An increasing number of women with diabetes are putting their health at risk by avoiding vital insulin treatment in order to lose weight .
According to a report in the Daily Mail, health experts in the UK are warning of the dangers of diabetic bulimia, or ‘diabulemia’ as it is commonly referred to.
Diabulemia occurs when insulin-dependant diabetics – typically those with type 1 diabetes – skip their daily insulin injections to lower their weight or prevent weight gain .
Because insulin is a storage hormone that promotes fat, regular insulin jabs can cause an increase in body weight. As a result, some diabetic patients, usually young women between the ages of 15 and 30, miss their injections, or manipulate dosage, in an effort to prevent this.
However, this causes blood sugar levels to rise which, over the long term, can lead to serious complications such as retinopathy and other eye conditions, kidney disease and neuropathy.
Experts predict that diabulemia now affects as many as one in three young female diabetics, and the problem is becoming so widespread that the charity Diabetics with Eating Disorders is campaigning for it to be recognised as an official mental health condition, as anorexia and bulimia have been for years.
Official guidelines on treating this diabetes-related eating disorder did not even exist until 2009 and the charity hopes that having an ‘official’ status, more help will be made available for those suffering from this serious condition.

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