Are you or someone you love currently struggling with diabulimia? If so, you should seek professional medical help immediately. At Eating Disorder Solutions in Dallas, TX, we offer personalized diabulimia treatment for everyone of all ages. Focused on targeting the underlying causes of the disorder, our treatment processes will provide you the necessary support you need to overcome diabulimia, and to build a better relationship with food and your body. To learn more about diabulimia, its signs and symptoms, and how we can help you, please continue reading below or give us a call. Our compassionate team of medical professionals and nutritionists are here for you 24/7.
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What Is Diabulimia?
As a very serious and life-threatening eating disorder, diabulimia is when those with type 1 diabetes choose to not take insulin, in order to lose weight. Being that insulin is very important to survival for those with type 1, this eating disorder, if left untreated, can lead to lifelong complications and even death.
As previously mentioned, diabulimia is typically only present in those who have type 1 diabetes. Therefore, those with type 2 diabetes or without any diabetic condition are not prone to this disorder and thus cannot develop it. In fact, diabulimia isn’t actually a medical term, however, it is the term coined by most people. Those in the medical community have been commonly known to refer to diabulimia as ED-DMT1, or Eating Disorder Diabetes Mellitus Type 1.
In regards to prevalence, diabulimia is unfortunately very common – with numbers slightly skewed toward women, rather than men. Approximately one out of three women with type 1 diabetes will suffer from diabulimia, whereas approximately one of six men will experience the same.
Signs & Symptoms of Diabulimia
Being that diabulimia is not explicitly included in the DSM-V, spotting the early signs and symptoms of this diabetes-related eating disorder can, at times, be slightly difficult. Diabulimia can stem from a variety of factors, whether it be a mental, social, or physical health issue, or a combination of the three. Diabulimia development can be created or exacerbated by poor body image, stress, trauma, and more, and can affect those of any age. Since diabetes is already associated with strict control and food management, it makes those with the condition more susceptible.
One reason why diabulimia occurs is because of the guilt/shame and self-consciousness that is created when beginning insulin intake (after being initially diagnosed with type 1 diabetes). Before insulin, you might have noticed some weight loss. And now, with insulin, you may experience some weight gain. Although this may be easy for some to handle, it is hard for others. For those who find this difficult, they may begin to reduce or eliminate their insulin intake entirely, in an effort to reverse any weight gain – which is very dangerous.
For further education, common diabulimia signs and symptoms are below:
- Increased secrecy about or disregard for their diabetes management, including food habits, insulin intake, etc.
- Increased preoccupation with body image
- Fear of insulin’s effects on weight
- Restricting certain foods or groups of foods entirely from their diet
- Frequent cancellations of doctors appointments
- Unfilled prescription medications
- Excessive amounts of exercise
- Weight loss that is unexplained
- Nausea and vomiting
- Constant feelings of thirst (dehydration)
- Frequent spouts of urination
- Dry skin and/or hair
- Blurred or decreased vision
- Increased feelings of fatigue
- Menstruation irregularity
- Irregular heartbeat
- Recurrent DKAs
- Depression, anxiety, or isolation from social activities and events
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Diabulimia Treatment Process
Again, given that diabulimia is not included in the DSM-V, the diagnosis process may be a little different. Regardless, it’s still very important that you seek treatment as soon as possible. At Eating Disorder Solutions, our diabulimia treatment center in Dallas, TX provides a variety of programs, including residential, partial hospitalization, or outpatient treatment – all aimed at providing long-term recovery and minimizing long-term health consequences. Our treatment programs and therapies are designed to help you overcome your diabulimia tendencies, and to facilitate a stronger, healthier relationship with you and your body.
Diabulimia Treatment at Eating Disorder Solutions
With the most caring and supportive staff, Eating Disorder Solutions gives all of its patients the necessary tools and resources needed for an effective and successful recovery.
Before you begin diabulimia treatment, we’ll have you take part in our intake process and initial diagnosis screening, which includes preliminary questions and a general physical evaluation. And although this may seem daunting at first, know that it isn’t. We make sure that the process is as comfortable and comprehensive as possible. We’ll even have one of our intake specialists guide you through all beginning stages of intake.
These initial stages and assessments consist of a series of questions aimed at better understanding your medical history, a confidential interview, and a physical exam – a benchmark to accurately measure and assess the current state of your overall physical health. This exam consists of basic measurements such as height, weight, and BMI, as well as an examination of your lungs, heart, vital signs, and other diagnostic tests, such as blood work, EKGs, and X-rays.
Post intake, we’ll introduce you to your treatment team, the group of amazing individuals and medical professionals who will care for you and provide specialized recovery strategies and therapies during your treatment. With 24/7 onsite assistance and monitoring, our staff is here for you round-the-clock, providing the necessary support to address any of your needs, concerns, or circumstances.
Depending on your case of diabulimia and its severity, the appropriate treatment program that’s recommended may vary. However, we provide residential treatment, partial hospitalization treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment. While outpatient care is less intensive (an hour of therapy once or twice a week), residential treatment allows you the opportunity to solely focus on recovery without any external pressures.
As for partial hospitalization treatment, this will be similar to the structure and intensity of the aforementioned residential program, however, patients will have more freedom and open opportunity to recover outside of a controlled environment – requiring patients to visit only 5-6 days a week. We understand the unique challenges and struggles that accompany each individual, knowing that one solution may not work for everyone. Thus, we make sure that our methods are catered to each individual specifically.
Regardless of the program, our diabulimia treatment center offers a safe environment where individuals can heal in peace, without any stigma or judgement. With attentive care to feelings, growth, and recovery, we make sure to provide only the best medical support and treatment possible.
The Impact of Diabulimia if Left Untreated
If left untreated, diabulimia can lead to a series of lifelong health consequences, including disease and even death. Without enough insulin in your body, your blood sugar levels will surge exponentially, increasing the risk of never returning to normal levels. In turn, this can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be fatal. Other common health consequences of untreated diabulimia are listed below:
- Electrolyte irregularity
- Muscle loss (atrophy)
- Retinopathy and permanent eye damage
- Staph infection, yeast infection, and other bacterial infections
- Diabetic ketoacidosis
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
We understand that diabulimia can, at times, feel unsurmountable. As tough as the situation may seem, though, just know that it’s overcomeable. With the right treatment and support, you’ll be back on your feet, healthy and happy in no time.
Get Help Starting with Diabulimia Treatment Today
If you have type 1 diabetes and believe you are suffering from diabulimia, please contact Eating Disorder Solutions in Dallas, TX immediately. Our premier diabulimia treatment center provides comprehensive and effective strategies for tackling this disorder. Our team of dedicated medical professionals will make sure to provide an effective plan that will work best for you, tailoring to your specific needs and circumstances.
And although diabulimia only affects those with type 1 diabetes, other eating disorders can still affect those with type 2. Therefore, if you have type 2 diabetes and are struggling with any form of eating disorder, please do not hesitate in reaching out for medical help. Our team at Eating Disorder Solutions is more than qualified in assisting you in understanding and overcoming your situation – providing the support and medical attention needed for a successful, healthy recovery.
If you’re ready to begin your journey towards a healthier life and happier you, contact Eating Disorder Solutions today. Our diabulimia treatment center is only one call away.