Dr. Oz Goes Inside the Secret World of Binge Eating

Today on he Dr. Oz Show, we get a sneak peek into the underground world of binge eating. Dr. Oz guests binge eaters who finally come out from their secret world to share their shame about binge eating even if they can’t even stop themselves. He sits down and speaks to them and attempts to educate them about the road they’re headed if they don’t change their lives. Will they really accept his help? We’ll find out below. (Please refresh this pages as we recap the show during every commercial break.)

Kelly is our first guest to share her addiction to food. She says from the moment she wakes up to the moment she goes to sleep all she thinks about is food. Like an animal, it’s all instinctual she shares as she grabs for food and more food. Once she snaps back into reality and self-control, the self-hatred begins after all she does to herself and her family.

Sitting down with Dr. Oz, she says it all began five years ago when she got married. The more she restricted her food intake to prepare for her big day, the more the desire consumed her to eat. After binge eating, she says she feels depressed and angry at herself. Even her mind gets tired. The solution? Back to binge eating. It scares her that one day she won’t be be able to play with her children or even be there for them as they grew up. The worst binge she’d ever had was when she first ate for four hours straight that her body had to vomit just to expel all the food.

She says she’s lonely. Her husband works very long hours and food fills that loneliness. Her husband is not even with her today, but he also doesn’t know the extent of her addiction. Fortunately, her children don’t see their mother eat. She does it out of their sight.

The next guest, however, isn’t as secretive with her binge eating. In fact, her binge eating has affected her own teenage daughter as rounds of binge eating has become their “bonding time.” “Food is like my best friend and my worst enemy and now I’m passing it on,” Mary says. She’s very much larger than our first guest, and says it all started when she had first child with her son. Her daughter joined her into it about two years ago, as she always invited her own daughter to join her during an eating session. Mary’s condition is so bad that even her doctors didn’t want her to get on a plane to guest on the Dr. Oz’s show. She feels at fault for  teaching her daughter to rely on food and becoming just like her.

Mary shares that she binge eats with her daughter because it makes her feel less lonely. Stephanie, Mary’s daughter, joins her on the set. She reveals that she only binge eats when she’s with her mom. Very slowly, she’s also beginning to binge eat on her own especially when she starts feeling down about herself especially with her body image. She says she doesn’t want to be like her mom when she’s older and thinks about it all the time. This brings her mom to tears. Kelly joins the conversation and says it makes her angry, and she says she would never ever bring her own daughter to a binge.

Camella is the worst case of binge eating Dr. Oz has seen so far. People think she’s just fat, but really Camella is also pregnant. It’s so bad that she even feels that she might be suffocating her child with all the food she eats, but at the same time she feels that her unborn son feels content as she eats, too. She reveals that her binge eating began as a child. She grew up with a lot of skinny cousins and her grandmother kept nagging her about it, so she felt hurt and turned to food. Besides weighing down her unborn son with food, Dr. Oz says that she’s condemning her son to a load of problems like diabetes, obesity, heart problems, etc.

Camella says she feels guilty that she’s hurting her son, but she hasn’t even told her doctor yet that she’s a binge eater. She says that once she has her child, she wants to change her lifestyle so that she can be there for her son and well, for herself too. Dr. Oz asks about her strategy for that and Camella mentions Zumba. Shaking his head, Dr. Oz says that isn’t enough. She has to dig deeper to the source of her binging issues.

What really happens when we binge eat? Dr. Oz gives a warning that the next few minutes will be pretty graphic as he tells all our binge eaters to put on their purple gloves. First, he shows a healthy stomach with a thin wall of lining. It’s thin because the stomach has to grow to accoe mmodate for all the food we eat. The Dr. Oz show a container filled with balloons (representing our intestines) with a bag over them (representing our stomach). They fill the bag with food and it’s becomes obvious that our intestines begin to get crushed as our stomach fills with food.  But enough with the balloons and bags as Dr. Oz shows actual images of this, and the scans of a binge eaters stomach are really shocking. The intestines really do get crushed. Dr. Oz shows something more graphic of an autopsy of a person who died from binge eating. The stomach is large and blue. It’s blue because the stomach had actually died and couldn’t get enough oxygen because it was so full of food.

Author of “Women, Food, and God”, Geneen Roth, tells the ladies isn’t not really about the food. It’s about those buried feelings that make them binge eat. An intervention for them is coming up. The first step, Geneen says, is asking the right questions about why they binge eat. Kelly says she doesn’t think it would help if she talked about her loneliness with her husband. Geneen says it isn’t fair to her as her spouse is supposed to be there for her no matter what. Mary and Geneen talk about Mary’s feelings, and Geneen says she has to recognize those feelings of loneliness. She speaks to Stephanie, and asks if she thinks her mom would feel hurt if she stopped binging with her. “Loving you does not mean binging with you,” Geneen tells the mother-daughter eaters. Geneen turns to Camella and asks if she still hears her grandma’s voice. Camella says she still does, and shares that at time she feels hopeless in a dead-end job.

A specialist from Wellsprings at Structure House, Eliza Kingford, joins the show to offer the lady binge eaters free help and assistance to come up with a plan and teach them new skills for long-term success to get over their binge eating. Camella says she’s willing to do it; Kelly hesitates a bit to leave her children for a month but also agrees; and Mary and Stephanie also take the opportunity to get well at Wellsprings.

That’s our recap of Dr. Oz news for today on 9/19/12. Tomorrow, Dr. Oz reunites the doctors, nurses, and patients of his other show, NY Med. Until then please do check out our OZ archives HERE.

Image credit: Dr. Oz.