“Diabulimia” Poses Threat to Type 1 Diabetics

EmaxHealth Health News

By Deborah Mitchell for EmaxHealth.com

People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, so they must take insulin injections to stay alive. Some type 1 diabetes patients, however, are engaging in a dangerous practice called diabulimia in which they restrict their insulin in an attempt to lose weight.

A quick review of the medical literature reveals few peer-reviewed articles on diabulimia, with one dated 2007 entitled “‘Diabulimia’ a growing problem among diabetic girls.” But the scarcity of literature does not mean this practice is not dangerous nor uncommon.

In fact, a study published in Diabetes Care in 2008 reported that out of 234 women with type 1 diabetes, 30% said they had restricted their insulin intake at some point in order to lose weight. An 11-year follow-up of these women showed that those who had restricted their insulin were more likely to experience diabetes complications and also had a shortened lifespan and increased risk of death.

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