Hello Everyone,
I am writing a research paper on diabulimia and am trying to gauge the diabetic community's response to it. Diabulimia is a disorder in which a diabetic deliberately take less insulin than required for the purpose of losing weight. Even if you've never heard about it until this moment I'd like to hear what you have to say.
Parents, do you ever plan on talking to your T1 about this issue?
I would really appreciate all kinds of responses so please don't be shy!

Tags: T1, controversy, diabulimia, insulin, issues, manipulation, study

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Thanks so much!
Just out of curiosity what kind of charity deals with diabulimia?
Wow I didn't know this had a name. I guess this is what I was going through when I was a teenager. Unfortunately I would be good for a couple weeks before my doctor appointments and even let my sugar get real low to throw off my A1C, then as soon as I got home I would down a regular soda thinking high sugars would start the whole process. Strange thinking back then I guess, but I like to blame it on my age. Anyways, I have been on a pump now and haven't done that in quite awhile. Thanks for the info!
Diabulimia is sad and scary. And not surprising. Like Zoe said, ALL type 1 diabetics have to pay obsessive attention to food -- that's what you have to do to calculate your insulin dose, and stay healthy.
As a parent this subject scares me to no end. My daughter is a T1 and in high school. She's a cheerleader and is already very body conscious. I don't want to be the one to introduce the subject to her because I don't want to give her any ideas. After reading what some of you had to say I may have to give that a second thought...

Watch her A1C like a hawk. That should give you a heads up if she starts running high to lose weight.

My 6 year daughter is a type 1 diabetic so I think about this as a possible problem when she gets older. I am not sure I will talk to her about this while she is still living at home unless I see signs that it could be a problem. I do not want her to know that giving herself less insulin will cause her to lose weight (although I am probably being naive in thinking that if I do not tell her she will not find out). I talk to my kids a lot about healthy choices. I will definitely make sure that she will be aware of complications that would result from high blood sugars once she is old enough to take the lead in her diabetes care. I also plan on keeping on top of her blood sugars and A1C's so if her blood sugars are not in target I can help her. If I do not believe that she is taking her care seriously enough when she gets older I think I would take her to meet people that have had serious complications from their diabetes (for example, find someone at a dialysis center that is willing to share their diabetes story).... as a kind of a Scared Straight tactic. I would do this from a place of love, not from a place of blame. I would just want to make sure she has ALL of the knowledge she could possibly need to make good choices.

Hi Aimee. I can see that you are a very loving mum and want to do the best for your daughter. From my personal perspective I can say I have always been not shown, but "threatened" by doctors and my mum, who always mention complications when my A1c-s are higher and I can say that just hearing about them is terrifying enough. I don't know how I would react if my mum met me with a diabetic with an amputated leg as a child in order to show me what might happen to me if I don't manage my disease. Knowing the consequences is good, being too afraid of the future is not so much. I was a diabulimic for probably around 7 years. My parents, even most of my friends never knew, but my mum always made sure she knows about my blood sugars and told me about the dangers of them being high. This resulted in me being not honest about my real results and feeling unable to share with her how difficult it was for me to keep up with diabetes (because I thought that I would disappoint her and only be told off and told again about the complications). SO I woud say, if you suspect some day that your daughter has diabulimia, be supportive. Make her feel she can tell you anything and you wouldn't blame her, you would try to understand and support her. But after all, with all my heart I wish diabulimia will never happen to her and you.

Hi Teo,
Thanks for the advice. I will definitely do my best to come to her from a place of support instead of criticism as I would like her to feel comfortable sharing with me. I struggle with this a little as a parent. I came from a fairly strict household and my parents did not talk to us much about the real world. Us kids did not share much regarding our lives with our parents (especially if we sensed they would disapprove). I try to keep the lines of communication open with my kids, but there are still times when I think they withhold certain things from me... I would guess this is the case with most kids, but I would like to change this.
I will just have to keep working on the balance of teaching my kids the right way to handle themselves, but letting them know that I am there for them if they struggle. I make a point to apologize to them when I am wrong because I think it is important to recognize that nobody is perfect and there is always a way to redeem ourselves and change things for the better.

It sounds like you are in a better place now. I hope that all goes well for you!
Aimee

Thanks, Aimee! it is great you are so careful in your parenting! Keep up and all the best:)

As a teenager I worked as a counselor every summer at a camp for diabetics. I quickly learned about this at camp, but we didn't call it that. Girls usually called it the best and easiest way to lose weight. At camp, we dealt with it a lot, primarily with the girls. Back then (mid 80s to early 90s) it was primarily ages 11+. I stuggled with my weight as a teenager, and one of my diabetic "friends" at camp endoctrinated me into how to lose all the weight I wanted. I cannot say that I did not consider it, because I did. But I truely did no want to end up with complications, so I never used this way to lose weight. Now, 28 years after my diagnosis, I have every complication imaginable.
I only knew of 1 guy who did this, and he admitted doing it. It was the way he "made weight" in high school wrestling.
I don't plan on mentioning this to our teen yet because I don't even want to give her the idea that it is possible to do this. However, I hope she does not pick up this idea from diabetes camp. She has always been thin but she definitely wants to remain on the thinner side of normal. She is very responsible about her health and constantly checks BS when away from home; which is good. Parents should be alerted about the possibility of this but this issue is getting too much press. With the result that teens at risk are more easily able to find out how to do this. Unless, this has been common knowledge.....??

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