Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | ePaper

Diabulimia

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Life Desk :

Diabulimia is a word that combines the meaning of two words - diabetes and bulimia. Diabetes is a condition characterized by improper storage and use of glucose due to insufficient amounts of insulin and bulimia is an eating disorder where the patient eats excessively and then induces vomiting to bring out the food. Diabulimia also known as ED-DMT1 (Eating Disorder-Diabetes Mellitus Type 1) is one of the most dangerous eating disorders and refers to the unhealthy practice of stopping or reducing insulin to manipulate or lose weight.
Diabulimia is still not recognized as a medical condition but it seems to be very well-known among diabetics. The individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes during adolescence, withhold the diet management and insulin treatment for body appearance and social acceptance issues leading to this disorder.
What are the Causes of Diabulimia?
Diabulimia is caused when an individual with diabetes reduces or completely stops the intake of insulin they require just as a way of losing weight. This way of weight reduction is extremely dangerous for one's health because it causes the blood sugar levels to increase, causing an extra burden for the kidneys by making them work harder in an effort to remove excess glucose from the body through urination.
Individuals suffering from diabulimia intentionally misuse insulin for weight control by the following ways:
Reduction in the prescribed dose of insulin
Stop the intake of insulin
Delay in appropriate dose
Manipulation of insulin
Causes of Diabulimia
Diabulimia patients maintain secrecy about their blood sugar levels, insulin shots, eating habits, and their blood sugar records do not match hemoglobin A1C results. They are generally preoccupied with their body image and have a tendency to cancel doctors' appointments.
Symptoms of diabulimia can be divided into short term, medium term and long term symptoms.
Short term: These are the short term symptoms of patients with diabulimia:
High blood glucose levels (Above 600 mg/dL or higher on a continuous basis)
Weakness
Fatigue
Large amounts of glucose in the urine
Constant urination
Constant thirst
Excessive appetite
Inability to concentrate
Electrolyte disturbance
Severe ketonuria and ketonemia
Low sodium/potassium levels
Medium term symptoms: These symptoms are shown when diabulimia is left untreated and so also includes some of the symptoms:
Moderate to excessive dehydration
Indigestion
Muscle atrophy
GERD- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
High cholesterol
Severe weight loss
Edema with fluid replacement
Proteinuria
Long term symptoms: If a type I diabetic person undergoes alternating phases of diabulimia, then the following long term symptoms will be expected:
High cholesterol
Extreme fatigue
Osteoporosis
Retinopathy
Repeated bladder and yeast infections
Edema
Neuropathy
Nephropathy eventually leading to kidney failure
Heart problems
Death
Symptoms and Signs of Diabulimia
What are the Risks Factors of Diabulimia?
Diabulimia is due to a combination of biological, psychological and sociocultural factors.
Following are the risk factors of diabulimia:
Type 1 Diabetes: Approximately 25% of women diagnosed with type 1 diabetes develop an eating disorder.
Family history: Recent studies have shown that if one has relatives (first degree relatives) with eating disorders or other mental illness like anxiety, depression, or addiction, it increases an individual's risk for developing an eating disorder.
Gender: A person of any gender can develop diabulimia but females have higher rates of developing the condition. Athletes: Individuals who actively participate in sports such as dance, running and gymnastics prefer slim bodies and so they skip the treatment and may end up getting diabulimia.
Homosexuals: Individuals who are identified as non-heterosexual or not cis-gender have higher risks of getting diabulimia due to discrimination and body image distress.
                       (To be continued)

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