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.