Eating Disorders and Bariatric Surgery
Many people seeking bariatric surgery have eating disorders. While studies do not show eating disorders to be an accurate predictor for weight loss surgery outcomes, studies do show that people who have eating disorders either lose less weight or regain more weight after bariatric surgery than those who do not have eating disorders. Read: Eating Disorders and WLS
Data also suggests that those people who report binge eating after weight loss surgery have more psychopathology, depression, and alcoholism. Read: Help for Binge Eating Disorder
Patients who have histories of eating disorders prior to gastric bypass surgery may be at risk for developing post-operative full-syndrome eating disorders. These patients need to be monitored closely during follow up. Read: Mental Health Support for Bariatric Patients
Night-Eating Syndrome (NES)
Night-eating syndrome is a lack of morning appetite and overeating at night. Agitation and insomnia are characteristic, making it not only an eating disorder but a mood and sleep disorder as well.
People who have this disorder eat nothing at all in the morning and eat fewer than average calories per day. They become depressed as the day wears on and then eat high-fat carbohydrates through the night to self-medicate. Carbohydrates increase serotonin levels in the brain and cause sleep.
Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is compulsive overeating of great amounts of food, usually in about two hours. It is mindless eating that can continue even after a person is full.
Binge eaters use food as a coping mechanism to address stress and other unwanted emotions. They are normally unsuccessful and usually feel worst after gorging themselves. Read: What to Do About Binge Eating
Anorexia nervosa is a severe eating disorder characterized by concerns about body image, obsessive counting of calories, extreme amounts of exercise, and self-induced vomiting. Read: Food Addiction and Anorexia, False Belief of Control
Anorexia nervosa is a coping mechanism to alleviate stress, anxiety, or depression. It is symptomatic of a desire to control surroundings and compensate for low self-esteem.
Dieting to the point of starvation is possible.
Bulimia nervosa is often an attempt to avoid unwanted emotions. The primary characteristics of bulimia nervosa are binging and purging.
Bulimics gorge themselves with food, then induce vomiting or take laxatives. As with anorectics, bulimics are obsessed with body image and exercise to an extreme. They also misuse diet pills.
Bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa can be caused by sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. These disorders have also been linked to clinical depression.
Closley Monitor Eating Disorders after Weight Loss Surgery
Although many people who undergo bariatric surgery lose weight, people with an eating disorder are at increased risk physically and psychologically, according to Mirror-Mirror. An eating disorder can complicate the potential effectiveness of weight loss surgery and will need close monitoring by a mental health professional. More information is available from:
In good health,
Content is the opinion of the author and does not constitute or is a replacement for medical advice.