I have heard about a new eating disorder, Diabulimia, what can you tell me about it? I ask because my sister has type 1 diabetes.
Diabulimia is a very dangerous, new wayÂ diabetic men and women have discovered to control their weight and it involves a potentially lethal method of adjusting their insulin doses. Skipping or titrating insulin dosages causes blood sugar levels to rise and results in frequent urination, as the kidneys must work overtime to rid the body of excess sugar in the bloodstream. Some people with diabetes type 1 intentionally restrict, delay or decrease their insulin to purposely induce hyperglycemia to rapidly purge calories in the urine in the form of glucose (New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 336, June 26, 1997, JDRF). This behavior has recently been referred to as diabulimia, and it is a serious medical danger and trend. It is the most common method of purging in girls with type 1 Diabetes and becomes progressively addicting with age. A startling 30-39% of diabetic women in their late teens and early adult years report using deliberate insulin omission as a means of purging calories (Diabetes Spectrum June 20, 2009 vol. 22 no. 3 138-142).
If you are concerned about your sister, it is imperative to seek out professional help because this is a very risky and life threatening behavior and is hard to identify and face. There are treatment facilities that are accommodate people with diabetes and eating disorders where you could find more information. www.edreferral.com is an excellent website that specializes in eating disorder treatment providers.
Angela R. Wurtzel, MA, MFT, CEDS
Angela can be reached at: tel/fax 805-884-9794 or Â firstname.lastname@example.org
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