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Diabulimia - Know Signs Of It!

Reviewed by
Dr. Rajesh Kesari 90% (31 ratings)
Diploma In Diabetology, MD - Diabetology
Endocrinologist, Delhi  •  23 years experience
Diabulimia - Know Signs Of It!

If you are diabetic and are in a practice of manipulating insulin levels to bring about weight loss, you must understand that it may have catastrophic consequences on your health.

Even though it is not yet officially regarded as a medical condition, diabulimia is a serious eating disorder that can bring about diabetes complications. According to experts, as many as one-third of the young female diabetics could be suffering from various diseases due to this condition. Even though it is more common in females, it is also seen to be occurring in significant numbers of young men as well.

Why is diabulimia one of the most dangerous eating disorders?
Diabulimia is a condition where the person deliberately injects less than the required amount of insulin to lose body weight. Contrary to type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes has no connection with lifestyle or diet. The ones who are affected need to get insulin since they are not able to produce enough insulin for their daily requirements. It is crucial to mention the function of insulin at this juncture. Without this hormone, the digestive system would not be able to break down the sugars from the foods and obtain energy from it. Without insulin, the sugars derived from food will be forced to feed the existing fat, organs, and even muscles.

When you are purposefully depriving the body of insulin, you are heading for permanent kidney failure, liver failure, fertility issues, heart diseases and even premature death. But it may not be visible from outside- you will have normalcy in your appearance. Since you are restricting insulin inside the body, you will have a very high blood sugar level. This invariably runs the risk of various complications such as damaging the eyes, kidneys and the nerve endings. The worst thing is that the warning signs may go unnoticed until it is too late. Therefore, it is always suggested to seek advice from endocrinologist as and when you notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above.

Know the warning signs
Even though the term is often deemed inaccurate, diabulimia holds the premonition of a serious pattern of disordered eating. Some of the most common warning signs of this disorder include:

  1. Unexplained weight loss
  2. Improper growth pattern in adolescents
  3. Hyperglycemia
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Recurrent spans of diabetic ketoacidosis along with extreme thirst, extreme hunger and frequent urge to urinate
  6. Poor blood glucose control, particularly if it was pretty well in the past
  7. Higher than normal haemoglobin A1c levels
  8. Microvascular disease that is affecting the eyes, heart, and kidneys
  9. Peripheral neuropathy resulting in weakness and numbness in hands and feet
  10. Disorder in eating
  11. Depression, deterioration of performance and social withdrawal

Manipulating insulin can be fatal for people who have type 1 diabetes. In case you see that you are affected by any of these signs and symptoms, you should seek medical attention without further delay.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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