the frightening world of eating disorders and distorted body images among young women has a new and potentially fatal entry, a condition called diabulimia. diabulimia is an extreme weight loss method that combines the natural side effects of juvenile diabetes with the unnatural compulsion known as bulimia or purging.

there are a number of dangerous side effects associated with the practice diabulimia, but perhaps the most worrisome is the effect of high glucose in the body. Ordinarily a type 1 diabetic monitor his or her blood sugar level several times a day and inject prescribed amount of insulin after reading. insulin would break down the excess blood sugar and return the diabetic to a fairly normal range between meals. some who practice diabulimia, however, can only inject enough insulin to prevent total insulin shock. a young girl suffering from diabulimia can have an extremely high blood sugar reading all day, seven days a week.
pressure young women feel to maintain a thinner body can lead directly to the formation of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia. When this pressure is combined with the social aspects of juvenile diabetes, the result can be some degree of diabulimia. the cumulative effects of long-term diabulimia is often permanently disabling or fatal. damage caused by insulin shock and unchecked high blood sugar levels can include nerve damage, hemorrhaging of the eyes and serious circulatory problems. Some women who practiced diabulimia in their teens and early twenties face these complications decades before other Type 1 diabetics.

diabulimia can be treated through professional counseling, but many eating disorder specialists may not be fully aware of the specific complications faced by Type 1 diabetics. sometimes diabulimics recognize the error of their ways and stop the behavior voluntarily, but it can still be serious diabetic complications requiring medical intervention.

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