"Diabulimia" ... A Dangerous Trend

By MAYS Latest Reply 2011-05-20 18:47:57 -0500
Started 2011-05-18 10:22:55 -0500

"Diabulimia" … A Dangerous Trend

For many people with type 1 diabetes, particularly teenage girls, skipping insulin doses to lose weight seems like an easy way to drop a few pounds, yet it puts an individual at risk for a variety of health problems.


Continuous high blood sugar levels can cause short-term effects such as dehydration, fatigue, and breakdown of muscle tissue. Over longer periods of time, individuals are at risk for developing many serious diabetic complications — including blindness, kidney disease, and heart disease — at a much earlier age.

Although the risks associated with restricting or omitting insulin are severe, the most alarming aspect of this behavior is how widespread it seems to be among type 1 individuals. One study found that as many as 30 percent of adolescent type 1 females have skipped or restricted insulin doses in order to lose weight.*

Recognizing the symptoms:

While skipping or restricting insulin doses to lose weight is a practice well-known among many within the diabetes community, few outside it are familiar with it, making it difficult for both parents and doctors to recognize the symptoms of this risky behavior.

Warning signs can include:

•changes in eating habits (eating more but still losing weight)
•unexplained weight loss
•unexplained hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)
•low energy levels
•frequent urination


2 replies

roshy 2011-05-20 18:47:57 -0500 Report

Well done for posting this.

Yound diabetics should be made aware of the severe effects and consequences this behavour can cause. Doctors and other health professionals need to be made aware of it also.

jayabee52 2011-05-19 07:47:02 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing this, Mays. It is very important topic, as I myself had done that for a while when I was working as a CNA.

I had been divorced recently at the time and was overweight. I felt I needed to lose the weight and so I ate high carb foods to put myself into ketoacidosis. I thought I could handle it, but did not realize the kind of damage I was doing to my system.

It was not worth it! I believe my diabetic neuropathy, kidney disease and perhaps even my ministrokes which threw off my balance and caused me to become disabled were due to doing that.

I am now strictly controlling my eating plan and am usually no higher than 130s now (as long as I stay on the wagon). I am losing weight on this plan.

Blessings to all!