Eating Disorders And Diabetes

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wormyeyelid's picture
Eating Disorders And Diabetes

As a Type 1 Diabetic, I know there's a major connection between Diabetes and Eating Disorders. According to research, people with Type 1 Diabetes are twice as likely to develop an eating disorder than the general public.
I believe that my diabetes has made a huge impact on my developing of an eating disorder, with all the emphasis on food and exercise. I have no choice but to read the nutritional information on the back of a product and I am also encouraged to eat sugar free and fat foods.

A relatively new eating disorder exclusive to Type 1 Diabetics has emerged: Diabulimia. This is when the diabetic sufferer reduces or skips insulin dosage in order to lose weight.
My mother has always kept a close eye on my blood sugars, so luckily my eating disorder has never evolved into Diabulimia.
Although before my recovery, I often reduced my insulin dosage by one or two units so that my blood sugars would be high and then I wouldn't have to eat. I also secretly reduced my insulin greatly when I knew I planned on going on exercise binge.
As I am not strictly bulimic (I have EDNOS, where I never binge, but I do purge to compensate by self-induced vomiting, over-exercising, chewing and spitting, and the use of laxatives), my blood sugar levels have not been greatly affected by my eating disorder.
However, at night I often ignored my symptoms of hypoglycemia, by taking glucose tablets or just trying to fall asleep. This scared me no end. I would risk falling asleep and never waking up rather than having to eat.

How has your eating disorder impacted on your diabetes? How has your diabetes impacted on your eating disorder?

whereisthelove's picture
I am not diabetic, but my mom

I am not diabetic, but my mom had type 1. She probably could not have been diagnosed with an ED, but she definitely had some disordered eating habits and was really focused on her weight.

Then again, so was her mother so it could have stemmed from that as well.

wormyeyelid's picture
Do you think your eating

Do you think your eating disorder was caused by genetical factors then?

whereisthelove's picture
Hmm... I don't know. I think

Hmm... I don't know. I think maybe my family could have played a role, but I don't think it was the only thing that caused it. Growing up I heard a lot of comments about being thin versus gaining weight and some of it was a little extreme. Once when I was having a ballet recital there were a few overweight kids there and both of my parents thought that they should be allowed on stage.

As far as genetics go, I don't know. I think it is possible since so many people in my family have weight concerns. But I really don't know much about the heritability of eating disorders.

chelsi323's picture
i agree. no one in my family

i agree. no one in my family has been diagnosed with eating disorders, but my mom definately has some disordered eating characteristics and has been dieting for most of my existance. i think being in that environment played a role in my eating disorder developing, but i dont think biology really had much to do with it, unless you take into account that i have been diagnosed with bipolar II. but again, i don't really find a genetic link there, either. so idk! lol.

pokeyssg's picture
I think it's both genetic and

I think it's both genetic and related to being a diabetic. Both my mother and I are type 1 diabetes. She has disordered eatting but has never been diagnosed with an eatting disorder. She is an alcoholic though. I struggled with anorexia for over 10 years, got my life together and was on the right track for over 6 years. I recently had to go through a kidney transplant, two years later a pancreas transplant and I loss the pancreas (the kidney is working great still) During this time I have relapsed with bulimia. I think genetics helped dictate what my stress coping strategies and tenancies were. Like someone else mentioned, as a diabetic there is that extra pressure to focus on food, calories, carbs, exercise . . .way to easy to become obsessed over these things and let them control your life.

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