Anorexia and bulimia are well-known eating disorders that afflict a majority of girls and women, mostly between the ages of 14 and 25. Now, there's a new trend among those seeking to stay thin while keeping up with the party — "drunkorexia."
Drunkorexia is the combination of binge drinking along with anorexic or bulimic eating patterns — either starving yourself or purging your food after eating — combined with binge drinking. The idea is that with the high caloric intake of alcohol, something else has to go and in this case, that's food.
Whether it be refraining from eating or purging, drunkorexia has health professionals worried because adding alcohol to the mix can also serve to mask symptoms of anxiety that are often associated with eating disorders.
The website Caring Online said drunkorexics may take in more calories from drinking than eating and one instance of binge drinking, which is about four drinks in a short period of time for a woman, could pack as many as 600 calories or more.
Dr. Gregory Jantz, author of the book "Hope, Help and Healing for Eating Disorders," is also the head of the Center for Counseling and Health Resource and runs Caring Online, said that those participating in drunkorexic behavior is depriving themselves of vital nutrients.
"Anorexia and bulimia take a serious health toll all by themselves," Jantz said. "The body is deprived of necessary minerals, often throwing body chemistry dangerously out of balance and affecting the heart, muscles, kidneys and bones. Large amounts of alcohol just make a bad situation even worse, especially endangering the health of the brain and liver."