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Diabulimia

Discussion in 'Eating disorders and diabetes' started by AlanaElaine, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. AlanaElaine

    AlanaElaine Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hi, I'm 27 years old and I've been a type 1 diabetic since I was 16. I started off great and was super strick with my blood sugars but unfortunately denial kicked in and I slowly lost control of it all. I have struggled with mental health on and off through the years and my biggest fear is putting on weight. I was always fat as a child and growing up, I loved my food but before I was properly diagnosed I started to lose all the weight which at the time was great. When I got diagnosed and started getting help the weight started to come back again. I managed it by trying to exercise and cut back but I have never been perfect with my diabetes. I had my first baby.. he was healthy and I had a normal delivery, I got my HbA1c down to 48 but I put on a lot of weight during and after my pregnancy. I found it so hard to lose so I hit rock bottom and I started doing a silly thing... I was using my insulin to help me lose weight. I'm missing my Lantus most of the time and some doses of fast acting. Some days I can feel my heart beating so fast and out of my chest.. I feel so horrible... I'm irritable and I'm starting to lose my hair. I'm really struggling and I know that deep down in slowly harming my body. I want to be better with my diabetes and get back on track but I'm so afraid of the weight. I need help.
     
  2. cpea

    cpea Type 1 · Member

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    I am not a doctor or medically trained - I just want to say that at the start. I am a relatively recently diagnosed Type 1, I lost a stack of weight before diagnosis - and like you thought it was great - and have put on about 20lbs since starting to take insulin. But then I also did a dafne course and started eating more carbohydrates than I had been doing (I was initially diagnosed as Type 2)! Please, please, please contact your specialist diabetes team. I know there's a terrible virus going round, but you need some help. If you can do it by yourself start taking your lantus again and don't miss your quick acting. If you want to manage your weight you can naturally use less insulin by eating fewer carbs and learning how to exercise to manage sugar levels (easier said than done, I know), but the long term health risks of keeping your glucose levels high aren't worth it. In fact your daily life is worse if you have high blood sugars - your palpitations, hair loss and moods for example. Please seek help and take good care hugs x
     
  3. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello AlanaElaine, I am sorry to hear you are not enjoying life right now and you are abusing insulin to control your weight. You know it is a bad idea and physically you feel bad but that isn't making you stop so I'd say you need to find some professional help.
    There is a high incidence of eating disorders with diabetes type 1; getting weighed at clinics and being asked to be controlling of your food may be a reason for this.
    I don't know but i know how bad I felt not to mention guigly when I had bulimia as a diabetic. The only good hting about it was that it got me some help faster once I asked for it. I never sussed out dropping insulin but I did binge and vomit through out my 20s and totally regret wasting my time on it now that i am 49 and healthy but with sight loss due to unstable blood sugars during my teens and 20s.
    There is a choice that has to be made and you could carry on and live with high sugars, risk of complications and perhaps you won't go to extremes because of your child but this isn't a good way to live. I found my first step in asking for help was useful in getting an anti depressant prescription which seemed to give me the optimism and energy to do more. I had some cognitive therapy and kept a food and mood diary to help me be aware of the connections. This meant me feeling uncomfortable and fat at times. Could you do the latter in case you can't get help straight away under lockdown? I know its not simple or easy especailly as those around you won't get the diabetes bit probably but there will be plenty of type 1 s like me who get it a little and are urging you on.
    I knew I had turned a corneer when I just wanted to put good food into my body and was happy to accept whatever weight I ended up being. Curiously that has eneded up with me being a healthy weight now. Honestly - you can't have your cake and not eat it.
     
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  4. lexxfromdwed

    lexxfromdwed Type 1 · DWED Support

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    I want to be better with my diabetes and get back on track but I'm so afraid of the weight. I need help

    Hi Alana

    We have a peer support page on facebook under T1ED UK and Ireland.

    Im a postgrad researcher in diabulimia and 1 thing that came across strikingly in my research so far is that peer support can be the first step towards recovery. Many people have recovered and you can too.
     
  5. samanthabird83

    samanthabird83 · Newbie

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    You struggle to lose weight and you feel the easy and only way to do that is to purge insulin. You feel sick all the time and guilty because you're not present to care for your little one and you feel like your body is crying out for help, but for some reason, you don't feel like you can connect your mind to give your body what it needs because of the connection between weight and insulin. You feel extremely frustrated and somewhat powerless over this internal debate that you're tired of constantly fighting. You're stuck between wanting to be healthy and wanting to be slim, all the while affecting the condition of your mind negatively with the mixed message you're feeding into yourself.
    Instead of focusing on everything and tying it all in together, why don't you just focus on one commitment to yourself at a time? Maybe forget about all the different things you need to do to care for diabetes and all the ways you cant lose weight, and just promise yourself, just for today, you're going to take your Lantus. Decide not to think about it not to worry about any consequences, just take that Lantus today. Every day just make one of these commitments, one of these promises to yourself, and do just this one thing and nothing else.
    Doing this will release you from the massive pit of confusion and despair that comes with diabulimia and will enable you to feel like you're looking after yourself even in a small way. You will feel empowered by this one small change and you will feel like you're really moving yourself out of the problem and into the solution. This one small promise will give you the strength to make more small promises as the days pass perhaps but doing just this one small thing for yourself will build you up and allow you to feel like you are loving for and caring for yourself again. It will reconnect you to the self you have temporarily lost and will remind you that you can do this, you can cope, you can love yourself and you are worth it.
    So much love to you at this time my Diabetic sister. xx
     
  6. Torrianna

    Torrianna · Newbie

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    Hi,
    Firstly, I am so pleased that this support forum exists. I immediately feel less isolated and alone!
    I too am newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and I am terrified. I have suffered from anorexia and bulimia for over 40 years. Somehow, I have juggled with that and other life threatening issues, but this diagnosis has created a new crippling anxiety. Despite that, I know that it is a challenge I can learn to overcome. I have to, not just for myself, but for the increasing number of people (mainly women) who need to know that there is not just hope, but to see how that hope can turn into successful nutrition and healthy living.
    Luckily, I have been referred to a dietician who specialises in nutrition for diabetics with eating disorders. Although I am waiting for our first appointment, I am finding some calm from researching around appropriate nutrition, exactly what insulin does with carbs, how exercise affects all this and basically trying to right size the ‘enemies,’ and identify the allies.
    For example, I felt that my diabetes nurse was an enemy because she did not seem to understand the seriousness of disordered eating. I felt she thought it was my choice, and surely I should just follow instructions!? However, just this morning, she suggested some truly helpful ideas regarding a meal planning app and a more flexible rapid insulin routine! Next week I am getting a Freestyle Libre glucose monitor from her too.
    Later today I am speaking to a nurse from our local Severe High-risk Eating Disorders unit, and as well as their ongoing support, I should finally get a date for my first eating disorder/diabetes dietician appointment. I am also speaking to my GP to extend my sick note because I need to focus on learning to live with this as a priority. If I don’t do that, I will be incapable of doing anything. Full stop.
    One thing I have learned is that I need professional help for serious issues, and that it is there, BUT, I have to be proactive.
    I wish us all the best results and lives possible.
     
  7. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Torrianna - Apologies for taking so long to respond.

    I'm sorry you've had a new diagnosis to add the the issues you have been living with for a very long time.

    Whilst I am not T1, I am someone who has recovered from their anorexia, which was at it's peak some years ago, and took me close to death. When I was diagnosed T2 myself, I was terrified I would revisit my old, very harmful eating habits.

    I'm pleased to say that although there were times when I was tempted, I managed to avoid redeveloping those behaviours. I don't really know how or why, except that when the going was tough (and everyone has periods like that - ED or not), I just took small steps and only planned forward to the next meal, next day or whatever, the repeated.

    I'm sure your DSN will explain a lot of "stuff" to you, but I just also wanted to say that within most Diabetes Clinics/Centres, the have clinical psychologists working with people living with diabetes every day. I'm sure that gives them a specific edge iin understanding the additional challenges diabetes throws our way.

    You seem to be proactively looking for the help you need, and it's important you remain your own greatest health advocate. Nobody cares more about our health than we do ourselves.

    This forum is populated by people living with diabetes, and there are a number who either are or have lived with eating disorders alongside. Some are just a bit quiet about it, which clearly is a valid choice.

    However, please do stick around, and please participate in the forum. There's a lot here for you and thousands and thousands, if not millions of collective experience. I can't think of many times when a member has posed a question, or asked for assistance in any given area or topic, and help/support hasn't been on offer.

    Good luck with it all. It's a steep and fast learning curve, but you'll get there, I'm sure.
     
  8. Rachelp873

    Rachelp873 · Newbie

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    I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetics at the end of 2018. I was also diagnosed with Graves’ disease around the same time. I’ve never been good at managing my diabetics and have recently had my thyroid removed. I’ve put weight on since my thyroid has been removed ( I could prior eat pretty much anything and not put on any weight). I’ve realised that while I needed my thyroid removing I wasn’t mentally prepared for the weight gain. As a consequence I’m missing insulin and also been developing really bad eating habits. I’m very lucky that my specialist has been able to refer to my local eating disorder clinic and I’m waiting for my first appointment with them. The wait feels like forever and the daily struggle of knowing I should be taking insulin and not wanting to gain weight is exhausting. Fingers crossed you won’t have to wait to long to get the support you need x
     
  9. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    Rachel, I'm sorry to hear of your struggles.

    How long ago did you have your thyroid removed (totally, I'm assuming), and are you receiving thyroid hormone replacement treatment?
     
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