Do you have an eating disorder? Come on in :)

Diabetics with Eating Disorders is a not for profit organisation. Research shows that female type one diabetics at 2x the risk of developing anorexia or bulimia, & 40% of 15 – 30 regularly manipulate or omit insulin in order to lose weight.

Hi there, from my experience there are many factors contributing to eating disorders however I read a recent study that showed that compared to the general population diabetics had a higher incidence of the classical eating disorders (ie ana/ mia) I think that this is for the following reasons

  1. A diabetic by obligation must be preoccupied with food - they must always think about it and be mindful of what they are eating, and if they are not then they are chastised by carers and medical profesionals. This can lead to an obsessional fixation on food.
  2. Although it is changing now diabetics more than most are forced to categorise food as being good or bad. Food can become a battle field, can be a thing of rebellion, guilt or shame.
  3. More and More ‘Diabetes’ has become a buzz word for Obesity. Many young diabetics are determined to show that obesity did not cause their illness. This can lead to insulin ommission and/or undereating.
  4. Eating the foods recommended by the health pros does not work for all type 1s I know a lot of young t1s who were on a high carb diet and have become overweight as a result.

And of course we have deliberate insulin ommision

I had a eating disorder when i was a baby

Im what sense?

I’m just trying to understand this condition. Is this where someone is not taking insulin which in turn forces the body to “eat” itself to try to compensate for the loss of energy into the cells which can lead to ketoacidosis? Pretty much the weight loss associated with pre-diagnosed T1s?

Yep - essentially it is self induced DKA and it is very VERY dangerous. I had a lady contact me today via the website to say her 21 year old son had died of it.

I was initially looking up “diabulimia” for research/school purposes & after reading symptoms and stories I can clearly see that I have this eating disorder. I just went to prom on friday & I had been dieting and working out and consistently taking my insulin and was still gaining weight that I was trying so hard to loose so that I could fit in my dress. Four days before prom I decided to stop taking shots so that I could fit into my dress. I was also experiencing swelling everywhere (hands, eyes, feet) while taking my insulin & I didn’t want to look like that at prom, so I stopped taking my insulin.

I feel so ashamed and embarrassed writing this. People may read this and say, “suck it up & take it”. I don’t even want to think about an insulin shot right now because I know how I will feel and look afterwards but I also don’t want to die. I need self control over this, where do I start?

I don’t know if t his is the right place to post, but I am looking for other diabulimics to talk to. Those who understand first hand the pain and guilt and fear that accompanies it. I have a binge eating disorder, and often dont’ take insulin so I don’t put weight on. I eat to the point of pain. I am not fat, and I would rather be dead than fat. I am in counseling, and on anti depressents, but haivng had diabetes for so long, and now this eating disorder, it’s just awful. Is there anyone else out there with this?

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Hi There,

It’s an awful affliction it really is. There are others out there like us. This is a new group but if you have a look on the website and follow the link to our facebook group you will find nearly 400 others who represent a whole spectrum of diabetes related eating disorders from BED to ana, mia and deliberate ommission. Please feel free to add me as a friend if you want to talk. I will do my best to help you .

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I am happy to say that I am a recovered person who would purposely keep their blood sugar high to lose and keep weight off. I actually discovered it by accident in high school when I noticed all of the skinny girls only ate a candy bar for lunch so I started to do this and not take insulin for it. Soon, I lost 20 pounds in one month. When I realized how easy it was but did not at the time understand why it worked until I went to nursing school in college and learned more about ketoacidosis and its effects. It was a tough battle but I decided that my health was more important than my looks. Nobody cares how you look when you are in a coffin! Best wishes to anyone struggling with this, you can be healed. What counts is how beautiful you are inside.

I think Jacq Allan makes a few very good points that I was thnkign but could not articulate so well. I didn’t realize the whole diabulimic picture I was in until recently, but I was reluctant to admit that I had a problem and that diabetes was causing it.

I am a recovering Diabulimic. I still struggle daily with the need to withhold my insulin, but I just got on pump therapy to try to fight this disorder. However, I am struggling with the weight that I have gained. Can anyone help or give me suggestions?

Hi Eden,

Its really hard when you first et into recovery and the advice I’m going to give you is fairyly boring unfortunately. In the initial stages of recovery you have to give your bocy a chance to heal and your metabolism the chance to correct itself. The insulin pump should help MASSIVELY with that I know it did with me. You need to give your body some time to adjust before you can think about sensible weight loss

Thank you for your support. I already feel better health wise but emotionally it’s still hard. Everyday I want to go back to my old ways whenever I put on some clothing that’s become too tight. I will keep reminding myself that it all takes time.
Thank you!

inside out~
I am recovereing from diabulimia as of this week and I know what you are going through! I have had this disease, along with depression, for almost 7 years off and on, and I still struggle with it. I would love to keep in touch and to try to work it out together. Counseling is great and I am going through it too. Be careful about some anti depression meds cause they can put on weight as well as actually add to the depression. Stay in touch!

I definitely had struggles with eating disorders. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 14, I felt like I had lost all semblance of “control” I had over my body. So, I developed bulimia and anorexia to gain that sense of control back over my body. I went for an entire year without eating anything- staying alive on beverages alone. Then I went for three years of eating and then using a spoon to get it back up within an hour. Eventually, I didn’t even need to use my finger to get the food up- it was so reflexive.

I am, for the most part, recovered. It’s been eight years since I’ve mistreated my body like that. I still don’t eat often, but have overcome my struggle in that I eat when I’m hungry- don’t when I’m not. I still hate the weight gain and swelling that comes along with insulin injections. There is always something. But, I try to keep my body strong and healthy so when I have my baby (I’m 5 months pregnant), she will have a beautiful and strong mom to look up to.

Wow, I used to have this! I had no idea other people did this. I accitdently began Diabulimia. I guess I became overwhelmed and annoyed with carb counting and insulin doses that I began to eat whatever I wanted without counting any carbs or taking insulin, I guess you can say I pretended to not have diabetes, I had gone from 130 lbs to 97 lbs at 5’3" I looked horrible, I was skin and bones. When I finally realised why I was loosing so much weight and not gaining I just felt it was easier to eat whatever and loose weight without taking shots. I did cure myself, I relised I wanted to live a long life and not go blind and not have my limbs amputated because of my carelessness. its very hard to come out of but the feeling is worth it, no more depression, being tired all the time and now i can sleep at night because I used to think I wasnt going to make it in the morning. keep your head up guys! Not taking insulin…its just not worth it!

Don't suffer in silence, there are people who can help