I posted yesterday about National Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
Today, I want to discuss DIABULIMIA.
The medical term and diagnosis is actually Eating Disorder-Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 (ED-DMT1).
WHAT IS IT?
This is when a type 1 diabetic restricts the amount of insulin he or she should be taking, in order to lose weight.
DID YOU KNOW...?
Women with T1D are 2.5x more likely to develop some form of disordered eating?
Type 1 diabetes is a 24-hour job. Diabetics must scrutinize the foods they eat, the nutrition facts/labels, the quantity or portions, the quality of the food, etc. in order to have their blood sugars stay within target range. This does not take into account the bajillion other elements including physical activity, stress, sleep, and hormones that also affect blood sugars. All of these factors can lead to an unhealthy obsession and put a T1D at risk for an eating disorder.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS?
1. Weight loss
2. abnormal heart rate
3. dry skin
4. brittle nails and hair
5. irregular periods
6. Poor self-esteem
9. Refusal to eat in front of others
10. Stroke, coma, or even death
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT?
Treatment is done under the supervision of medical professionals, sometimes inpatient, depending on if the patient is stable or not. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has proven to be effective in aiding in the treatment of diabulimia and other eating disorders.
So, the next time you see a T1D eating a cookie, please, praise them for enjoying that treat. Don't ask questions, like "are you sure you should be eating that?" I'll tell you now, the answer is YES.
Let's promote a healthy relationship with food for diabetics.
If you are concerned about a loved one's mental health or worried about an eating disorder, please seek help immediately.