I feel surprised and confused by this statistic: A recent study found that half of teenage women with Type 1 diabetes studied showed signs of an eating disorder.
Like the non-diabetic population, eating disorders in diabetics are most common in women. But what happens when you add type 1 diabetes to the mix? We are left with an unfortunate game of Russian roulette.
Diabetes is managed 24/7 by counting every morsel one puts in their mouth. We are taught to control our diabetes by manipulating foods eaten, insulin used and moving our bodies to achieve a magic glucose range. For some women — apparently half of us — this pressure is overwhelming.
Researchers at the University of Toronto are studying how women choose to eat and skip insulin to lose weight. With this set of unique issues going on, a name was coined: "diabulimia."
Bulimia through laxatives, vomiting, excessive exercising or by producing high blood blood sugars all have the same catastrophic results. Research shows that those with disordered eating habits actually had worse diabetes control — no surprises there.
A healthy weight can be maintained with type 1 diabetes without disordered eating habits. This is a serious health condition that requires intervention. If you or someone you love is in this situation it is imperative to seek the help of a healthcare professional.