How Ritalin Affects Your Eating Habits and Appetite

How Ritalin Affects Your Eating Habits and Appetite

Ritalin is a prescription drug most often prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is also prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with narcolepsy, a sleep disorder. It is a CNS stimulant, which means that it increases the activity of the Central Nervous System, including the brain. Chemicals in the brain are triggered, resulting in increased focus and attention.

One of the side effects of Ritalin is decreased appetite. The chemical makeup of the drug interacts with the brain’s level of norepinephrine and dopamine. A person using Ritalin may experience an increase of both metabolism and energy consumption. It widens the gap between using up the body’s energy and the body’s refueling through food. As a result, people who take Ritalin often lose weight and even develop poor nutritional habits. Sometimes this side effect wanes as you become accustomed to the drug, but for some people, the suppressed appetite can become a concern.

Ritalin and Health Concerns

Because Ritalin can create changes in your metabolism and make you less inclined to eat, you need to be aware of the following heath concerns that could develop from poor eating habits and a lack of appetite:

  • Body changes: A poor diet could lead to effects on your outward appearance. You may experience flaky or dry skin, thin hair, cracked nails and poor wound healing. In severe cases of malnutrition, women may experience infertility and a lack of menstruation.
  • Physical illness: Not eating adequate amounts of nutritious foods impacts your immune system. Vitamins and minerals in food are essential for keeping your immune system working properly. If you stop eating or stop eating healthy food, your immune system weakens, leaving you more open to illness.
  • Emotional illness: Eating a poor diet (or not eating at all) increases your stress level and increases your likelihood of becoming depressed. It can also increase the likelihood of experiencing anxiety. This anxiety can be heightened because Ritalin by nature heightens those sensations.

These are just a few of the negative effects that Ritalin can cause. If you think you have a reduced appetite or change of eating habits because of Ritalin abuse, get help immediately. You could experience lifelong changes to your body from abusing the drug.

Getting Help for Your Ritalin Addiction

Ritalin addiction is nothing to be embarrassed about. We understand how a person can become dependent on it unintentionally. You can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline. Our admissions coordinators can talk with you about the symptoms you are experiencing. They can also help you decide the best course of action for your situation. You only get one body, so you need to take care of it. Call us today and stop the effects of Ritalin abuse.