Eating disorders and disordered eating are dangerously slippery slopes for any person. The surface can become even more unsteady when dealing with both food issues and diabetes.
The frustration over the constant vigilance with food and numbers can become overwhelming and may lead to disordered eating patterns for you or your loved one with diabetes. This article written by Diabetes and Eating Disorders outlines some of the signs that could indicate a disordered relationship with food and diabetes. As DEDA mentions, if these signs are evident and you think you or a loved one is struggling, get help. Visit the DEDA website, search for other trusted ED resources, contact your health care provider. And of course, we are always here for you, to support and help so you never feel alone.
Diabetes and Eating Disorders Awareness, Australia & NZ
"Do you have Issues with Food?"
Posted on February 24, 2016 by Diabetes and Eating Disorders Awareness (DEDA)
The behaviors of someone managing their diabetes, and someone in the grips of an eating disorder, are often similar. This is where many people with diabetes and an eating disorder run into problems – what is ‘good’ diabetes management, and what is disordered eating? Often, we are praised by healthcare professionals for behaviors that would ring alarm bells for anyone else. Weighing your food, obsessively counting carbohydrates, and monitoring your weight are seen as optimum management for us, but are a concern for anyone else!
So how do look out for disordered eating signs in yourself or a loved one, when so many of them interchange with our day-to-day life with diabetes?
The key is to analyze the behavior, and evaluate whether the behavior is affecting your life in a negative way. Remember that eating disorders in diabetes do not just revolve around insulin omission – the omnipresent nature of diabetes means that normal patterns of eating can easily become disordered.
-Are you restricting to the point where you are scared to treat a hypo?
– Do you ‘under-bolus’ for a particularly indulgent meal?
– Do you get scared to eat over a certain number of carbs per day?
– Have you withdrawn from things you like to do because of the food that may be involved?
More specific signs and symptoms relating to insulin omission may include (but are not limited to):
► Repeated episodes of DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) or hospital admissions
► Unexplained elevated HbA1c levels
► Weight fluctuations
► Early onset of complications from diabetes
► Frequent hyperglycaemia or hypoglycaemia
► Extreme concerns about body weight and image
► Change in eating patterns (restricting or bingeing)
► Extreme thirst and going to the toilet often *
If you notice any of these signs in your self or a loved one, contact us to talk about it or visit our website.