. 

Dear Doctor
My daughter is away at university she had a week to go before the end of the term/academic year.  Her weight is very low (under 5 stones) and although she has some help (psychiatrist/art therapy/dietician) she is really struggling and desperate for some rest bite and help but the resources available are scarce and a hospital admission initially to a medical ward is what is most likely to happen.  Over the years she has had 3 admission to specialist units where she has gained weight over many month only to lose it all once she resumes independent living.  She does not believe another hospital admission would really help but to be honest she is getting so ill she may not have a choice”.

Here is another email from a desperate mother.

Dear Doctor
I am a mother who has a 17 year-old daughter suffering from bulimia and anorexia.  She is receiving no help whatsoever from our doctor or counseling services here in Northern Ireland. It fact she seems to be getting worse although she is under treatment. I can’t understand what is happening can you help me please”. I receive many of emails like these from people who just can’t understand why their love one is finding it so hard to recover even though they are under medical supervision.
And I will explain the reasons in a moment but first here is another plea from a grandmother I received. 

Hi Doctor
I hope I am not fussing too much but we are so desperate as my granddaughter is rapidly going downhill with really bad tantrums etc., and is so thin and won’t eat hardly anything, we are all in despair and so scared for her health she continues to lose 2lb every week she has been seeing councilors and the weight loss has increased since then. We cannot understand why she is getting worse, we thought she would get better after seeing a counselor

Another cry for help. 

Dear Doctor
I have just finished speaking to my brother and sister-in-law who are at a crisis point in trying to deal with their daughter’s anorexia. Alice says they are both beyond hell and do not know how to recover the lives of their daughter or themselves. I suspect it is putting immense strain on their marriage as well. 
Their 16 year old daughter knows what the condition is doing to her but is powerless to ignore the voices in her head telling her to do the opposite of everything that will help get her better. She is critically thin and starting to be suicidal. After the phone call I got on line and was lead to you.  I do not know how else to help. They are on that dreadful treadmill of Doctors, hospitals and counselors, today they have been told by the doctors to go to her school and sit with her while she eats her lunch!! This is no life.

There is a reason why all these people are understandably confused and it stems from the lack real understanding of the condition by conventional medical practice in treating eating disorders.

Most eating disorder specialists are highly trained and very competent it looking after sufferers and most of the doctors I have talked to are equally baffled by the results they are getting.  

One of the main things you have to understand is eating disorders are not logical so you can not treat them with logic. An eating disorder is all about feelings and emotions and these are certainly not logical.

You can’t counsel a person by pointing out they could die from their disorder: most already know this but still cannot change.

Sitting around just listening to the sufferer talk about how they feel, or asking them to keep charts on what they eat is only making them focus on their ED even more.  Getting them involved in group therapy does not work in most cases either. In fact this can cause more problems that it fixes as sufferers can get attached to the group. They make friends with other sufferers and then if they get better they have to leave all their friends, so they choose not to get better.

So what is the remedy for the sufferer and their families?

The only way to beat an eating disorder is by attacking the eating disorder where it lives and that is in the subconscious mind of the sufferer.

To do this you have to reprogram the mind of the sufferer by using positive input.This does not simply mean just trying to think positive or telling them self that everything is rosy, because this does not work either.What you need is a specific method and set of exercises that are tailor made to change the way the sufferer sees them self and thinks about them self. A treatment method that helps the sufferer defeat the voices in their head that is leading them down the dark path that is their eating disorder.

One of the best places to start finding out about this kind of treatment method is an www.mom-please-help.com written by a mother who battled for years to save her daughter’s life when all else failed.

I have seen the results first hand myself and was very impressed with the high success rate sufferers had when they followed the program.