Skip to comments.'Diabulimia': Diabetics Losing Weight by Deliberately Refusing Insulin on the Rise
Posted on 01/19/2013 12:58:38 AM PST by nickcarraway
A UK organization, Diabetics with Eating Disorders, is fighting to get a new condition added to the books: diabulimia.
Tagsdiabetes, insulin, eating disorder, diabulimia Eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating have long been recognized as mental health conditions. Now, an organization in the United Kingdom, Diabetics with Eating Disorders, is fighting to get a new condition added to the books: diabulimia. The growing trend is characterized by withholding insulin from the body deliberately in order to lose weight.
Officially, the condition is called Eating Disorder-Diabetes Mellitus Type 1. It most commonly occurs in young women, aged 15 to 30, who deliberately skip insulin injections in order to lose weight. Most of these women have Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as juvenile diabetes, so their bodies do not produce insulin at all and have no ability to regulate the amount of sugar in their blood supply.
Indeed, the method works. According to the NHS National Diabetic Information Service, withholding insulin means that less food is used by the body. Erin Akers, who runs the non-profit organization Diabulimia Helpline, said to Philly.com in 2011 that she was able to lose 55 pounds over the course of a single summer.
But the eating disorder is costly. It often leads to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can cause vision loss, kidney damage and, left untreated, even death. Akers' condition resulted in 20 trips to the hospital, nearly prevented her from graduating high school and has left her with a variety of health conditions, like permanent numbness in both feet and digestive problems. Taylor Hackett, profiled in the BBC, lost most of her vision in her left eye.
Akers and Hackett are not the only ones. In fact, researchers have found that young women with Type 1 diabetes are more than twice as likely to have an eating disorder than their non-diabetic peers: 10 percent of type-1 diabetics compared to 4 percent of non-diabetics.
But treatment is hard. Many programs are unable to treat patients with the dual diagnosis. Until 2009, official guidelines on treating the condition did not even exist. DWEA hopes that, if the dual diagnosis is recognized as a mental health problem, more help will be made available for sufferers.
Got news for the idjits.
You *don’t* lose weight by letting your bloodsugar rise.
Actually, under certain conditions you do. This I know from personal experience. I discovered I had diabetes partially from unexplained weight loss. I was losing 10 pounds per month with no explanation. I got concerned enough to go to the doctor. He told me I had diabetes. When I got my blood sugar back under control, I gained the weight back. That said, you are right about the DARWIN AWARD. The diabetic damage that occurres while losing weight this way is not reversible and quite serious.
Really, Id rather be a little overweight than lose my feet and vision.
Take their guns away!
that seems kind of horrible. I just lost a friend to what they say was complications from diabetes. He had an insulin pump put in a few months ago and was trying to get used to it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.