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Diabulimia: Living with Diabetes and Eating Disorders

featrure diabulimia

Diabulimia is a little-known eating disorder that affects people who have diabetes. It is estimated that around 10% of people with diabetes also suffer from diabulimia. Diabulimia is a dangerous condition that can lead to serious health problems, including death. In this blog post, we will discuss what diabulimia is, the symptoms, and how to get help if you or someone you know is suffering from it.

What Is Diabulimia?

what is diabulimia

Diabulimia is an eating disorder that is characterized by people with diabetes purposefully skipping insulin doses or taking too little insulin in order to lose weight. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body to process sugar (glucose) from food. When someone has diabulimia, they are essentially starving their bodies of the insulin it needs to function properly. This can lead to serious health problems, including weight gain, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), and even death.

Who Is Likely To Suffer From It?

who is likely to suffer fom diabulimia

People with type 1 diabetes are most likely to suffer from some eating disorder at some point in their life. Though the exact number isn’t known, It is estimated that around 30% of people with type 1 diabetes suffer from diabulimia. Diabulimia is most common in young women, although it can affect people of any age or gender. People with type-two diabetes are also at risk, although the exact percentage is unknown.

Warning Signs

warning signs

There are a few warning signs that may indicate someone is suffering from diabulimia. These include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Skipping meals or eating very little
  • Excessive exercise
  • Insulin omission or reduction
  • Ketoacidosis (high levels of ketones in the blood)
  • Frequent low blood sugar episodes
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Bouts of nausea and vomiting
  • Frequent infections
  • Disturbed sleep pattern
  • Body image issues
  • Discomfort eating or injecting in public
  • Depression or anxiety

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone you know, it is important to seek help. Diabulimia is a serious condition that can lead to long-term health complications, and even death.

Causes

causes

There is no one single cause of diabulimia. Instead, it is thought to be caused by a combination of factors. These include:

Biological factors

People with diabetes are more likely to develop eating disorders. This may be due to the fact that:

  • They count their calories and carb intake
  • They have to pay attention to their diet
  • Track blood sugar levels
  • Read labels of products to calculate calorie intake
  • difficulty maintaining weight

People with diabetes may also have a higher risk of developing an eating disorder due to the fact that they are more likely to be overweight. This is because insulin resistance can lead to weight gain.

Environmental factors

The environment someone grows up in can also play a role in the development of diabulimia. People who come from families with a history of eating disorders or who have parents that are overly critical of their weight may be more likely to develop an eating disorder.

Societal factors

The media plays a big role in the development of eating disorders. The way women and girls are portrayed in the media can lead to body image issues and low self-esteem. This can then lead to disordered eating and eating disorders. They feel like they are not meeting the expectations of those around them.

Psychological factors

People with diabetes may develop eating disorders due to the stress of managing their condition. They may also have body image issues or low self-esteem. getting bullied for having a chronic illness has been seen in the past. Bullying can lead to them trying to hide their illness.

Consequences

As we mentioned before, diabulimia can lead to a number of serious health problems. These include:

Long Term Effects

Some long effects of diabulimia on your body and mind can be:

  • Kidney damage: High blood sugar causes damage to the filtering system of the kidney.
  • Heart disease: High cholesterol causes narrowing of arteries.
  • liver damage: Insulin deficiency can result in a non-alcoholic fatter liver.
  • Nerve damage: Can cause numbness in hands, legs, arms, etc.
  • Eye problems: Small black spots result in disrupted vision.
  • Gastroparesis: Delayed emptying of the stomach, causes stomach pain and vomiting.

These are just a few of the potential long-term effects of diabulimia. diabulimia could possibly result in stroke, coma, or death. As you can see, it is a very dangerous condition. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from diabulimia, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.

Short Term Effects

Some short-term effects of diabulimia on your physical and mental health are:

  • Frequent yeast infections
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Disruption in menstrual cycle
  • High ketone levels cause electrolyte imbalance
  • High ketone levels cause the blood to turn acidic. This is called diabetic ketoacidosis.

These are just a few of the short-term effects of diabulimia. As you can see, it is a very dangerous condition. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from diabulimia.

Treatment

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from diabulimia, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. There are a number of treatment options available, and the sooner treatment is started, the better. Treatment for diabulimia usually involves a combination of therapy, medication, and self-care.

Self Help Tips

There are a few things you can do to help yourself if you are suffering from diabulimia. These include:

  • Eating regular meals and snacks: This will help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and give your body the nutrients it needs.
  • Exercising regularly: Exercise can help to release endorphins, which can improve your mood and help to reduce stress.
  • Getting enough sleep: Sleep is important for both physical and mental health. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
  • Managing stress: Stress can trigger diabulimia episodes. Try to find healthy ways to manage stress, such as yoga or meditation.
  • Seeking professional help: If you are struggling to cope with diabulimia on your own, seek professional help.

If you are seeking professional help for diabulimia, there are a few things you can do to prepare. These include:

  • Making a list of your symptoms: This will help your doctor or therapist to better understand your condition.
  • Gathering information about your medical history: This will help your treatment team to develop the best plan for you.
  • Making a list of your goals: This will help you and your treatment team to track your progress and see how far you have come.
  • Finding a support group: There are many diabulimia support groups available online and in person. Finding one that is right for you can help you to feel less alone and more supported.

If you or someone you know is suffering from diabulimia, there is help available. With treatment, it is possible to recover and live a healthy life.

Professional Help

professional help

People suffering from diabulimia can get professional help. This includes:

  • A doctor or therapist who specializes in eating disorders: This type of professional can help to diagnose and treat diabulimia.
  • A registered dietitian: A registered dietitian can help you to develop a healthy relationship with food and nutrition.
  • A diabetes educator: A diabetes educator can help you to manage your diabetes and understand how it affects your body.
  • A mental health professional: A mental health professional can help you to deal with the psychological factors that may be contributing to your diabulimia.

Treatment usually involves a combination of therapy, medication, and self-care. It is important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you have diabulimia.

Conclusion

Diabulimia is a serious and dangerous condition. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from diabulimia, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. There are a number of treatment options available, and the sooner treatment is started, the better. With the right help, recovery is possible.

If you are struggling with diabulimia, or know someone who is, there are many resources available to help. These include support groups, therapy, medication, and self-care.

Do not suffer from diabulimia in silence. If you need help, please reach out. You can seek professional help from mantra care. For more information and tips you can contact Therapy Mantra. We have a team of professional therapists who can provide you with the support and guidance you need to recover from this condition. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You can also book an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app.