`Drunkorexia`: Trading food for booze on college campuses - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

`Drunkorexia`: Trading food for booze on college campuses

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Drinking and college: Two words that seem to go together when teens graduate from high school.

Like many 18 year-olds, Tifani was eager for independence, but maybe not ready for its consequences.

"I was thrilled to leave home, I was thrilled to go away to college," Tifani Skrezyna says. "I didn't feel like I fit in. And it was that same feeling from when I was a kid and I didn't fit in and I was disappointed and I didn't know how to tell anyone back home that it wasn't what I expected."

Tifani Skrezyna had already battled anorexia in high school. She thought she was recovered, until she stepped into a college campus. There she was introduced to drinking.

"All of a sudden, I didn't feel so socially awkward, I felt like I could talk to people more," Skrezyna says. "I could talk to guys; I could talk to girls that I had never met because it wasn't uncomfortable for me anymore."

As time went on, Skrezyna says she fell back into old habits, counting calories from food to make room for alcohol and a trend called "drunkorexia."

"College was the perfect storm for me," she adds.

She's not alone, according to Rush University Medical Center Clinical Nutritionist, Jean Alves.

"Drunkorexia is really not a clinical term or diagnosis, but it is something that is gaining increased attention from research that shows it is a problem particularly among young females," Alvez explains.

Drunkorexia combines anorexia and alcoholism. A number of young women admit to doing this at some point in college.

"Not only are you dealing with the internal damage that the binge drinking causes to your liver, your brain and other essential organ systems, but also at the same time, you're also more than likely malnourished and possibly losing very important lean body mass," says Alvarez.

Tifani has come a long way since college. She's now a wife and a mother of two. She's been sober and free of her eating disorder for 5 years.

"Now I realize why and that I don't have to beat myself up," says Tifani. "I don't have to look at it as a bad thing. Like, it can just be a part of my past, not something that defines who I am as a person."

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