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Diabetes and Eating Disorders

“When people with type 1 diabetes discover they can lose weight by not taking insulin, they may skip it so they can eat anything they want and not gain weight,” says Marcia Meier, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet. “Those who manipulate insulin range from teens to 50-year-olds.”

People with type 1 diabetes who manipulate insulin often have traits common to those with eating disorders, such as bingeing, purging and exercising excessively. They also may have a perfectionist attitude, an intense desire to please others, low self-esteem and mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Although eating disorders, by themselves, can lead to serious health conditions and premature death, people with this dual diagnosis can end up with severe complications earlier than those with diabetes alone. An extremely dangerous short-term complication from withholding insulin is diabetic ketoacidosis, which occurs when blood sugar gets very high, causing ketones, or acids, to build up in the blood. If left untreated, this condition can lead to a diabetic coma or death.


Amen Angie, When my daugther

Amen Angie,

When my daugther was diagnosed 10 years ago (wow I can't believe it has been 10 years). I was begging her doctor to understand what my daughter was doing. He stated he never heard of that. Through the years not only did she have an eating disorder and was doing insulin maniputation, she also found her way to a meth addiction. I have been fighting my way from the start.

I am so glad that this condition is coming to the forfront. These issue need to be addressed. I know I am not the only mother that has been through this. Through my battles I found that there is no eating disorder clinic capable of helping a type 1. Nor is there a drug rehab clinic that can help for addiction with type 1. We have lived through hell......trying to voice that this is more common then thought.

I feel that with mental health care from the onset, a lot of this could of been avoided. If you know of any sites or blogs or clinics that handle these matters. Please share them. I know that someone out there is going through the same hells and hitting walls the entire way.