Pregorexia is a condition many have heard about but very few know about and how to manage it. Pregorexia is a combination of two words, preg, meaning before and gorging on food or eating excessively and pregnancy. This condition is also known as binging or over eating. It occurs commonly in pregnant women due to the increase in appetite that occurs during pregnancy. The main reason for this is the hormones present in their body like human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and estrogen that stimulate appetite and the reward system in the brain.
Usually, people only experience overeating when there are external factors like stress or anxiety that trigger overeating. However, it can occur on its own if someone has a sensitivity to food and eating habits then they might become preoccupied with eating at certain times of the day and not be satisfied after having eaten a lot.
What is Pregorexia?
Pregorexia is a health condition that can occur during pregnancy. It is the result of excessive eating habits in pregnant women without an external trigger. Pre-existing habits like binge eating or over eating can also be a cause of this condition. The symptoms are: -Overeating or eating too frequently -Excessive weight gain -Loss of appetite -Feelings of guilt and shame after eating
Signs and symptoms of Pregorexia
Pregorexia can easily be avoided if one is aware of the signs and symptoms and makes an effort to avoid them. Symptoms include: -Anxiety or stress related to food -An obsession with eating and food in general -Repeatedly trying to lose weight, dieting, and exercising to the point where it becomes unhealthy -Feeling guilty after eating or that something’s wrong with you when you are not being extreme with your food intake -Eating more than usual without feeling satisfied The most common sign of pregorexia is feelings of guilt or shame after eating. This is because a pregnant woman would enjoy their pregnancy but feel guilty about it because society views pregnancy as a burden. Therefore, the woman might binge eat to compensate for this guilt and make themselves feel better.
Causes of pregorexia
There is no specific cause of pregorexia and it can be caused by various factors like childhood eating habits, stress, depression, anxiety, or genetics. Some women might experience pregorexia because they are not satisfied with their food. They might not value their body and how it feels after a meal, which leads them to overeating. This condition can also lead to other harmful coping mechanisms such as purging or fasting to make them feel better. Another significant cause of pregorexia is because people feel deprived of food during pregnancy. There are times when people go through periods of food cravings that they cannot control and then this leads to overeating. When you know what causes your pregorexia and manage the problem appropriately, it becomes easier for you to deal with this condition.
Treatment for Pregorexia
The treatment for pregorexia is different for every individual. Some might find relief by following a specific diet like the DASH diet or Atkins diet that has been proven to help with weight loss and body weight. Others might find relief from therapy like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that helps individuals identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to overeating. If someone wanted to take medication it would be considered very dangerous during pregnancy and the risk of their baby becoming harmed or even dying. Pregorexia can be a legitimate problem during pregnancy but it is important to manage this condition properly as it can lead to an eating disorder or a pattern of binge eating that leads to obesity and other health problems in the future.
This condition occurs when pregnant women overeat during their pregnancy due to the increase in appetite and hormones.
Dieting is not an option for pregorexia
Dieting is not an option for pregorexia. Dieting can make the problem worse or cause a relapse. It is not a bad habit, so it’s normal to want to eat certain foods while pregnant that were not allowed while you were planning your pregnancy. When someone has pregorexia, they might crave different food types and some might just be more difficult to avoid because of their location. For instance, some people have cravings for sweets, salty foods like pretzels and potato chips, or fatty foods like fried chicken.
Though it’s not yet a widely accepted diagnosis, pregorexia is a condition that can occur in any stage of pregnancy. It is characterized by preoccupation with weight and appetite, which can lead to problems like bingeing, weight loss, and self-induced vomiting. Pregorexia is only a problem for pregnant women if the condition worsens to the point of causing harm to themselves or their unborn child.