Anorexia and Bulimia

By DiabetesDiva Latest Reply 2008-07-25 09:20:33 -0500
Started 2008-07-20 08:48:32 -0500

I was anorexic and bulimic in my 20's. I'm 5'4" and weighed 89 pounds. This was in the 70's and seeing a doctor, but neither he nor I had any knowledge of eating disorders. With no help at all, I started eating again and drinking more alcohol. Only in the last 2 years, have I received help for the bulimia. Eating disorders do not go away and many older women still suffer from the disease. I'm one of the lucky ones, it's been over 10 years since I've had an episode.

I am curious. Has anyone else suffered from an eating disorder? Has there been any link between diabetes and anorexia/bulimia?


12 replies

ezuki4x 2008-07-25 07:03:35 -0500 Report

Why is it…and I may be dead wrong…that you seem to hear of these two disorders mainly in association with women? Anyone know the percentages of men vs.?

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-07-25 07:19:34 -0500 Report

Interesting that you would bring that up. My twin nieces who grew up in Southern California told me that their high school actually has had a huge problem with boys having anorexia.

They felt like part of it was the fashion trends, boys wanting to wear skinny jeans and have them basically fall off because they're so skinny.

Anyway, it was eye-opening to me to learn that this is definitely not only restricted to women and girls.

DiabetesDiva 2008-07-25 07:33:25 -0500 Report

I think women are more subjected to body image issues because of the media: TV, magazines, ads, etc. My husband has never said, "Do these pants make me look fat".
Pressure to being a "normal" size is more pervasive these days. I also think women are more apt to seek treatment for an eating disorder, than a man. There is so much shame and guilty associated with the disease. I have read there are more men and children being diagnosed with anorexia/bulimia. Like tmana stated, I had self esteem and body issues during my first marriage. My nutritionist and therapist are not aware of any programs in my area the deal specifically with men.
I'm curious too, I'll see if I can find some statistics.


JoJoCooks 2008-07-21 03:15:41 -0500 Report

Hi Kate,

I have always had eating issues. Never blumia..but it is VERY VERY easy for me to fall into not eating. This has really been on my mind since beinging diagnosed with T2. I am scared that I may fall back into some of the same patterns..cause I already see myself doing it a bit. Thanks for speaking out about this…I see my nutritionist on Wednesday, and I will definately bring this up with her.

Thanks again..


DiabetesDiva 2008-07-25 06:26:40 -0500 Report

Hey J-

Apparently, there is a correlation with diabetes and anorexia.
Because diabetes "diet" demands food restrictions, it's easy for an anorexic to fall back into not eating or eating very little. I belong to NEDA, National Eating Disorders Assoc.
Check out their website: And of course, I'm happy to help you in any way.

Take care-


JoJoCooks 2008-07-25 06:54:52 -0500 Report

Hi Kate,

Yes, I am falling into it too. I am again putting way too much emphasis on food and making it not ok to go off my diet at all. I really appreciate your advice and support and I will definately check out the link that you gave me. Thanks so much for your friendship…Its always good to know your not alone. Have a fabulous weekend my friend.


JoJoCooks 2008-07-25 06:57:03 -0500 Report

LOL hun..the link that you gave me is for the united dressing association something for horses..ha a better url..


tmana 2008-07-25 09:10:45 -0500 Report

Sounds like "dressage" — an equestrian (horseback riding) competitive event that moves horses through an obstacle course. The rider should remain in perfect control of the horse at all times, and IIRC, the rider should show absolutely no movement.

JoJoCooks 2008-07-25 09:20:33 -0500 Report

Yup..that is what it was was interesting..but not exactally related to this disucssion. Thanks for the clarification. Have a FANTASTIC weekend.


tmana 2008-07-25 06:57:25 -0500 Report

There is DEFINITELY a connection. The path to eating disorders starts with disordered eating. Getting the weight results one wants creates a positive sanction to go further with one's restrictions (in the cases of anorexia nervosa and orthorexia) and/or purges (in the case of bulimia). Not getting the results creates a negative sanction that increases the likelihood of new binges (in the case of binge eating disorder). All of these are obsessive-compulsive behaviors related to body image and self-esteem.

The dietary restrictions in trying to maintain "perfect" (or as near as reasonably achievable) blood glucose control require a similar level of obsession.

Those of us who have ever restricted, purged, or have any history of disordered eating (whether or not it got to the point of clinical diagnosis) need to be alert for these behaviors and address them immediately with our healthcare teams. There's more at risk than whether or not we can fit into a size 2 dress (size 2?! not even ana would get me there!) — it's our very life that we are fighting for.

Stay strong and fight D!

GabbyPA 2008-07-20 08:59:50 -0500 Report

Wow, I am glad you are here to share your story. That is incredible. I have no expertise in any of that, but can only imagine the confusion your body must had endured during those times. Thank you for being so brave, this will help others I'm sure.

DiabetesDiva 2008-07-20 09:31:25 -0500 Report

Thanks, Gabby. It's interesting, in the last year I've come out of the closet about my bulimia and diabetes. It's so liberating. I have no blame or shame for myself, just acceptance. I think that's partly due to my therapist who deals in eating disorders and body image. Body image is a hot issue in my group. Many years ago, I decided my size was not going to keep my from experiencing life and feeling good about myself. I do feel much better physically since I lost the weight.


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