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From Wisconsin, USA:

I am a 32 year-old diabetic, Type 1, and on 3 shots daily. I have a history of bulimia. I have a hard time dealing with taking my shots regularly, because every time I do I seem to gain weight. I notice when I stop taking my insulin I can lose the weight I gained. I know this is not the proper way to control my blood glucose, but I don't know what else to do. I've been told that the long term effects will get me later. Do all diabetics on insulin injections gain weight? Is there a way to maintain proper control and not gain? Please help me with this if you can.


I think it is really good that you have admitted that you have an eating disorder. Equally as important to admitting to your having bulimia you have also admitted that you have been reducing your insulin doses because you believe it helps you keep your weight down. On the other hand you have not shared with me your height or your weight and what you believe should be your goal or ideal body weight.

First of all, by reducing or omitting insulin after binges, an individual with bulimia and diabetes can drive up their blood glucose, causing calories to wash rapidly out of the body through the urine. There are many individuals who have bulimia who are almost always in terrible metabolic control and they find themselves often spending lots of time in the hospital. These individuals who have chronically high blood glucoses often end up in the emergency room with ketoacidosis. Short term problems such as ketoacidosis are rather common. Young individuals who have eating disorders and a history of poor metabolic control develop complications particularity retinopathy and neuropathy earlier and more frequently than individuals who don't have eating disorders.

Being in good metabolic control is extremely important. You do need to take your insulin on a regular basis to ensure that you will be in good metabolic control. Individuals differ in their response to insulin and in their daily habits with regard to food, exercise, motivation, lifestyles and emotional factors. It sound as though you need some guidance. It may be of some benefit to you to sit down with a nutritionist and discuss your history of bulimia as well as what your daily caloric intake is. You need to make sure you are getting the proper nutrition as well as the proper amount of exercise to maintain normal body weight.The two go hand in hand.

General guidelines for weight control: Type of activity: Aerobic (brisk walking, bike riding, rollerblading). Frequency: 5 to 6 days a week. Intensity: Low to Moderate. Duration: 45 to 60 minutes a session. It is always important to remember moderation, consistency and balance are what make your prescription for weight control effective.


Original posting 26 Sep 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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