Type 1 Diabetes and binging

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.

Very sorry to hear of your struggles. Best advice is to find a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. Interview a few to find the one you feel comfortable with. Just like everything else, there are good therapists & not good ones. You can't do this alone & don't have to. Many people have eating disorders.

I absolutely agree with Gerri. I've been in recovery from an eating disorder for 17 years, but suffered with it before that for about 30 years, so I know exactly what you are going through. For me, I had to tell myself that it wasn't about the weight, or how I looked but about how I felt inside and how I wanted the insanity of my eating disorder which affected me every waking moment to stop. Once I stopped worrying about my weight and dieting I was able to get recovery. Which is not to say it was easy. It was hard work. Everyone is always impressed that I haven't eaten sugar in 17 years (except for those pesky glucose tabs which I consider medicine), but I tell them that stopping was the hard part, after that staying stopped wasn't so hard. Yes, it is a physical-psychological-emotional and even social condition, so you need to speak to all of those issues. A good therapist who specializes in eating disorders or an eating disorder program is the way to do that. Other options are to join an eating disorder therapy group and to attend OA which now has meetings online as well as in most good sized towns.

For me, I had to also recognize that I was addicted to sugar and the only way to get past the physiological aspect of that addiction was to not eat any sugar at all. Within about 30 days the cravings will go away and then you "just" have to deal with the rest of the emotional issues that make you binge. You don't say exactly how long it's been, but it sounds like a relatively short time (compared to say, 30 years!). The shorter it's been, the more positive are your chances of getting recovery. But "swearing I won't do it tomorrow" doesn't work; it's actually a part of the cycle of "swearing you'll be good" then "screwing up", then giving up punishing yourself by binging some more. It just goes on and on, but recovery is possible and will change your life!

As for the diabetes aspect, I'm lucky I didn't have to deal with that as I had 13 years recovery when I was diagnosed with D and I'm grateful for each day of it because many of the things I have to do for my diabetes are the direct opposite of what I learned worked for my ED. But the one thing I know is it makes it even more important to get recovery, because your health is at risk. Please continue to take the insulin for the carbs you are actually eating, and if you binge and then go high, to correct. But do get yourself started on the path for help. Feel free to friend and message me if you have any specific questions.

I am sorry to hear about what you're going through. I personally think disordered eating is a guaranteed "companion" for anyone with T1D. I don't think I've met a single woman with T1D who doesn't have some sort of disordered eating or an eating disorder. When so much of your life is focused around food in an almost-obsessive manner just to survive (like counting carbs), it's only natural.

First, please know that many of us have been there. You're not alone. And, thankfully, disordered eating among T1s is far more acknowledged now than it has ever been. Endos are more aware of it (at least from what I've experienced) and I think so are more therapists. Ask your endo for a referral to a therapist who is familiar with eating disorders and T1D.

In addition, Jess over at Me and D (http://jess-meandd.blogspot.com/) has written about her own struggles with an eating disorder. I know for me it was refreshing to hear from someone who "gets it."

Hang in there and know you are NOT alone in this. If you don't like the response from your endo, find another endo. Hopefully someone here will post from your area of the country with info to a therapist who can help.

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Thank you so much for sharing with me. Next time I see my endo, I'm going to ask her about therapy. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one, so thank you for that.

This is so inspirational to me. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this to me. You must be so proud of yourself-- I know I am of you! :) I'm going to message you with some more questions I have...

Sounds good, Egirl!

I totally agree about the prevalence of disordered eating among T1's, Busted. I think it's more prevalent than anyone realizes. As a little kid I was on one injection a day (back in the old days!), and I was often denied food. And as an adult I still find it hard to deny myself anything foodwise.


I think these days therapy is a total waste of money. You’ve got forums like this to get help and advice from people when you don’t want to talk to your friends and family.

The whole world laughs at the US and its “I’ve broken a nail so I need therapy” obsession.
I think you’d be better off spending a fraction of the money going swimming, or something else you enjoy.

The other thing is that I think that lots of people are miserable and self-medicate with food, drink etc. It’s not a diabetes thing.
If all this therapy was so good then the US wouldn’t have the worst obesity epidemic in the world.
The UK is like the US’s little brother making all the same mistakes a few years later.

Having binged myself I think it’s a reaction to having to be so controlled and organised all the time.
I think some practical changes like incorporating the treats as puddings with your meals rather than snacking are what’s needed, together with some help from the generally nice people you get on diabetes forums.

I don’t think there’s any getting away from the unfairness of getting something like diabetes and the best thing to do is keep busy and not obsess about it.

In my opinion it’s only been the fact we couldn’t afford to that has stopped us from overeating in the past.
Binging on sweet, salty, fatty food when we can get it is built into 1000s of years of evolution.
Bad food is so cheap now we’re having to struggle against are natural instincts.

I struggle with food too. My son died almost 4 years ago, which is when I was diagnosed with T1. I think the stress affected/accelerated my D. I would encourage you to try a short term rigid diet of pre packaged foods with known carbs to get your bg under control. The reason is that high bg may be making you hungry--I know it has that effect on me. Perhaps if you can get ahead of your bg for a few days straight, your appetite will be more manageable? Talk to your friends and family about it. Let people in so you have somewhere to go. Best of luck to you.

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Therapy may be a waste of money if the person seeking it is truly only suffering from superficial, circumstantial and/or temporary problems. However, I don’t believe it is anyone’s right on this forum to deliberately tell someone who is seeking help, that their problem is just a symptom of our gluttonous culture. Jamesuk, have you ever suffered from an eating disorder? It is not something that you can snap your fingers and presto chnageo it disappears. It behaves much like any other psychological illness. Often times, those of us who live with an eating disorder truly do need support from a trained and specialized professional. While going swimming, etc can work as one part of the treatment plan, it is certainly not a fix all.

Hey James UK...I am writing this not to stir up an arguement, but rather show another side of the dicussion. I have been a Type 1 diabetic for over 23 years, and also a therapist for eating disordered clients for over 4 years. I agree that as diabetics we are constantly having to be controlled, organized and on top of that thinking of food an its affects almost 24/7. However, if the OP is binging due to whatever reason there is (not feeling in control b/c of diabetes, loss of her mother, etc), swimming or adding pudding to her meals are not going to "cure" the underlying cause to why she is binging. The binging is the "complication" or symptom of the bigger picture. To the OP...when you deny yourself of anything regardless of what it is, that thing you are denying takes on a whole new importance. I think that it is a good idea to talk to someone who is well versed in working with diabetics and eating disorers, maybe to help talk out the underlying reasons for the binges (and I pretty much guarentee you it has nothing to do with the food). Take care both of you :)

Hi EGirl,

I just read your post. I was just curious if you are still struggling? I am 20 and over the last two years, I think I have developed a binge eating disorder. Lately, it seems to have taken over my life. I’m not withholding insulin, but this type of life style has kept my blood sugar entirely too high as well. When I binge eat, my blood sugar spikes really high. I get more hungry and tired, so I will give insulin and go to sleep. When I wake up, I will feel completely exhausted and hungry. It’s a cycle I can’t seem to get out of. Just wondered if you figured out how.


Hi Morgan,Honestly it’s still been a bit difficult for me. Realizing I’m harming my body, yet binging still. I did this really intensive bootcamp/diet thing and I was feeling so great. Now that it’s ended I feel like my binging has become worse than ever. I wish I could tell you I found the “cure” to this cycle, but honestly it’s so beyond me at times… I’ve done plenty of research though and multiple people have told me the book Brain Over Binge saved their life. Might be worth a try. Would love to stay in contact with you though. Maybe try getting out of the funk together? Hope you’re enjoying your weekend so far.-Emelina

I was dx in the mist of Bulimia and sever depression at the age of 18. At the height of it my A1c was 13.5 and I had a blood sugar over a 1,000. I only know it was over 1,000 cause I was in the hospital my meter had been reading 'HI" for over 6 months which was over 500. The doctors told my mother I would most likely die or end up in a coma cause I couldn’t stop. I would binge up to three times a day.
I am now 38 and a1c 5.3 and a full time yoga teacher/holistic heal coach specializing on weight loss and eating disorder. There is so much I can say on this topic. Traditional therapy never worked, I also was impatient 3 times in the psychiatric hospital for suicidal thinking/bulimia. If i can turn it over anyone can.
If you want to connect I can try to give a little insight or tips that helped. I wouldn’t know how to begin here feel free to text and set up a time to chat. 203 623 - 3969. If I can help give direction I will :slight_smile: I can only share my story and hope my journey was for a reason to then give to others.

Hi Morgan, I am also suffering with bed I would love if someone can give me some advice I have horrible insurance and in my state I feel no one specializes in bed. I can not enter a treatment center. As I am a single mother and have to work full time. I have had diabetes for over 30 years and my bed just came on about 3 years ago. It is now worse then ever and my rennet hba1c was 13.7. I really need to get better I’m worried I will suffer worse complications then I already have