Eating disorder in people with diabetes under the spotlight

Eating disorder in people with diabetes under the spotlight

A campaign has been launched to raise awareness of diabulimia, a severe and life-threatening eating behaviour disorder in people with insulin-dependent diabetes. 

The NHS estimates that four in 10 people with type 1 diabetes struggle with diabulimia, which is when people deliberately skip insulin injections, often to lose weight.

A type 1 diabetes organisation has carried out a series of surveys as part of its campaign to highlight the dangers of this complex condition.

Type One Style, which offers mental health support and products to those living with the condition, has compiled statistics on diabulimia, which is sometimes referred to as ED-DMT1 (Eating Disorder Diabetes Mellitus Type One) or T1DE (Type One and Disordered Eating).

The organisation interviewed people struggling with diabulimia and surveyed hundreds more, to shine a light on the true reality of diabulimia.

The key findings included:

94.8% of respondents said there was not enough awareness of diabulimia
56% of people surveyed intentionally give less insulin than they know they need, often for weight loss, or fear of hypoglycaemia.

The results can be found on the Type One Style website, along with online resources, information on the early warning signs of diabulimia and its long and short-term effects.

Author: Eileen Gilbert