Drancorexia

The term "drancorexia" appeared quite recently - in the late 2000s. And although drankorexia has not yet been included in the official list of diseases, it has every chance of being there. This term refers to a state in which a person consciously refuses food in favor of alcohol. Why do some resort to this and how drankorexia affects health, let's try to figure it out in this article.

How it all began

Today, there are several versions of what served as a prerequisite for the emergence of such a phenomenon as drunkorexia. According to one theory, Western youth and the popularity of social networks are to blame. It is well known that often young people, in order to save money or in an effort to quickly achieve alcoholic euphoria, refuse snacks in favor of a portion of alcohol. If the problem was limited only to the desire to get drunk faster, then it would be viewed from a completely different angle. But when they talk about drankorexia, they mean a slightly different situation. It all started with the fact that around 2008, photos of American girls before and after losing weight began to appear on social networks. In the comments to the photo, they said that they were able to get rid of excess weight with the help of alcohol. According to them, giving up food in favor of alcohol helps to lose weight without feeling hungry. The new trend quickly gained popularity: all over the world, teenage girls in pursuit of a slender figure began to follow the example of American women. Soon a new dangerous trend got its own name - drankorexia.

But there is another version, according to which Drancorexia owes its appearance to a certain Connie Gattersen - a nutritionist who allegedly developed an alcoholic diet. According to information circulating on the Web, Gattersen advises drinking a glass of wine after each meal, which should speed up the digestion of food and prevent the formation of subcutaneous fat. But either the followers of Gattersen's theory did not read her advice well, or they decided to improve the diet she invented, but it all came down to the fact that already in 2011, girls and women began to massively consume wine not for dinner, but instead of it.

True, there is a third version, according to which it is not Gattersen or American teenagers who are the “parents” of drunkorexia. It is said that this tradition has much more ancient roots. According to legend, the first person who replaced food with alcoholic beverages for weight loss was the King of England, William the Conqueror. When not a single horse could hold the monarch because of the enormous weight, he refused to eat, and satisfied his hunger with wine and beer. This happened as early as the 11th century.

Wilhelm's weight loss system is still popular today.

Drancorexia: general characteristics

“appetite”, and is used in medical terminology to refer to various eating disorders, for example: “anorexia”, “orthorexia”. Russian-speaking experts sometimes use a different version of the name - alcorexia.

Speaking about this condition, it should immediately be noted that drunkorexia is not yet alcoholism, although in many cases everything ends with the development of dependence on alcohol. Drancorexia is a condition when a person deliberately replaces food calories with alcohol in order to either get rid of extra pounds or avoid weight gain. That is, the cause of drunkorexia is excessive obsession with its own weight.

This condition occurs in people (usually girls and women) for whom the issue of losing weight becomes an obsession. In our time, weight loss with the help of alcohol is often put on a par with bulimia and anorexia, although there is no official diagnosis of drankorexia yet.

The essence of the alcoholic "diet" is that strong alcohol helps to dull the feeling of hunger, which means that a losing weight young lady consumes fewer calories, which affects her volume. By the way, many drunkorexics take the selection of alcohol for their “diet” quite seriously: they take into account both the energy value of the drink and its glycemic index. So, experienced drug drinkers know for sure that the glycemic index of vodka and of tequila is zero, but at the same time, 100 ml of these drinks can contain up to 200 kcal, which, from the point of view of energy quite a lot of value. But if you take wine and beer, then their calorie content, although low, both products cause a surge in blood sugar, which in turn stimulates appetite.

In 2018, the International Journal of Eating Disorders published the results of studies that showed that about a third of students refuse food before drinking alcohol in order not to overdo it with calories. In another study, scientists found that women are much more likely than men to refuse food before drinking alcohol. Researchers also know that approximately 30% of girls aged 18 to 23 follow a low-calorie diet to afford alcohol.

Interestingly, drunkorexia often begins with the fact that a woman watching her figure at a party or celebration refuses an extra portion of a snack or a hot dish in favor of a glass of her favorite, but rather high-calorie wine. At first, everything looks quite harmless. But over time, for many, such substitutions become a habit, and they are resorted to not only at parties with high-calorie delicacies, but also in everyday life.

Experts call this pattern of behavior drunkorexia and argue that people who lose weight with alcohol need the help of psychologists or psychiatrists. According to experts, the highest risk of becoming a victim of drunkorexia remains in people living on constant diets, always counting calories, as well as those who consider themselves fat (even if this is not true). That is, the more dietary restrictions a person sets for himself, the higher his risk of developing drunkorexia in the future.

Harm to the body

It is enough just to understand in general terms what drankorexia is to understand that it is unsafe for health. Any diet is stressful for the body, so you need to carefully select a nutrition system for weight loss.

If you constantly refuse a full meal in favor of alcohol, then, of course, you will lose weight. But we must understand that the regular use of alcoholic beverages, especially on an empty stomach, sooner or later will cause a whole bunch of problems, much more serious than a couple of extra pounds.

The first and most obvious danger of drunkorexia is the development of alcohol dependence. As a rule, people who are obsessed with the idea of ​​losing weight, at some point cease to realize that their weight has long since returned to normal, and continue to stubbornly refuse full-fledged food in favor of alcohol. If this kind of "diet" drags on for too long, the development of dependence on alcohol is quite possible.

The second danger of drunkorexia is that under the influence of ethanol a person loses the ability to adequately reason and react in different situations. You can talk a lot on this topic, but in principle everyone understands what can happen to a person in a state of intoxication.

In addition, it must be understood that excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages causes digestive upset, fatty liver and cirrhosis. Alcohol on an empty stomach is a direct road to the development of gastritis or peptic ulcer of the gastrointestinal tract. Against the background of regular alcohol intake, the heart, blood vessels, kidneys and brain suffer, immunity worsens. Alcohol abuse contributes to accelerated aging of the body and, according to some theories, even increases the risk of developing cancer. In addition, when drunk, many people are drawn to cigarettes. Therefore, against the background of drunkorexia, many also develop dependence on nicotine.

Let's say more, drunkorexia can play a very cruel joke on a person who wants to lose weight quickly. Refusal of high-grade food in favor of alcohol can cause a metabolic disorder. For some, this is fraught with the fact that even after completing the diet and switching to proper nutrition, the body will still rapidly lose kilograms, up to severe anorexia. And in this state, most systems and organs stop working properly. For other drunkorexics, a metabolic disorder may, on the contrary, result in a person gaining weight, as they say, even from a glass of water.

Treatment of drankorexia

Since there is no such disease as drankorexia officially, there is no specific treatment for this condition either. Nevertheless, at the first suspicion that a loved one suffers from drankorexia, it is necessary to consult a doctor.

These people are usually treated with combination therapy. First, methods are used to eliminate alcohol intoxication, then a complex health therapy awaits the patient, including the treatment of diseases and complications that were caused by the alcohol "diet".

In addition to drug therapy, psychotherapy plays an important role in the treatment of such a patient. Most drunkorexics need to consult a psychologist or a psychotherapist, as food refusal is often psychologically motivated. Another doctor that Drancorexic should meet with is a nutritionist who will help restore the nutrition system with minimal side effects to the body. And of course, during the recovery period, a drunkorexic needs support and care from the closest people.

Trying to keep up with current trends may not end well. This primarily applies to women who, in the pursuit of beauty, are ready to commit rash and often dangerous actions for their health. In recent years, the fair sex more and more often can not only drastically limit the portions of food consumed per day, but even refuse it altogether, and fight hunger with the help of alcohol. What this leads to - you already know.

Sources
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  2. Manny Alvarez, Fox News, 2019.– Dangers of ‘drunkorexia’: What happens when you skip meals to drink alcohol.
  3. Renee Engeln Ph. D., Psychology Today, 2019. – Is “Drunkorexia” a Real Thing?
  4. ConnieGuttersen.com. – Connie Guttersen.
  5. Healthline. – Skipping Meals for a Cocktail: Why ‘Drunkorexia’ Is Terrible for Your Health.
  6. Beth Leipholtz, The Fix, 2019. – What Is Drunkorexia?
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