Hi there, first post! I recently have been struggling with a relapse in binge eating disorder…something that is oh so incompatible with 'beetus. I was wondering if anyone here has any experience or tips with issues like this? The worst part is the unpredictability of my blood sugar after the binge and the anxiety of guessing how much insulin to take to ensure that I don’t sky rocket OR plummet when all is said and done. Anyone relate?
I don’t know whether my occasional binging is so extreme to be officially diagnosed with “binge eating disorder.” But I know about eating just one cookie that turns into ten and multiple evening snacks that make overnights hugely difficult.
This is a blogpost I wrote in mid-2017 that shares some of my struggles and those of an online friend. I also mention some of my “stupid pet tricks” for trying to avoid binging.
Because diabetes so strongly thematizes eating, it induces eating disorders as a natural result of the highly unnatural orientation the patient is required to have towards food. The sociologist Bruno Bettelheim theorized that a spontaneous and relaxed attitude towards eating was essential to a healthy psychological attitude toward life, but diabetes requires a planned, vigilant, stressful, and self-punishing attitude towards eating, with all the consequences of that mental approach.
Breezy, bravo for posting this. I was diagnosed w T1 at age 11, devoloped bulimia at 15 until my early 30’s. I really thought I would never be able to get it out of my life. Good cognitive therapy and support groups where I could be honest.
I liked the comment about Bruno Bettelheim. I also think that when I binge I usually am in the midst of feeling very anxious or angry. In retrospect, I think that bulimia made my sugars high and I consequently felt thick and stoned. Effective if destructive sedation. In adulthood now, when I overeat I do my best estimate dose and then forgive myself as fast as I can and start over. My a1c isn’t as good as many here but I’m usually around a 6.5. I’ve had diabetes 50 years. Considering my hx, I feel really lucky. I think many diabetics struggle w this issue. Thank you for bringing it into the light. Best to you. Kim
What my wife and I find is that if we avoid sweets, it’s a heck of a lot easier to not eat junk or “binge eat”. If we stick to fruit, veggies, meat, fish, and chicken, our bg’s thank us and we don’t crave junk. Once we have a “treat”, we want more, and more, and more. It only takes a couple of days of eating properly to reduce the cravings, in our experience.
We are both pumpers, btw.
You all are onto something with needing to have a relaxed attitude towards eating. Something we definitely have a tougher time with given the circumstances, but something I will definitely be working on!
I can so relate to this, Beezy. I also suffer from BID, and I did find some help with a 12-step program. I had a hard time, however, finding a sponsor who was willing to talk food plans with me since everyone seems to be afraid of giving food advice to a diabetic. At the time, I really needed advice on meal planning.
Since then, I’ve remained mostly sober, but I do have occasional lapses. What puts me back on track is watching my bs’s and A1c go up, or getting on the scale and seeing that I’m starting to gain all the weight I lost.
Having diabetes AND Binge Eating Disorder definitely makes life even more difficult, but not impossible. I think the messages we get about being “perfect” make BID symptoms worse, so the other thing I do when I have a relapse (and most of them have been mini-relapses for the past few years) is remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect, just good enough. I think all the years of dieting for one reason or another just led to the “deprivation” way of thinking, which, for me at least, led to the binge eating. I’m on a pump now, which means I can have a treat now and then and not lose control of my bg’s, so I’m much more likely to delay the treat than just dive into an entire 4-hour (or 4-day, or 4-week) binge. Knowing I can have something makes it a lot easier to put it off, and that helps me get back on track even when having a treat leads to a mini-binge, if that makes sense.
Hope this helps.