Diabetes and binging on food

I posted this in the Type 1 Diabetes section as well...

Hi everyone! I haven't been on lately, and I've actually been struggling with a few things.
I want to mention before anything that I've always had a problem with my weight. I'm 5'5" and I used to weigh a precise 112 pounds. That was before my mother passed away. Now I weigh almost 155 lbs. Alot of things changed since then. After she passed away, I've had disordered eating. I realize this is probably because not having her in my life made me turn to food. But because of my diabetes, I would always realize that me starving myself was not going to be good for my diabetes- or myself. So for a while, I stopped doing that. But then I developed a constant craving to overeat, and that turned into binging. As you can imagine, THIS IS AWFUL FOR MY DIABETES. I just get so down on myself that my blood sugars aren't great, then it makes me want to binge even more. I'm constntly obsessing over my food, and it's gotten to a point where I just can't stand this anymore. My blood sugars are so high all the time because of the excessive food (rarely below 200). Every night, I tell myself that the next day will be better. I convince myself that I won't binge anymore and I'll focus on what's truly important. I honestly don't know what is going to happen to my body if I keep this up. I'm afraid of the complications that will arise if I don't get this under control now. This is more than just vanity for me-- I believe this is psychological, and a bit physical. I want to lose weight and see my bones and have a flat stomach so badly. But I crave food compulsively and I don't know how to treat it anymore. I don't know how to cope with my feelings. I just binge to cover up everything. I don't really know what I am asking of you. Therapy is what I need, but I wanted to know if you had any other advice for me.
Please let me know, as I'm currently VERY desperate.

So I have several thoughts.

1. I assume you have talked to your Endocrinologist. What does he have to say?

2. Why not therapy? This is obviously not about your diabetes or food. So what is it really about? It might not even be about your mom. Get some help to identify the real challenge. Then you can make a real plan.

3. Find others that are in your shoes. WeightWatchers for one is a great program. My wife is a lifetime member and works for them ( after losing 50 poounds ) and has remained inside goal for 10 years. Before you know it you can say " I have been in my weight goal for "x" years now. " The "Points Plus" program lets you eat real food and cheat and still have a day of victory.

4. No one attacks big problems all at once. Are there some small goals that you can set that will build on each other? AKA - if you can't resist a snack make yourself walk a mile ( only takes 15 minutes ) and then just cut the snack by an amount that you can live with and call that a victory. Maybe with enough small victories under your belt your goals will grow. Success breeds success.

5. Picture yourself at the finish line, not the starting line. It is sort of like stopping smoking. When I stopped I had to picture myself as a non-smoker, not as someone who was trying to quit smoking.

6. Apply a simple rule- if you can't pronounce or define any ingredient on a label, don't eat it. At least then you will be eating good crap when you have a craving that you cannot get past. Organic chips rather than chips full of additives. Etc Etc

7. Take the time. It took time to get in this mess, it will take time to get out. Be realistic about goals. Make sure they are SMART . Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Time bound.

8. Allow for a failure or two. Don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Tomorrow starts fresh. It is in fact as the old saying goes " the first day of the rest of your life."

9. Remember Grandma Moses - Life is what you make it - Always has been - Always will be.

Good luck and god bless.

I'm not a psychologist but I have actually worked at a residential treatment center for women with eating disorders. First of all, I want to tell you that I really respect you reaching out for help and advice with what's going on. That is an extremely brave thing to do, and a really good (and difficult) first step to making changes. The second thing I would say is get professional help as soon as you possibly can. I don't want to scare you or make you feel overwhelmed by saying that you should seek professional help, but I will tell you that eating disorders are complicated and not just a matter of will power and you will want to have the help of someone who knows what they are doing and have helped other people in your shoes. Please find a psychologist or social worker who specializes in treating eating disorders. Check out the National Eating Disorder Association's website for info and resources: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org Also, as someone else has said, it can be helpful to find others who are struggling with the same things, but I would suggest an eating disorders or binge eating support group and NOT Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is a good program, but they are not equipped to deal with eating disorders and I have actually seen that it can make the situation worse because it's so much about tracking what you eat and focusing on losing weight as opposed to developing a healthy relationship with food, loving your body and being healthy.

All that being said, I know that you can find the help you need and overcome this. I've seen it happen and that there is hope and help out there for you! Much love!

I absolutely agree with Erin about Weightwatchers. I know that lots of people have benefitted from their programs, but it is definitely not for people with eating disorders and does just perpetuate our obsession with dieting and weight loss, which for us is a trigger to binge.

I am a type 2 on insulin and about 28 yrs ago I was doing that very thing, I found out why for me it was my cells were starving for food. Oh yes I was eating but they were not getting fed because my bs was 300 to 500 and I just kept eating. I had the same thinking, tomorrow I will be better and I did lose a faher in law from a pedestrain accident at this time also. As soon as I could get my bs in control all the binge eating went away, I hope this helps do you test when you eat like this it might give some insight.

I struggle with this constantly. Food has become a way to medicate myself and it is a hard thing to break. I have been in therapy for several years due to my difficulty in managing my diabetes in a consistent way. It makes me feel weak and makes me also feel like a terrible person. I have been struggling since Halloween up until then I was doing a lot better. I have to take it a day at a time and not focus on much past that. Something is driving you to use food and it is also difficult sometimes to figure out what that is... I still don't know it is probably more than one. My therapist helps me a lot. You need a support system and a safe place to be able to vocalize it and come up with some solutions. Baby steps. This is bigger than you so ask for help if you need it. It is hard when every day seems like living the same bad day over and over again., I am not striving for perfection but would like to be able to have some semblance of consistency. You are not alone.


I just want to tell you that I really appreciate this. I'm definitely going to look into therapy. And as for the Weight Watchers program, I don't know if I'll do that as of now... But I will check it out at another time. What I have to always remember is that moderation is key.
Thanks for replying! FYI: This is so inspirational I'm printing it out! :)

WOW. Thank you so much. You seem so sincere and I'm deeply grateful for your response. I ='m trying to find a local therapist, but my insurance company isn't making it any easier. I felt, even before I had read what you said, that I shouldn't do the Weight Watchers program. I tend to get obsessive-- with food, of course, and numbers and calories. SO it's best that I steer clear of that now. I will most definitely check out this website. Thanks so much for your help!

I'm so glad I added this forum because I've learned alot from it. Thanks for your response. It's really comforting to know that I'm not the only one struggling with this problem on Tudiabetes.

So I am just going to make one more comment about Weight Watchers. EVERYONE who works for them that you meet has had an eating disorder of some kind that they have overcome. And believe me almost everyone of them still struggles every day. You are in great company there and the beginning of the year is a great time to go becuase there are so many new people "checking it out". The energy is high and everyone is pumped up. And it is NOT dieting. That is exactly why it works. You eat the same everyday food you eat now. You just have a way of balancing what you eat to it's impact on your goals. The new points system is so easy to use you don't have to obsess. And there are fudge points every day for the "cravings". If I didn't know so many success stories who had eating disorders for so many different reasons I would not have answered a second time. And I will guarantee there are a ton of Diabetics mixed in to that group. So again - Today is the first day of the rest of your life, . And I get the therapy part too. Our healhcare system is soooooo messed up. I have heart issues to go along with my Diabetes. And have been on anti-depressants for several years. Good luck again and god bless.


I can relate. I was diagnosed with type 1 in college, was fit and well-controlled. I graduated, got a job and life was carrying on just fine. Then my parents died: mom first and dad five weeks later.

I was a mess. I took care of things from a legal perspective, but I didn't take care of myself very well. (I was applying to law school and got in around the same time.) I gained weight, moved away and shut myself off from people.

Part of it is the process. Reach out to grieving groups if that works for you. Go to therapy if that works for you. Talk to a friend if that works for you. You notice I keep adding "if that works for you". Different things are going to work for different people. I didn't take well to therapy. I did respond better to sharing with other people.

Therapy isn't necessarily the only way to go with grief.

For eating disorders, I'm not sure. However, simply because you've gained weight after losing your mother doesn't necessarily mean you have an eating disorder. It sounds like a lot of emotional eating. I'm not a professional though. That's just how it reads to me. I also indulge in emotional eating when things get stressful. I think if you tackle your emotions, the things you're trying to get away from using food, then things might get better.

Also, do simple things like getting out and taking a walk. As you progress you can get into more demanding activities. Physical exercise really does help your moods.

I'll watch this thread. Keep us posted.

Thank you for your response. I don't like labels, and I think that people with any "eating disorder" are just struggling with an obsessive behavior related to food. So if we were getting technical, then I would say I do have an ED. I have been saying that I'm going to look into therapy, but to be completely honest, I doubt it'll happen. Mainly because of the money issue and the fact that my family isn't all that supportive. Infact, I feel very alone, and I realize that it would benefit me to reach out to others, but I don't know who. My aunt is really great and is a wonderful person, but I don't think she would understand how I'm feeling.
As for the exercise, I've discovered lately that I'm becoming less and less motivated to do it. I don't know if this is because I think it's pointless because I'm going to eat what I "burn" anyway, or for another reason. I know I need to develop a healthier attitude on it.
Again, thank you for writing to me, and I will most definitely follow this thread diligently as well.

Im so soory about your mom. When we lose someone that we love and who is a crucial support in our daily life we aregoing to feel sadness and hoplessnessand alot of other things.My endo a long time ago told me myBlood sugars were not good or bad they were just numbers . Obviously overeating is not good but maybe testing more and talking to your endo. It is really common to gain weight after any loss so you are not alone. Its actually an attempt to comfort and not feel the pain. There are free grief groups in most communities and many counselors specailize in grief. Talk to your doc and check out getting some support through a grief group or one on one therapy. If your feeling alone and overwhelmed finding support can help.

As I suggested, there are grief groups that are online. Those are free but for having Internet access. That you clearly already have, so check those out. I've actually found online forums to be REALLY great for me. I can share my thoughts and get feedback. The forums I'm on aren't necessarily grief related, but they just let me express myself.

Also, check Meetup.com. I just joined a Meetup for motherless daughters. There might be something similar near you. If so, you have a group of people right there who are going through a similar thing. Therapy really didn't work for me or, at least, the therapist I tried didn't work and I didn't have the patience or desire to seek out another one.

Try the free resources for support that you can find online.

I really feel for you as I, too, am insulin-dependent and a compulsive overeater. I've found great help through Overeaters Anonymous and, since joining them, have lost nearly 20 pounds and have stopped binging.

You may have to try a few different groups at first; some groups are quite rigid while others are not...see what group feels right and welcoming to you, and then keep going back. It took me quite a while to get the binging under control, and I still have occasional slips (but never more than a day or so, and not often). My A1c's went from averaging around 7.0 to 7.2 before OA, and now they average 6.2 to 6.5!

Wishing you the best of luck in finding help.


I do not know if there are several levels of this but my problem was years ago when my bs was in the 400s I just could not stop eating. Since getting my bs in good order I no longer get these cravings.

I just want to tell you something I do. Before you go grocery shopping, plan out healthy meals and snacks. Then, only buy the things on the list. When you feel like eating something,all you will have is healthy foods. This seems to work for me, if i don't have it, i can't eat it. Once in a while i will buy junk food, a "treat" but it's ok to have a little bit at a time. You don't have to deprive yourself completely. My friend who lost a lot of weight had one day a week where she was allowed to eat whatever she wanted, but just the one day. It seemed to work with keeping her on track. But i also agree with the others, this sounds like a more serious problem than just diet issues. It is deeper than that. It is always a relief to be able to talk to someone face to face who can understand what you are going through. Believe me, it usually takes a big weight off of your chest when you are able to vocolize things that are running through your head and not be judged.

My parents did a program called FA (food addicts anonymous and it did wonders for my father's blood sugars. his A1C came down almost 2 whole points! It was better than mine! And my mother actually lost 100+ lbs! Good stuff! teaches you how to eat right and keep at it.

I don't have any advice, I just wanted to give you a ((((hug))))

sorry U R having such a difficult time w/ Ur weight. I am a recovering anorexic, and i can totally identify with what U R going thru. i am T1 on the Pump, and it is very challenging for me to eat properly. if i skip meals, i either go low (or sometimes high).
when i quit smoking 7 yrs ago, i went from a satisfactory 108lbs to a 136lbs. I am 5'4". i ate compulsively for the 1st 2 yrs after putting down the smokes. i would try dieting by doing the craziest things, for example: i would not give myself insulin so that i went high and thought i would lose weight, despite the fear of going into DKA. it has tkn me 3 yrs to tk off the weight. i did it safely w/ a CDE and a D nutritionist. i was totally open and honest with them, as hard as that was for me to do.but i am bk at 108lbs and have been stable for over 1yr and a half now. i have my body bk, with a few gravitational loose skins, but my tummy is flat, and i fit into all my old clothing. i am very strict w/ myself b/c i never want 2 blow up again.

to top it off, my husband is a marathon runner and does not have D. he consumes more carbs and sugars than i could find in a candy store. he used to eat behind my bk, but finally said "screw it" and now eats in front of me. often i stare and gloat and fill myself with pity...UGH. but it is what it is, and at least i have had the strength and courage to continue on my way. i wish U the very best of luck and i hope i have been somewhat helpful. please B in touch if you have any other thoughts you would like to talk about.