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New Diabetes Diet Sweeping America Could Cause Critical Illness

According to recent studies a serious eating disorder is spreading throughout the Type 1 diabetic population, including over half a million Americans. Known as ‘diabulimia’, this disorder occurs when diabetics skip vital insulin injections to cause dramatic weight loss. It is a psychological condition that can lead to critical diabetes associated illness and even death.

The exact number of women affected by this frightening diabetes diet is hard to determine as most people who are skipping insulin injections will not actually admit it whilst they are suffering from diabulimia.

What is clear is that diabulimia is spreading, and many people feel that the Internet is to blame.

Diabetes diet tips shared on the worldwide web

Although diabulimia is not an entirely new phenomenon, its rapid growth is thought to be due to Internet chat rooms and message boards where diabetic women can discuss and share ideas quickly and easily. Existing diabulimics are encouraging fellow diabetic women to lose weight by missing the insulin injections that they need to remain healthy.

Diabulimics are putting themselves in great danger

Type 1 diabetics are dependent on insulin shots to stay alive and skipping insulin doses can have incredibly serious consequences. The long list of risks ranges from nerve damage resulting in blindness or amputation, to kidney and heart disease. Diabetics that are skipping their medication have a high risk of coma and ultimately death.

Matt Hunt, Science Information Manager from the research charity Diabetes UK made the following statement:

This eating disorder is extremely dangerous. Blood glucose that is too high for too long can cause serious complications, with diabetes being the leading cause of blindness amongst the working population in this country. Cardiovascular disease can also result from long periods of insulin abuse as well as kidney disease and nerve damage.”

So how does this diabetes diet work?

There are three ways that missing insulin doses can lead to weight loss:

  1. Frequent urination is caused by high blood sugar levels and this can lead to weight loss as well as dehydration.

  2. Diabulimic are not benefiting from the calories they eat as they have no insulin to break down the sugar in the food and carry it throughout the body.

  3. Over inflated blood sugar levels can result in muscle breakdown which in turn leads to weight loss.

Is someone you know following this diabetes diet ?

If a diabetic friend or colleague is skipping their insulin medication in order to lose weight, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • They are making more trips to the toilet than usual

  • They seem to have low energy levels and are constantly tired

  • They are eating excessively but are still losing weight

If you suspect someone you know is diabulimic, always encourage them to seek professional help. Diabulimia is a psychological disorder meaning that sufferers will not necessarily respond to reasoning and logic. By trying to deal with the situation on your own your friend or colleague may become defensive and try to hide their condition more effectively.

Justifying the risk of critical illness just to be thin

For those of us that don’t suffer from diabulimia, it is hard to understand why someone would avoid life saving medication in order to lose a little weight. We may believe that diabulimics do not know the risks of their diabetes diet, and that if we just educate them on the risks this will be enough. Unfortunately this is not the case.

Most diabulimics know the risks they are taking by missing their insulin shots, but all too often the fear of critical illness is outweighed by the fear of being fat. The damage done to the body by skipping insulin is gradual, internal and easy to ignore, whilst the weight loss that results from this diabetes diet is immediate and very visible.

Most diabulimics start by skipping occasional shots just to lose a little weight, and the dramatic results quickly become addictive. They will reason that they will begin to take regular shots again once they have lost enough weight but somehow they never think they are quite thin enough.


But aren’t diabetics encouraged to lose weight ?

Whilst it is true that gradual weight loss is very positive for overweight diabetics because it gives them more control over their blood sugar levels, losing weight by skipping insulin shots is never recommended.

Diabulimia is a serious eating disorder, with similar symptoms to anorexia or bulimia, although it is not currently a recognised medical term. Anyone suffering from this disorder is damaging their body in one way or another, and even if they are overweight skipping insulin injections can never be a healthy alternative to good diet and exercise.

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