Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bulimia food addiction: what part of the brain is responsible and how

Bulimia (bulimia nervosa) is an addictive eating disorder which begins
with physical cravings then evolves into a mental obsession and finally
turns into a spiritual illness. It usually comes from an unresolved
trauma (emotional, psychological or even physical) earlier in life.

The question is what is the mechanism of developing a bulimic food
addiction? What happens in a bulimic brain when she/he develops bulimia?

Here is the short and simple explanation. Our brain consists of two
halves (called hemispheres). Both hemispheres are covered by a thick
layer called the cortex. The cortex is the conscious part of the brain,
the part we think with (just logic thinking). But this part of the
brain is not responsible for our feelings.

We have another small part of our brain, which lies between the two
hemispheres and connects them. This little part is called the limbic
system. The limbic system as discussed in the next section, is involved
in regulating emotions and motivations. In addition, parts of the
limbic system, the amygdala and hippocampus, are important for memory.

The limbic system does not have a conscious thoughts it has only feelings.
In other words, the limbic system is what we call our subconscious
or subconscious mind.

It has been found that people with emotional problems have an imbalance
of the limbic system or subconscious. This includes problems like anxiety,
depression, eating disorders, alcoholism and other addictions.

In the period of acute stress, we also have an imbalance in the limbic
system (or subconscious) - that is why stress affects us, not only
emotionally, but mentally and physically as well.

After stress, some people recover quickly - and we call them "strong people."
What "strong" actually means is that they know how to affect their limbic
system (subconscious) and put it in balance.

The question is: how to influence the limbic system and put it in the
right balance?

The answer is: the cortex, which is the conscious part of the brain
and through this we have influence over the limbic system the non-conscious
part. The cortex, which makes decisions for us, learns new things, and
understands things for us, should influence the non-conscious part of
the brain by giving signals to the limbic system to work differently.

Most eating disorders are a learned behavior. Initially you taught
yourself to diet, or to become slim. Initially it was your own conscious
decision to lose weight because you wanted to look better. This conscious
decision was made by your cortex and sent to your limbic system, which
then gave you feelings (like feeling good about yourself when you
become slim).

So, what you need to do is reverse this faulty teaching; you (or your cortex)
should make another decision (about changing your own image and feelings
that you have now, like starving yourself or purging, back to a normal
response) and send a signal to your limbic system to foster good
feelings about yourself and make new decision about your life.

How do you do this? There are lots of examples how this works. There
are special new programs that can automatically affect the limbic
system of your brain (the part of the brain where the eating disorder lives).
These programs can identify and eliminate your subconscious blockages
that created your eating disorder in the first place.

To conclude, bulimia food addiction develops as a result of subconscious
processes due to unresolved trauma or strong dissatisfaction with one's
body image. The limbic system is responsible for developing the problem
but the conscious part of the brain (cortex) can affect it and reverse
the abnormal mental process.

To learn more how to do this read

1 comment:

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