Posted by: cindy | September 11, 2008


The public calls it “diabulimia” and clinicians call it “dual diagnosis”. Either term describes the potentially deadly combination of diabetes and eating disorders.  Patients withold insulin injections- the drug they need to treat type 1 diabetes- so their bodies will pass the sugars and carbohydrates they eat without processing them.  It may make them thin in the short run, but over time it can lead to increased rates of blindness, loss of limbs, kidney disease, heart disease and death.  Research shows the mortality rate is 33%.

Dr. Richard Bergentstal, MD Executive Director of the International Diabetes Center at Parkk Nicollet Methodist Hospital Eating Disorders Institute says “There is a great irony in a dual diagnosis, our diabetes patients are taught to count carbohydrates and calories and keep track of what they’re eating.  But doing this may also trigger an eating disorder“.

Dr. Steven Karp, Medical Director at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders comments ” Recently we’ve seen an increase in numbers of individuals with dual diagnosis seeking treatment for eating disorders”.

Currently, there is no established best-practice protocol for treatment.  Patients often go back and forth between specialists in the two areas with little or no coordination between them.

To receive a brochure from a nationally recognized treatment center for Eating Disorders please send your information via comment.


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