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Diabulimia – New “Eating” Disorder Among Diabetics?

June 18, 2007

An AP story picked up on CNN reports that some type 1 diabetics are skipping their insulin in order to lose weight, and the behavior or condition is being referred to informally as “diabulimia.” Read on – it’s not truly an “eating” disorder, but a body image disorder (as are other “eating” disorders), and it’s apparently not so new after all.

Not yet a recognized medical/psychiatric disorder like its sibling conditions anorexia and bulimia, officials aren’t yet certain how many people skimp on their insulin to try to lose weight, but “one expert” estimates “that 450,000 Type 1 diabetic women in the United States — one-third of the total — have skipped or shortchanged their insulin to lose weight and are risking a coma and an early death” (the piece doesn’t address whether this behavior has been observed in men).

Skipping insulin puts these patients at a higher risk of coma, blindness, amputation, kidney failure, and death. [Read more about complications of Type 1 Diabetes] Simply put, the complications of poorly controlled diabetes are quite serious, something young people may not fully appreciate as they perform dangerous experiments with their insulin regimen. One woman interviewed for the story reportedly learned the “technique” when overhearing camp counselors chastise other girls for putting their health at risk in this way, and went on to suffer from “diabulimia” for the next 17 years. Another 26-year-old woman interviewed now lists her ailments as “chest pain, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, bacterial infections and lower back pain,” and says that every morning she wakes up wondering if she should go to the hospital.

In a discussion of this I found online, one “diabulimic” reported that her clinicians nag her about keeping her levels under control, but don’t get that what she has is an “eating” disorder, or body image disorder. I wonder to what extent this gets passed over because it’s not an official disorder, and the surface issue is the lack of insulin/glucose control, so the underlying cause is not discussed. I’m also curious as to whether the intense focus on controlling food and sugar in diabetes, in the absence of some preventative talk about eating disorders, contributes to developing the condition, and whether clinicians dealing with diabetes should be especially vigilant with patients known to have had more “traditional” disorders such as anorexia.

Don’t get me wrong – anorexia can have life-threatening effects as well. As someone who has seen a family member suffer from diabetes, it’s especially disturbing to know that these patients are continuing to induce very serious diabetes complications due to an under-recognized problem.

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63 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2007 3:32 pm

    It’s a vicious cycle. Diabetics (especially type I’s) have to constantly think of food – what they ate and how much insulin they need to cover it, have they eaten enough for the insulin they did take or will they become hypoglycemic, etc. Add to that the pressures girls feel to be thin and the idea of a “quick fix” to be had just by skipping a shot and I’m almost surprised it doesn’t happen more often. And then there’s the fact that teenagers think they’re immortal and the complications (while scary) are things that would happen in the far distant future, to old people. Diabetes educators need to be trained to recognize when this is happening and take steps to stop it. Of course, I have no ideas as to how to do either of those things…

  2. June 19, 2007 8:51 pm

    Here are some more thoughts on dibulimia from our CMO, Dr. Steve Ponder http://challengediabetes.diabetech.net/2007/06/19/diabulimia-the-rest-of-the-story/

  3. June 20, 2007 9:52 am

    Thank you, Eric.

  4. josephine permalink
    August 11, 2007 3:17 pm

    have only recentely heard the term. Diabetic for 20 yrs, bulimic for 19 yrs. Is there any way to stop this misery ? When I keep blood sugars normal I am hungry all the time, so i put on weight. Is there a way to have normal bloods without feeling really hungry ?

  5. August 11, 2007 6:12 pm

    Josephine,
    Trying to control your weight by manipulating your diabetes is incredibly dangerous and bad for your body. You need to speak with your doctor, particularly a trained specialist in diabetes. I cannot emphasize enough how poorly-controlled diabetes does a number on your body.

  6. Unknown permalink
    August 25, 2007 4:00 pm

    I’ve been doing it for a while, not skipping insulin but giving myself half of what I should be taking so my weight stays the same…I just heard about this diabulimia terme…I didn’t know it was that common. I am 25 years old and I have a beautifull daughter that I want to live for…but I just can’t stop myself…I’ve even tought and tried just following a good diet with exercise and controlling my sugars but I still gained weight…what can I do??? I know this is wrong and I’m slowly killing myself…I don’t know where to find some help and still don’t want to gain ll that weight…is there a way to keep the weight off and have a good sugar management…I really wnt this (good controle,,,I just can’t seem to be able to do it by myself or find the ressources to do so)

  7. August 25, 2007 5:09 pm

    Unknown,
    Please, please talk to your doctor about this. Talk to someone who cares about you who can help you get the help that you need. It will be very hard to take care of it on your own, without support, so I urge you in the strongest possible terms to to seek out help and talk to a doctor. Please do not feel embarrassed or ashamed to admit what is going on to your physician – they are there to help you. I hope to hear back from you that you have done this and are on your way to recovery. My thoughts are with you.

  8. Ella permalink
    September 3, 2007 10:34 am

    I’m looking for women who reside in the United Arab Emirates who withhold insulin injections to stay slim. It’s for a feature I’m writing on diabulimia for a weekly women’s magazine in Dubai. Names can be changed and no photos will be published. Interview will take place on the phone.

    If interested, please get in touch asap on katreenh@hotmail.com

  9. Lucy permalink
    September 14, 2007 7:46 pm

    i was just wondering if anyone could help me, my friend has diabulemia and i was wondering how i could help her as she is refusing to go to the doctors or talk to any of us about it properly.

    if you can help email me on punks_not_dead258@hotmail.com

    thanx

  10. September 14, 2007 7:57 pm

    Lucy,
    I wanted to acknowledge that I saw your question and will get back to you as soon as I can.

  11. September 14, 2007 8:04 pm

    Lucy,
    I found this toll-free hotline run by the National Eating Disorders Association. Their website says that “Helpline volunteers provide support services, help, and guidance to individuals struggling with disordered eating, their loved ones, and families.” You might start by calling them and seeing what they suggest in this situation. They’re available Monday-Friday, from 8:30am-4:30pm Pacific time, at 1-800-931-2237. It would be a free call, and they might have some advice that would be useful.

  12. September 14, 2007 8:15 pm

    It just occurred to me that the American Diabetes Association has a hotline as well – 1-800-DIABETES (8:30am-8pm Eastern time). I might start with the eating disorders one, though.

  13. Jennie permalink
    September 18, 2007 12:44 pm

    I have been suffering for diabulimia for 10 years now.I became diabetic when I was 17 and quickly found out on how to keep my weight down by not taking my shots. 2 years ago I went into diabetic coma for 3 days. The doctors made my family come in and say goodbye because I was not suppose to make it. I thought that would wake me up but it hasn’t. I am 6 feet 1 inch and weighted 130 pounds for the past 10 years. I see the pain in my family eyes but for some reason I just cant get my diabetes under control. I have so much damage to my body that I feel more like a 90 year old instead of a 27 year old. I have completely ruined my chances of ever having children and I have to take a pill everytime I eat in order to digest my food. I have tried many times to get my diabetes under control but everytime I start taking my insulin regularly I gain about 20 pounds of water weight. This gets so frustrating that I just give up. If any one knows a solution to the water weight gain, PLEASE let me know. I take water pills that my doctor gave me but it does not help.

  14. Jennie permalink
    September 18, 2007 12:47 pm

    Sorry you can email me at bluthjen@aol.com with any comments or suggustions. I need all the help I can before this ugly diease takes me for good

  15. September 18, 2007 1:24 pm

    Jennie, have you tried talking to your doctor who managed your diabetes about your concerns about the “water weight?” I think you’ll be more successful at getting your diabetes under control if you are able to get your concerns about your body under control. You need to talk to your regular doctor about why you don’t want to comply with your medicines, and consider talking to an eating disorder specialist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional. The problem is probably not so much the “water weight,” but how you’re feeling about it and your body in general. Seriously, do talk to some healthcare professionals about *why* you’re not complying with your diabetes therapy.

  16. Concerned permalink
    September 19, 2007 4:04 pm

    I am very concerned that my diabetic (Type 1) 14 yr old stepdaughter is doing this. She will skip her insulin shots on purpose and has been hospitalized with out-of-control blood sugar levels. She also has very disordered eating, has since she was very little. No vegetables, not even red sauce on pizza, no meat at all, very little protein (just milk and peanut butter), mostly carbs. Will only eat apples (peeled) and bananas (has to be the perfect ripeness) for fruit, and that’s if practically forced. Her diet is horrendous even for someone without diabetes. Then there’s the skipping insulin. I think she’s in a very dark place….her mother is at her wit’s end and I’m just the stepmom so I don’t have much say. Anyone? Thank you.

  17. September 19, 2007 4:24 pm

    Concerned, can you all get her together and go into the doctor and/or counselor together with her to address these concerns? I don’t think this is something most teens are going to grow out of or stop on their own. I’m not saying this as a substitute for medical advice, just to emphasize that some kind of intervention is warranted.

  18. September 19, 2007 4:25 pm

    Also, please see the eating disorders hotline above – they may have some advice for your family.

  19. Marcia permalink
    September 22, 2007 8:20 pm

    The Eating Disorders Institute and the International Diabetes Center (both part of Park Nicollet Health System) in Minneapolis has a program specifically designed to treat the dual diagnosis of an eating disorder and diabetes.A team approach is utilized, and medical staff from both areas are specifically trained to work with these patients. I am the diabetes educator on the team, and i have a background in eating disorders and psychiatric nursing as well. We have been working with patients using this model for 2 1/2 years. Phone number is 952-993-6200. Ask for the care manager for the dual diagnosis of eating disorders and diabetes.

  20. September 23, 2007 4:16 am

    Hi Everyone,
    You are right, it is a vicious cycle. When I first started, I was so ashamed to admit what I was doing because I had previously been the “perfect” patient. Now I have quite a few complications, and I didn’t even omit my insulin for more than 4 years total, less if you count all of the hospitalizations I had.
    I urge you, talk to your doctor, see an eating disorders specialist. This kills at least 35 percent of sufferers. I went into DKA so many times… It isn’t worth it and I know you all know that. You cannot function with blood sugars that are off the charts, constantly thirsty, nauseated, and in DKA. Please, it will take time, but reach out to those around you.

  21. September 23, 2007 10:41 am

    Marcia, thank you for that information.
    Gwen, thank you for sharing your story.

  22. Cheryl permalink
    October 2, 2007 9:15 am

    I am sitting here crying. I want to do something about my diabulimia, but I don’t know where to start. I tried calling the eating disorder hotline but got no reply. My husband is no help (all he does is comment about ‘fat’ people), and he won’t go to counseling with me. I have many of the complications of diabetes already.
    Cheryl

  23. October 2, 2007 9:22 am

    Cheryl,
    Do you have a diabetes specialist who you see for your diabetes? I’m really surprised that there was no reply from the hotline. I’m going to see if there are any more specific resources out there for this.

  24. Cheryl permalink
    October 2, 2007 10:40 am

    Thanks for writing me back!!! :)
    I have a specialist here in town. I get to see her once every 4 months. I don’t feel like she’s doing me much good, but there are only 2 endocrinologists in the area.

  25. October 2, 2007 6:47 pm

    Hello. I will not take up more than a little space you will use to keep in touch with each other. PLEASE do not hesitate to write and find out how to help each other!!! I”m a mom of a type 1 since 27 months old; now 1 month shy of 15 and have just found out about Diabulimia this week. Please know this mom is praying for you and that you will get help NOW! DO NOT let this control you any longer. YOU are important and soooo very needed! Call that hot line until you get an answer. Call you endocronoligist as soon as possibile!!!! P L E A S E your family and friends love you and need you! you deserve better!

    • ms kyle denison permalink
      September 5, 2010 2:43 am

      eear “mom”, i was desperately searching internet, looking for support (for me)for the proper way of showing my love and support of my diabulimc daughter.i am driving her away and making things worse(the way i am handling things) she is 20, diagnosed a 12 and has been withholding since she was 13. i know she is dying. she has been hospitalized several times,and attended three inpatient treatment centers. i noted the postings were sorta old, so i hope that i’m responding to you in the proper manner. please contact me as soon as you can. i am so grateful to you. sincerely, kyle

  26. October 3, 2007 6:53 pm

    Mama, thank you for your comment and words of encouragement.

  27. Cheryl permalink
    October 6, 2007 9:57 am

    Well, I got a hold of the eating disorder group…but the girl said she had no information on diabulimia. She suggested calling counselors in my area and asking them for direction. I am assuming I will not hear from her again.
    I am trying to be better, I want to get well. It’s just very hard.

  28. October 6, 2007 11:16 am

    Cheryl, thanks for the update. It’s unfortunate that the group is not serving this very clear need.

    I have checked with a couple of national organizations about resources they would recommend. The American Diabetes Association really didn’t have much, but for these two brief articles on their website, which I don’t think are really that helpful, although I appreciated their response. They also referred to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (hotline 847-831-3438), NEDA (which you’ve already found to be not that helpful), and another organization that doesn’t seem to have a hotline/support resources.

    Something Fishy (I know, weird name, they provide online support discussion threads and general eating disorder info) responded and they have a couple of threads going on their support boards about the topic. It might be a good place to at least talk to other people about it.

    To everybody who has come here looking for support, please keep checking back. Right now I’m really frustrated that there don’t seem to be a lot of resources available to help you, but I’ll update the comments if I find more.

    Also, the center that Marcia referred to earlier in the thread does have a toll-free number at 888-825-6315. They may not be an option for you depending on where you live, but it might be worth checking on.

  29. Abby permalink
    October 22, 2007 6:19 am

    Hi everyone,
    I’ve also struggled with diabulimia on and off for about 5 years. Living this way is absolute hell- there is no other way to describe it. Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, MA is a good resource for diabetics with eating disorders. They are a hands-down leader in research and support for “diabulimia.” Even if you are not in MA, try calling them and asking for help, 617-732-2594. They have satellite locations in other states (CA, CT, FL, IN, MD, MI, NH, NY, OH, PA, WA, WV), as well as online support groups, and lots of other info online. Their website is joslin.org. One good page in particular is: http://www.joslin.org/managing_your_diabetes_4039.asp.

  30. October 22, 2007 7:52 am

    Abby, thank you very much for sharing that. It’s been difficult to identify solid resources for getting help, so I’m really glad you mentioned that center.

  31. Curtis permalink
    November 14, 2007 10:52 pm

    My beautiful wife is a diabulimic. All I can say is that the struggle is daily – the pressures of the world are great. We are, however, amazingly blessed with 2 children given the alternative. In light of the recent article published by self.com, I wanted to also let folks know about a place that treats diabulimics in addition to traditional eating disorders. My wife went to Remuda Ranch http://www.remudaranch.com/general/other/index.php in 2005 to recover from her desparately out-of-control health. She had an A1C of 16 at the time. She came home with an A1C of 7. We then, amazingly, had our 2nd child. It had been 5 years since our first child and during that time before Remuda she was unable to have children. Having children, of course was the least of my worries, but seems to mark our personal lives in our struggle with the disease. Don’t hate me for saying this, but my wife and other women struggling with eating disorders struggle with loving themselves. Remuda Ranch shows them how to love themselves as Jesus loves them – the only immutable, unchanging love the world has ever seen. Jesus doesn’t give up on these women and we so desparately need His strength as the struggle with diabulima is so ever present – so every day. I am amazed when I see women deal with this disease – keep up the good fight!

  32. November 15, 2007 8:56 am

    Curtis, thank you for sharing your story. A Christian center may not be right for every woman, but thank you for listing it in case others are interested. I’m happy to hear of your wife’s successes in this struggle.

  33. Amanda permalink
    November 30, 2007 8:26 pm

    Im a diabetic an i kno from experience that you have to miss way more then a shot or two or even three . its more like 4 days to really make you loose weight an your mot only losing weight you feel like crap. i didnt have a eating disorder my body didnt accept my insulin so it was pretty much the same thing, but i hated it the feeling i always had, dry mouth, always drinking cause my mouth was soo dry, i didnt ever feel good, it was bad an yes i did loose alot of weight but it was sick, it didnt look good at all way to skinny, but i have to say who ever does this really needs help i didnt mean to do this an still i ended up losing my hearing in one ear an my feet are numb all the time an my legs an feets nurves hurt just to touch an on top of that i really wouldnt be able to feel that shitty ever again.

  34. Amanda permalink
    November 30, 2007 8:29 pm

    oh an to add im only 19 so people might think that the effects of this happen when they get old well it dont it took me 4 years an now i lost hearing an my legs always hurt

  35. thisismysos permalink
    December 3, 2007 7:16 pm

    Hi all, I suppose this classifies as what I am, as well. For so long I thought I was the only one and that no one understood. I felt alone in my diabetes, but then even if I found support there, no one understood the “diabulemia” as I guess they call it. I think the only way to stop is to be able to talk about it. In the past few days I have started a blog at [redacted] to help me get through it. I just don’t even feel that I can be honest there because I don’t want to encourage others who have not even thought of this “quick fix”. I am trying to stop, but I am afraid I never will. I know the complications, but it is deeper than that. If anyone needs a friend to discuss this with, please feel free to email me at [redacted]. I am looking for a friend, too! I may not have the answers, but I at least have compassion and understanding at how hard this struggle is!

  36. snikta permalink
    January 4, 2008 8:47 am

    Rachel,
    J told me yesterday that the Dr. Phil show was about diabulimia. There were apparently some pretty young (16yo) girls on. I don’t know if you can view past shows online, but you may want to check it out.

  37. January 4, 2008 11:35 am

    Thanks, I’ll check that out.

  38. January 4, 2008 7:17 pm

    so far everything i’ve read is all “type 1″ and young women.
    back in 95 i was diagnosed as type 2 altho oral hypoglycemics didn’t last too long before i was on insulin. it was also decided that i had to have been diabetic at least 7 yrs before i was diagnosed (around 32-33 that would make it). i already had intermittent claudication when i was diagnosed. at this point i have both peripheral and autonomic neuropathy, in 2000 had a heart attack ignored by then internist so ended up with a massive mi that left me with 1/2 a heart. also have pvd and cad. and the past couple of years have not been good about doing up the insulin. even so, when i do insulin it doesn’t always work. sometimes i can shoot up 30 units and bg’s go higher, not lower. when i do insulin, now i’m going about a week at a time before i take some.
    then again, i’ve been severely depressed for a number of yrs. every nite i hope i don’t wake up the next morning.
    at the moment i weigh 128, due to 30 units at a time. but at 110 i see a fat person in the mirror. an obese person, actually.
    so about the type 1 and young – i’m neither, but on insulin and 54. i think there are a lot more women out there like me.
    i’m terrified of being fat, i’ve been overweight but never obese but this new fear of fat, of being fat. i’m fat now. at least i think i am. add being homeless for the last 2 1/2 yrs and stuck in a really bad situation and now it’s not so bad, i’m at my dad’s while i’m awaiting subsidized housing, but it doesn’t feel like it’s ever going to happen.
    i guess if anyone else feels this way, let me know. just go to my site to email me.

  39. Susan permalink
    January 4, 2008 7:49 pm

    So what is the answer? How can a type 1 diabetic lose weight without being a diabulimic? I’m a 27 year old type 1 diabetic that has a 3 month old newborn. I only found out about diabulimia when doing an internet search about losing pregnancy weight with type 1 diabetes. I would like to know where I can find out how to lose my pregnancy weight safely without having to risk my health. The last time I spoke to my endocronologist she wasn’t able to give me much guidance and only kept on repeating how difficult losing wieght would be since my insulin doses had been so high because of my pregnancy. Please help I want to lose weight the right way.

  40. January 4, 2008 9:09 pm

    Oh, Zipora and Susan, I wish I knew what to tell you. Hugs to you both. Zipora, I know you’re in a tough, tough situation, but I hope you can find the help that you need, counseling, housing, the whole lot.

  41. Monica permalink
    January 7, 2008 3:00 pm

    Omg,
    I felt so alone until I read all of these comments. At the end of my rope today……….good luck to all of you girls suffering and know that you are not alone.

  42. January 15, 2008 4:22 pm

    Award-winning documentary series on WEtv (Women’s Entertainment) is doing an episode on eating disorders. We want to profile a woman who is currently struggling with Diabulimia and would be comfortable telling her story on tv. The program is called “Secret Lives of Women” and allows women to tell their story in their own words. Our main show goal it to educate viewers. Anyone interested should email: cdeukmejian@kaosent.com

  43. chrissy permalink
    January 19, 2008 9:37 pm

    10 years have gone by very slowly since I was diagnosed w/type one diabetes making me now just turning 30.I never really caught on to exactly what I was doing to myself I knew that if I took my insulin as directed I would gain about 15/20 lbs.So
    It did not take me very long to realize that not taking it made me skinny!!! I knew what I was doing I just did not know that there was a name for it.I think I am just realizing that I am a very sick person thank all of you for coming out and providing this web site information it helps to realize that I am not alone.

  44. Cheryl permalink
    January 24, 2008 11:13 am

    Has anyone replied to the WEtv’s request for a volunteer? I was thinking about it, but I am VERY reluctant to having my friends and family find out about my “secret”.

  45. Stacy permalink
    February 5, 2008 8:45 pm

    I have been “cheating” on my diabetes for as almost 9 years, and I want to stop so very badly, I’ve told my parents and fiance thatI believe I am a diabulemic, but my mother says it’s in my head and my fiance(although very supportive) seems to think it’s just as easy as doing it, I feel like it should be, but I can’t get past the fear of gaining weight….. I really don’t want to do this to myself anymore, and I’m wondering if there are any resources available in albert canada? I can’t seem to find anything so far…..

  46. chrissy permalink
    February 12, 2008 3:36 pm

    Susan I was just wondering if you have come across any safe weight loss stratigies for type one diabetics yet? I have also looked every where and have had the same turn out as your self, the all to long speech about how hard it really is to lose weight while taking any kind of insulin and I am about fed up with the lack of information on this subject!!!

  47. Susan permalink
    February 13, 2008 10:48 pm

    Chrissy,
    I was very reluctant at first but my mom and sister convinced me I should try Weight Watchers. I decided to go with their Flex Plan which makes you track what you eat and convert all food into weight watchers points. So far the results have been good! I lost 4.2 lbs. my first week, 1 my second, 2.2 my third and 3.4 my fourth for a total of 10.8 lbs! I realize that the weight loss will slow down but for now it seems to be working. I told my Weight watchers counselor about my type 1 diabetes and they said the program would work since the program’s focus is on teaching you to eat healthier.

  48. Claire permalink
    March 1, 2008 10:47 am

    Hey,

    I am a type one diabetic myself who had suffered from and still struggles with diabulimia. I am doing a journalism course at Chester university and currently we are writing our own newspaper campaigns. Mine is to be on diabulimia, however i cannot use myself as a source really and so am looking for other type 1 diabetics that have had similar experiences to my own. If anyone thinks they cluld be of help please e-mail me at 0601114@chester.ac.uk – I would just need to ask you a few questions, whether by e-mail. on the phone or in person. The campaign is hypothetical so would never be seen in the media as it is only part of my assesment. I am particulaly looking for people from the UK. Thanks very much, Claire Kearns.

  49. Kia permalink
    March 6, 2008 11:40 pm

    Hi All -
    I am a type I diabetic also – have suffered with diabulimia for about 8 years. Last year I had a stroke brought on by uncontrolled diabetes & hypertension. I have gotten my diabetes under control, thank God, but since then, I’ve put on 30 lbs. I am starting to feel myself wanting to rely on old habits, and every time I talk to the doctor about it, she tells me how bad it is – but otherwise does not offer any support. Summertime is coming and I can’t stand to look at myself now, what happens when I have to go outside in less clothes? I need help and I’m not sure where to turn. Going to an inpatient clinic isn’t an option – I have 2 young children and my husband is not supportive. They need me. Any advice you have is really appreciated.

  50. Noosa permalink
    April 6, 2008 10:36 pm

    I have had type 1 diabetes ever since I was 10. I used to purpose short change my insulin shots in my teens and early 20s. It got worst after I went on the depo shot. I went on depo because my mom insisted on it. In fact, while I was on Depo, I used to not take my insilin. At 23, I had a stroke and almost died. Now I realized that it is very important I take care of myself. I am no longer on Depo but I am in very tight control now. I take things day by day and have God in my life to help me.

  51. April 7, 2008 8:07 am

    Noosa, kudos to you for your now-tight control and working to overcome this struggle. I’m sure other commenters would be interested in hearing more about how you were able to address these issues.

  52. April 7, 2008 1:19 pm

    I just left your link for this great conversational thread on Dr. Robyn’s blog, who has a post up today about Diabulimia as well.

    http://drrobyn.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/scary-things-teens-do-that-parents-don%e2%80%99t-know-theyre-doing-diabulimia/#comment-257

    She points to some new research that I was unfamiliar with here,
    http://www.joslin.org/1083_4281.asp and I’m thinking of carrying both of these posts over to Shaping Youth, as it’s imperative we get this word out to teens! Thanks for such a thorough read…(p.s. we have a body image category that suits this well; our nonprofit deals with media and marketing’s impact on kids—HUGE of course)

  53. jane permalink
    April 9, 2008 6:19 pm

    Hi, i’m jane, im nearly 15, & i’ve had type one diabetes for 5 and a half years. I’ve skipped injections a few times ( not very many at all though) & gone for a run or a swim instead to keep my blood sugars down & if they’re still not down when i get in i’ll have 2 or 3 units to sort it out, i’ve not done it since last year. i want to do it again, but dont feel the NEEd to if that makes sense, i need to lose a bit of weight, but they weigh me when i go for my check-ups and they’ll ask whats going on. I don’t know what I can do, because I can’t speak to anyone about it, not my mum or sisters & not a doctor or a counsillor. but i feel rubbish with myself. i’d like to just skip a few this week & lose weight but i dont know how & i’d be worried, but there’s nothing else i can do. i wont be able to get help to lose weight from my doctor because i’d be too embarrased & it’s just not who i am. i dont know quite what to do. :| jane.

  54. sonia permalink
    June 22, 2008 4:21 pm

    Hi … I have had type 1 Diabetes for 24 years almost – I am 28. At the age of 17 I discovered that by not doing all my insulin, especially mt long acting, I lost weight. At first I felt terrible of course but to me the feeling tired, aching, the thirst etc was worth it as I lost loads of weight in such a small amount of time. This went on for 10 years !!! I never realised it was a fairly common issue with Diabetics so never felt I could talk to anyone about it. After 10 years of depriving myself of the insulin I needed I now have the first signs of complications in my eyes – which has always been my worse fear – and Diabetic Neuropathy. I started counselling last year to help try and work out why I was doing this to mysself and find a way to start doing my injections as I should do. I am now married and it was mainly when I met my now husband that I realised I had a problem and had to do something about it, realising that I could be in danger of not being able to have children by not controlling my Diabetes properly and the possibilty of going blind all became that much more scary because I now had someoneelse in my life to consider! I think this new “eating” disorder should be recognised as that as it is such a serious thing and the appropriate help should be available to Diabetics suffering with this because of thje such awful side affects it can cause. I am now doing my injections, I still don’t find it easy and the thought of gaining weight still petrifies me as silly as it may sound but the thought of going blind, losing my imbs and not being able to have a family with my new husband also petrifies me so I will continue to work at regaing control of my Diabtes. I strongly reccommend counselling or tslking to your Diabetes specialist to find out ways you can be helped if you are also stuck in this awful rut of weight loss and bad control against gaining control. I also think more support in general shouldbe available to Diabetics and people should be made more aware of how serious a condition Diabetes is and the complications attached to it.

  55. anon permalink
    June 25, 2008 2:57 pm

    hi , ive been doing this for about 3 weeks now , i used to just eat loads one day a month in order to lose 5 pounds by the next day , but its goten really bad i keep on thinking up reasons why i shouldnt stop , im down to 7st 13 (about 114 lbs ) and am scared that if i carry on eating like normal that ill put on a ton of weight , ive had other eating disorders in the past but not for long , i.e was bullimic for 3 weeks , aneroxic for 2 , i also do modelling and the pressure of being skinny is HUGE , i don’t want to go to the doctors as i don’t want my friends or family to find out , could anyone please give me a meal plan or something which will maintain my figure without skipping insulin , thanks so much

  56. July 12, 2008 5:15 pm

    i was diagnosed with type 1 in october of 2007. i have also had eating disorders tendencies for a few years, but i kept them quiet. i know myself well enough to know i get carried away with things, thus i never let myself throw up after i ate or intentinally skipped meals. my ED was fairly ok, as long as i didn’t have to think about what i was eating, i just ate it. now, being a diabetic, i don’t have that option. so i just skip shots, because it feels easier. i don’t have to look at nutrtion facts, and i feel like less of a freak. i go out to dinner with my staff and best friends all the time and i feel like a total freak because everyone else orders and eats, but i order, check glucose levels, count food, measure insulin, take shot, THEN i eat. i hate being a freak. i hate my mind being so jumbled and confused. i am slowly going out of control physically and mentally, i can’t look at another person, girl or boy without comparing myself to them and hating myself. i am a strong believer in god, he is my only hope and i know i am his princess, his beautiful creation, but i can’t believe it, i have an obsession with self hatred. and i know i need help. is there anyone out there like me?

  57. DiabetesNYC permalink
    September 2, 2008 2:19 am

    I am working on starting a support group for female diabetics – a safe place to discuss issues that are particularly prevalent among female diabetics. Diabulemia is one of these issues.

    Please contact me if you are in the NYC are and are interested!(Or if you have any ideas or comments – all are more than welcome.)

    Write to: diabetesnyc@gmail.com

    Thank you and take care everybody.

  58. VALERIE permalink
    April 1, 2010 2:21 pm

    my daughter has had this for 7 years and at first we didnt know there was a name for it but she is on medicaid and no one takes medicaid for this condition so unless you have good insurance or are rich, you cant get help for one of the few clinics that deal with diabulemia so she pretty much has a death sentence and a little boy who will grow up with out his mother we need a better system

  59. anna permalink
    October 26, 2010 5:10 pm

    im so glad i found this page i have been doin this 2 myself 4 a long time now and yes i have lost a lot of weight but im still not happy and want 2 lose more i rely cant stop wot im doin and my fiance rely dnt help me he just keeps shoutin at me and finks its just so easy 2 start takin my injections properly i have 2 lie 2 him that i am takin them

Trackbacks

  1. Nashville is Talking » Braindrops
  2. Diabulimia Discussion « Women’s Health News
  3. New Study on “Diabulimia” Outcomes « Women’s Health News

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