In response to some questions I asked Dr. Lerner regarding an article on the brain of bulimics http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-07/uocd-nbr071111.php , he wrote:
"I wouldn't overanalyze it but here's what the research suggests:
1. Both Cocaine, and related stimulant drugs [Adderall, speed, diet pills, etc.] flood the synapses with dopamine making us feel high and great, at least until the crash. Binge eating, loading on high glycemic foods [sugar, flour, fat] also flood the synapses with dopamine, albeit, it's a much more subtle effect for the food addict / bulimic.
2. This has been documented by PET scans and radiographic tomography showing the receptors lighting up like a Christmas Tree for both bulimics and stimulant addicts - Likewise, both substances [certain foods or volume of food and stimulants] will then cause not only the dopamine to rebound [creating a deficit of available dopamine]
3. It also DAMAGES the actual dopamine receptors in the brain. This damage to the structural part of the brain [dopamine receptors] is what we now know accounts for the protracted withdrawal and lingering craving that food addicts and cocaine addicts experience long after the substance(s) leave the system. It also accounts for the phenomenon of TOLERANCE. Less receptors = need for more and more dopamine to get high or even "normal" [sound familiar]...