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Can Diabetes Cause Anorexia?


Because both diabetes and anorexia involve body issues, weight management and food control, some people develop a pattern in which they justify or veil anorexia with diabetes.

In fact, some clinicians believe that eating disorders are more common in those with diabetes than the rest of the population. The consequences of diabetes and anorexia can be fatal; therefore, responsible behavior is essential.

Can Diabetes Cause Anorexia?

While diabetes cannot cause eating disorders, it can set the physical and emotional stage for the development of the illness. Anorexia can easily be hidden by diabetes, so it becomes difficult to diagnose. In some cases, anorexia can go undetected for years under the guise of diabetes.

Complications of Diabetes and Anorexia

Blindness, kidney disease, impaired circulation, nerve death and amputation of the legs are just some of the life-altering complications people with diabetes and anorexia might face. Often, victims of the illnesses perceive becoming overweight as a greater threat than any of the aforementioned consequences. Some also believe that they are somehow immune to the health consequences.

Insulin and Weight Loss

People who take insulin to control diabetes can misuse it to lose weight. By cutting back on the correct dosage of insulin, a person can cause his or her blood sugar to rise and spill over into the urine. Although this causes weight loss, the biochemical process is a particularly dangerous one. This process will result in body tissues to dissolve and be flushed out in urine.

Once this process of weight loss has begun, diabetics are reluctant to end it. The decision to maintain weight loss is often a gateway to anorexia and other eating disorders.

The Need for Control

People who suffer from anorexia and diabetes often feel the same need to control their bodies. Diabetics might feel guilty or ashamed if their blood sugar swings more than a few points, just as anorexics might feel similarly if they gain weight. The need to control and stabilize can sometimes become an obsession.

Source: Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders