Diabulimia

I have had a few people ask me about diabulimia. Interesingly enough, I have just completed a project about this topic, so I'm going to try to address it here. Because I do not have this problem, I am putting this on the spot now: I am not an expert about this topic. I am only addressing it here because people have asked me to do so. (See http://journals.lww.com/dccnjournal/Abstract/2009/07000/Diabulimia)

Diabulimia comes from the words 'diabetes' and 'bulimia', but it basically refers to people with type 1 diabetes (autoimmune) who suffer from ED as well. They misuse their insulin by giving too little (or none at all) in order to lose weight.

I empathize with people with this condition because it is really hard. Diabetes is a complciated condition that NEEDS to be treated, espeically type 1. These people NEED insulin to live because without it, their body cannot get enough nutrition. So, not using their insulin really does make them lose weight, but they also become very sick. Withholding insulin means that theit bodies cannot use glucose for energy, so it begins to break down fats. This leads to ketoacidosis, a lfie-threatening condition that needs immediate medical attention.

I know that having diabulimia is tough - ED alone is hard, even without diabetes. Recovery from this is necessary because again, both conditions are life-threatening. You need good, medical care. Diabetes is totally manageable with a good healthcare team and plan. While ED will not want you to use the insulin, you need to know that you HAVE to use it. It is your medicine. You might gain some weight, but it will stop when your body is healthy. If you are following your treatment and what your healthcare providers say, they will not make you fat. It IS hard having to use insulin when you feel that every inch of you does not want it. Having an insulin pump is hard beccause you feel so angry that you need to use it. But without insulin, you can die.

ED makes life so hard, doesn't he? He will try to hurt these people with diabetes, telling them not to use insulin so that they can lose weight. What he does not say is that this will kill them. He fills their heads with thoughts of gaining weight but he does not tell them that if they follow a meal plan, they will not get fat. I know many people with type 1 diabetes who are healthy and not fat, nor thin. It is POSSIBLE. You just need to follow your treatment plan - whatever that may be. Maybe you need to follow a meal plan, take insulin, or carb count. It seems tedious, I know. But it is what your body needs.

If you suffer from diabulimia, know that you are not alone. There are many people who have the same condition, but because the DSM criteria does not include it, it can be hard getting treatment. But you DESERVE help. I know that getting into a treatment centre is difficult (if not impossible) beucase diabulimia is not considered a true 'eating disorder'. But in my eyes, it IS. And you deserve help. If you cannot get into an ED program, get to the hospital and tell them that you need help. Get to yor doctor and dietitian and get a plan to follow. I do not care what anyone says - any ED, big or small, strong or weak - is a mental illness. Anyone who suffers from any type of ED needs help because they cannot do it alone. They deserve to get treatment. No one can tell you that you do not deserve help. Recovery is possible. But you need to accept that you need treatment, and that for now, insulin and food really are your medicine. They are necesary. ED will not like this. But you need to tell ED to SHUT UP because you deserve to LIVE and be HEALTHY.

Stupid ED. He is such a loser. He tries to make victims fall in any way possible. But we are stronger. You might not feel strong, but know that there are always people here to support you.

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