There are a lot of people who think that anorexia and bulimia are what is being referred to when an eating disorder is talked about. Chewing and spitting is often thought of as a recent type of eating disorder parts both anorexics and bulimics have been doing it for years.
Chewing and Spitting
Chewing and spitting is exactly what the name implies. Food is chewed; giving the sensation of eating food but instead of swallowing the masticated food is spat out. By not swallowing the food the problem eater gets to taste their favourite foods but with none of the calories. Therefore, in theory, no weight gains.
All the Taste, None of the Calories?
However chewing and spitting doesn’t work. Causing many health implications, chewing and spitting can often lead to weight gain, not loss, defeating the object of the whole unpleasant, unsociable habit. When you chew food the body releases insulin which raises appetite and makes weight gain more likely, making losing weight more difficult and can even trigger diabetes.
Damaging to Health
Chewing and spitting can also give you mouth ulcers. The access acid in the mouth which is not neutralised by the saliva (it all has to bind in the stomach to be removed from the body) can cause painful mouth ulcers. Acid can also ruin your teeth and the chew and spitt will end up with problems such as cavities, cracked teeth, decay and gum disease. The acid doesn’t just stop it causing damage to the mouth, stomach ulcers are common as the sensory nerves in tasting food prepare for digestion by producing acid. When no food ends up in the stomach the acid has nothing to neutralise it and instead eats away at the stomach lining.
A Vicious Cycle
Eating disorders can have a range of causes and may be deep-seated in childhood. Problem eater may use food to run away from everyday problems and use it as a source of comfort. The temporary mood boost and release of endorphins that occur from food in an eating disorder soon gives way to feelings of disgust guilt and shame. Eating disorders can be a vicious cycle as the problem eater sinks into depression about their bingeing, they may in fact, binge again to make themselves feel better.
Help for Eating Disorders
There are different types of help available for eating disorders like chewing and spitting. Cognitive behaviour therapy is almost always useful and some may find 12-step self help groups useful for helping beat compulsive behaviours and maintaining recovery. Eating disorders are often diagnosed along with depression or other mental health issues. This is called the dual diagnosis. Special treatment programs are advised to treat dual diagnosis patients and bespoke care plans will help treat both the emotional and physical effects of the addiction. Eating disorders and food addiction can be as harmful as any other compulsive behaviour and should not be taken lightly. If you are someone you know has issues with eating then you should seek help immediately to prevent any further damage occurring.