Diabulimia: Forced Weight Loss by Diabetics Can Kill

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Diabulimia is a new term used to describe an eating disorder that’s beginning to victimize type I diabetics. As with any other eating disorder teens are the most likely to develop it. The complication is not limited to teenagers only. Any insulin dependent diabetic can become a victim. Diabulimia is developed when a type I diabetic begins to skip scheduled insulin injections as a means of weight loss.

Skipping an insulin dose for weight loss is a too-good-to-be-true proposal. Skipping insulin leads to hyperglycemia, excess blood glucose levels, which causes excessive urinating, a protection mechanism by which your body tries to bring down the sugar level. Excessive urination aids in the weight loss.

over prolonged period is very likely to damage your kidneys (diabetic nephropathy), eyes (diabetic retinopathy) and other organs like liver etc.

Hyperglycemia also causes ketoacidosis, a type of metabolic acidosis which is caused by high concentrations of ketone bodies, formed by the deamination of amino acids, and the breakdown of fatty acids. This also helps in weight loss. This is the reason why people with uncontrolled diabetes are normally thin.

The price to pay for skipping insulin to aid weight loss is extremely high and should be avoided at any cost. It is natural for diabetics with well controlled blood glucose levels to gain weight. It should be properly addressed by regular exercise and lifestyle changes, instead of quick-fixes like inducing diabulimia.

March 30, 2010: 5:52 am

In some diabetic patients the symptoms include loss of weight in addition to thirst, tiredness etc. When the glucose fails to enter the cells, the body starves for energy and the starved cells use fat and protein and this leads to weight loss.

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