Problem Eating Q & A
What is problem eating?
Problem eating, whether in an adult or a child, can cause stress around food planning, preparation, and mealtime. These basic activities, rather than being comforting and joyous, become exhausting as they take up too much emotional attention.
There is a wide range of problem eating, which can include overeating, binge eating, restrictive eating, excessively picky eating, and limited intake due to physical discomfort or fear of vomiting.
Sometimes, people just have trouble changing their eating habits, even when they know they have a health condition that would improve with an adjustment of diet.
What causes problem eating?
Sometimes, problem eating is due primarily to an emotional challenge. Sometimes, it is due more to a physical problem such as a food sensitivity or a medical condition affecting the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.
Every person has their own complex story which can bear on the difficulties they have with food or eating. However, some of the contributors might include:
- Physical discomfort during or after eating, such as from esophagitis or gastroesophageal reflux
- Sensitivity to texture or flavor
- Family food culture
- Pressure to achieve a certain body type
- Eating as a way to relieve stress or sadness
How is problem eating treated?
For any patient with problem eating, Dr. Cherry will begin with a detailed history. She may then recommend laboratory testing, imaging, or other studies. She might also offer specific nutrition advice or suggestions for medications or herbal therapies.
In situations where the problem eating is due to anxiety or to a habit or phobia, Dr. Cherry may recommend proceeding with clinical hypnosis. This technique allows a person to take control of their behaviors by tapping into their deep internal resources.
In clinical hypnotherapy, most people can easily reach a relaxed, trance-like state, effectively focusing on the changes they want to make in their relationship to food and eating.
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