What is Drunkorexia?

Pittsburgh Dietitian Blog Posts
April 14, 2024

In the realm of eating disorders and unhealthy behaviors, a new phenomenon known as "drunkorexia" has emerged, shedding light on a connection between several eating disorder types and binge drinking, often in social settings. Below, we highlight how drunkorexia can intertwine with various other facets of health.

Concealing Purging Disorders

Drunkorexia operates as a mask for purging disorders, particularly bulimia. This behavioral pattern is characterized by intentionally engaging in binge drinking followed by purging to eliminate calories consumed during the drinking session. By substituting food with alcohol, individuals aim to create a calorie deficit while simultaneously satisfying the desire to socialize.

Those caught in the clutches of this behavior may intentionally overindulge in food and alcohol during a night out, only to subsequently resort to purging methods, such as vomiting or excessive exercise, to counteract the perceived calorie intake.

Drinking and Restricting

At the heart of drunkorexia lies the dangerous practice of substituting meals with alcohol. Instead of nourishing the body with adequate nutrition, individuals opt for heavy drinking while skimping on meals. This double-edged sword can lead to severe health consequences, including nutritional deficiencies, impaired cognitive function, and a heightened risk of alcohol-related accidents due to decreased judgment and coordination.

It's crucial to recognize that drunkorexia is not just an isolated incident of reckless behavior; it reflects a deeper struggle with self-image, body dissatisfaction, and emotional distress. The intertwining of eating disorders and binge drinking underscores the need for comprehensive support and intervention.

As awareness grows, it's essential to promote open conversations about drunkorexia, encourage seeking help, and destigmatize the complex issues that drive these behaviors. If you or someone you know is grappling with drunkorexia, remember that recovery is possible with the right resources, professional guidance, and a strong support network. Let's work together to dismantle the destructive cycle of drunkorexia and pave the way toward a healthier, more empowered relationship with food and well-being.

If you or a loved one is seeking care for an eating disorder, please don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. You can reach out to scheduling@casespecificnutrition.com to be matched with a dietitian that is right for you.

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