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An Eating Disorder – Diabulimia

Diabulimia is a currently under recognized condition, but which deserves more attention. Get to know about, What is diabulimia? If you notice the term “diabulimia” carefully, you will find that it is a combination of the terms “diabetes” and “bulimia”. In fact, this refers to a recent finding of young patients diagnosed with a Type I diabetic condition.


In Type 1 diabetes, patients produce little or no insulin. They have no choice but to take insulin shots every day in order to survive. Type 1 diabetes can inflict children from a young age and young adults. However, some young patients got to learn more about their condition; specifically that their body is dependent on insulin, and that insulin is an anabolic or storage hormone. With insulin encouraging fat storage, they realise that weight gain is a possible consequence with taking insulin shots. Thus, to avoid putting on weight, these patients would often skip doses and manipulate taking their insulin shots. Thus, giving rise to the term “diabulimia”.


Recognise the similarity of diabulmia with a bulimic eating disorder condition? Bulimic eating disorder sufferers often try to manage their weight through vomiting or other forms of behavior so that their bodies do not put on the calories from the huge amounts of food that they just ate.


For diabulimics, they wise up to the technique on using insulin shots pretty quickly. They take just enough insulin to avoid going into diabetic ketoacidosis, and narrowly avoiding hospitalization.


Unfortunately, a diabulimia is not recognized as a medical condition, unlike anorexia or bulimia. However, the American Diabetes Association has long known about insulin omission as a tactic for weight control. An expert estimates “that 450,000 Type 1 diabetic women in the United States – one-third of the total – have skipped or shortchanged their insulin to lose weight and are risking a coma and an early death.” There is no doubt that diabulimia is becoming more common as the secret of controlling weight through managing insulin shots is being exchanged in online bulletin boards for diabetics as well as those with eating disorders


If a Type 1 diabetic does not take the required insulin shots and skip his or dosage, there can be serious health threats. These include dehydration, fatigue and a breakdown in muscle tissue. Other complications include eye and kidney failure and a high risk of coma, amputation and even death.


Ironically, almost all diabetics need to learn about the basics of good diabetic management which also includes meal planning. However, these programs have satisfied the requirements of some of its patients, who have unhealthy associations with food. Like other eating disorders, more research should be managed about this kind of patient.

2018-03-15T08:44:01+00:00 October 3rd, 2014|

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