Dr. Ross explains if overeating is related to addiction.
Overeating and addiction are related. Maybe not in the ways that many people think. There’s a lot of talk about sugar addiction and food addiction and so on. I believe that that really applies to a small number of people. It affects a small number of people. However, we do know that food, particularly certain types of foods like carbohydrates, which tend to be binge foods, feed right into the exact same brain reward system that drugs such as opiates or narcotics do.
So when someone is eating those foods, especially overeating them, their brain is sending them a pleasure signal that does reinforce that overeating, and that we know that because we can use the drug that blocks that opiate reward center and it will block the pleasure from craving carbs.
About Dr. Ross, M.D., M.P.H.:
Dr. Carolyn Ross, M.D., M.P.H., completed her undergraduate degree in Modern Foreign Languages at Purdue University and worked as a full-time mother of her two older sons before returning to school to complete her pre-med requirements. She then went to the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Ross’s practice experience after medical school helped fuel her interest in understanding what makes people heal as she saw that most of her patients’ medical problems were related to lifestyle habits and the stresses of modern living. In searching for a better way to address these issues, Dr. Ross began to explore complementary and alternative therapies and the use of herbs and supplements for her patients. She then completed a residency in Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University and then set up practice in San Diego, California where she eventually opened three women’s centers where she practiced primary care and office gynecology.