Posted by: kellydh | October 17, 2007

Diabulimia at “Changing Diabetes”

A fellow diabetes advocate and friend, Alex from Australia, has written a really eloquent post on his new blog, “Changing Diabetes.”  He discussed diabulimia, which Wikipedia describes as “people with Type 1 diabetes who omit their insulin injections for the purpose of weight loss.”

As a person with type 1 diabetes, this does hit close to home.  When diagnosed, type 1’s lose a lot of weight, and that small, light, thin figure can be addictive and desired in today’s world of over-advertised 6 foot 110 lb models.   So, in an attempt to put off weight gain, type 1’s mimic life before diagnosis and spike blood sugars by not taking insulin.  They then lose weight, and see success in their efforts.

In a lot of ways, as I experienced, it is about control.  Being diagnosed with diabetes, especially as a teenager, can lead to really strong feelings of loss of control.   Weight is something that be “controlled” by diabetes, instead of having diabetes control your life.  Being on multiple daily injections, a strict diet and gaining weight for your efforts can be hard to deal with.  So, these people react the way they know how.

Diabulimia is extremely dangerous, however.  Any and every effort should be made to attempt to help these people before they cause themselves serious harm.  Any time blood sugars are high, there is the risk of future complications.  And that risk is certainly not worth a *supposedly* svelte figure.

Anyway, check out Alex’s article.



  1. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

  2. Why has the JDRF denied funding to Dr. Faustman and her research to cure Type 1 diabetes? Phase 1 has become the burden of proof that the “Faustman Hypothesis” is the frontiers we must explore to cure type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. JDRF – if you’re not part of the solution you are part of the problem! Here’s my call to action: Phase 2 of Dr. Faustman’s human trials are estimated to cost $25 million. If 1 million people watching this video have the wherewithal to donate $25 to Dr. Faustman’s human trials at MGH – the cure for millions is unstoppable! Do you have $25 to make a dream come true? Please donate to Dr. Faustman’s research

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