DWED (Diabetics with Eating Disorders) www.dwed.org.uk is a not for profit organisation working towards charitable status. Recent research shows that not only are female* type one diabetics at twice the risk of developing anorexia or bulimia, as many as 40% of 15 – 30 year olds regularly manipulate or omit insulin in order to lose weight. This practice can have devastating consequences such as organ failure, infertility, blindness and in the worst cases, death. Despite the horrendous complications and staggering prevalence deliberate insulin manipulation/ omission (or diabulimia as the press have named it) is not diagnosable and there are no current guidelines for the NHS on how to deal with the issue.
DWED has two main purposes. Firstly we offer support to those type one diabetics affected by eating disorders and their carers. We try to find suitable services in their areas. This information is currently being collated and will be posted on the website so that those who are ready to seek help know where to go to get it. DWED also supports sufferers and their carers personally through emails, phone calls, where possible home visits and through a variety of social networking sites. There are 500 members across groups. All of the sites are completely pro recovery with no emaciated pictures or talk of numbers allowed.
The second purpose of the organisation is to campaign for better (in some cases any) facilities for Diabetics with eating disorders. DWED is in support of Deliberate Insulin Manipulation/ Omission being recognised as a mental disorder. We have a number of members who have been simply deemed as non - compliant and left at that. Not only is this unsatisfactory it is potentially lethal. As something that is not officially diagnosable deliberate insulin manipulation/ omission tends to cause a confused reaction among professionals. To be honest when this project began the core aim was to raise awareness within the health service. The overwhelming reaction from all the PCTs contacted is that nearly everyone is aware of it but no one knows what to do about it; there is no ‘strategy’, no guidelines and little UK based research. As such DWED is putting together a Professional Advisory Board composed of Eating Disorder and Diabetes Professionals in the hope that a dialogue will open and a multi – disciplinarian, patient centred approach will be promoted.
*Although less common it can also be found in type 1 males.
You can contact the admin team at
Or call our director Jacq on 07869 116 832
Hotline : 0208 808 3832 (after 7pm Monday - Friday)