by Stephanie | 5:21 pm

Eating disorders and diabetes

Eating disorders are so much common than what you may think. You may think “oh they’re just faking it for attention” or “get over it, it’s not that serious”, but this illness is not as simple as you imagine. In fact, having to deal with eating disorders and diabetes can be a deadly weapon that the person may be using against themselves.

Different Kinds Of Eating Disorders

Just because this illness has the word “eating” that doesn’t just mean that is a physical type of illness, but instead, it’s a more serious and complicated mental illness. I know that for some people that may be a complex thing to comprehend, but the more you know, the more awareness you’ll possess.

Eating disorders and diabetes can go hand in hand if the person doesn’t know the signs, or if they’re not properly educated.

How?

Well, let me explain it to you real quick.

eating disorders

An eating disorder is a psychological condition that can be caused by obsessing over food, body weight, what others may think of me, or by simply comparing your body shape with other people.

The problem starts when these eating disorders become an everyday thing. You feel like you are trapped inside your body with no way out. Your body may see that as a sign of alteration so it will start reacting and sending messages throughout your entire system.

Two of the major eating disorders are:

• Anorexia – This illness tends to start before the person hits adulthood. People think that they’re “overweighted”, or gaining too much weight, when in reality they’re on a normal weight range, or even underweight. Those who suffer from anorexia try to avoid eating in front of other people, so that they don’t notice their avoidance regarding certain foods. They count calories and they monitor their weight on a daily basis.

• Bulimia – A completely opposite illness of what anorexia is. People who suffer from bulimia tend to binge eat, in an excessively and unhealthy way, then find ways to drop all the weight of what they’ve eaten. That leads to an excessive amount of laxatives, self-inducing vomiting, and an unhealthy amount of exercising every day. This illness can lead to an obsession with overeating that can actually turn into something more serious like an addiction.

Statistics

• It is estimated that at least 30 million people in the U.S are currently suffering from an eating disorder

• 13% of women over the age of 50 are currently dealing with unhealthy eating habits

• Personality traits, genetics and the environment that surrounds you can be some of the major risks of triggering an eating disorder

• Almost half of the people who suffer from bulimia also suffer from a mood disorder

• People with type 1 Diabetes are in a higher risk of developing an eating disorder due to all of the restriction’s diabetes carries

• About 95% of eating disorders occurs in people from age 12 to 25

• 1 from 5 deaths from anorexia are suicide

binge eating and diabetes

• People who are suffering from an eating disorder can also present symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)

• About 81% of people who struggle with bulimia are also struggling with an anxiety disorder

• 70% may not seek professional help due to stigma and a lack of education.

• An estimated 80% of those who seek help and complete their treatment will hopefully recover, or have a significant improvement

Alarming numbers, right?

How Are Those Two Connected?

As I stated in the statistics above, people who have diabetes have a burden of not being able to eat what they want, when they want. All of this is due to the lack of insulin their body is giving them.

As a diabetic, I can clearly state that eating disorders are some of the most common causes of death when it comes to diabetes.

eating disorders and diabetes

I suffered from a binge eating disorder when I was 15, and I still struggle every day. I try to set-up my mindset in such a way that when the impulses come, I back off from the kitchen, or the restaurant I may be in. It’s hard…really hard. I have been clean for about 3 and a half years now, and even though I have my temptations, I try to fight them. Luckily I haven’t binge eaten in a while which I’m really proud of myself for such an improvement.

It takes a lot of determination and commitment to succeed. If both conditions are out of control, the best thing to do is reach out to someone or find professional help.

Please remember that not everyone has the same strength regarding their mindsets, so this can be more difficult to achieve for some people than from others.

What To Do?

Eating disorders and diabetes may cause a long-term damaging effect on you if they’re not treated as a priority. If you’re diabetic watch out for ketoacidosis (DKA) and any other sign that may be a danger to your health and well-being.

For those of you that didn’t know, a diabetic ketoacidosis happens when your liver is breaking fats too fast and then it releases a substance called ketone. Ketones ultimately makes your blood start becoming acid. Acid in your blood is a sign of danger to all your other organs and it can eventually end up in death. If you’re unsure of the signs and/or if you’re experiencing any of them, it is important to find a good educational source to help you throughout this difficult path.

I know it’s not easy talking to a therapist or anyone else within that matter, but if you do decide to do so, I will leave you these alternatives right here for online therapy instead of traditional face to face therapy that can sometimes be anxiety inducing and uncomfortable.

Talkspace

Online Therapy

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to just simply share your experience, please do so on the comment section down below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Comments

Christine

The online therapy options are wonderful. That should certainly encourage more people to seek help. I have never made the connection before between eating disorders and mental health issues. So, I’m grateful for having read your explanation here, it actually makes perfect sense, and I now understand it much better. The media are also a huge cause for such eating disorders, constantly projecting skinny, photoshopped actresses and models, bombarding teenagers with those false beauty standards. 

Good for you that you are clean now. How hard was it to achieve that? I would like to know what signs I have to look out for. I am a teacher in high school and we have had cases of anorexia, few, but still, they were there. If I could recognize the signs more easily, I could perhaps help more.

Nov 29.2019 | 11:49 pm

    Stephanie

    It was actually really hard. Especially the whole “avoiding” food situation. There are a lot of signs but for anorexia, the ones that you should look out for are: weight loss, fatigue, refusing to eat, dizziness, lack of motivation among other things. If there’s a history of depression and/or anxiety then you should also keep an eye on that.  

    Nov 30.2019 | 04:31 pm

Cathy

This is an eye-opening article to read. One of my friend’s friend was just diagnosed with bulimia and she was really going through a hard time. To think that diabetes can actually co-exist with the eating disorder is catastrophic. I work in the medical line and have seen my fair share of diabetes complications and eating right is the core therapy to keep the glucose level stable, if not optimum. 

Nov 29.2019 | 11:53 pm

Jonathon Howard

This is something I can closely relate to that I’ve seen family members struggle with it is a very real and very sad to watch someone go through and I also believe the disorder stems from some kind of abuse or underlying issues in someone’s past in some cases that’s what I’ve seen personally but the people i know have received treatment and seem to be doing much better now diabetes seems to run through my family really bad so I can’t say for ceartin if that had a part in them becoming a diabetic but I’m sure it didn’t help matters much but they found out they were a diabetic a few years after all that had taken place so I do agree on that eating disorders are very serious if not treated could be fatal tragic outcome great article keep up the good work the more people that are educated on this the better- Jonathon 

Nov 29.2019 | 11:59 pm

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