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April 8, 2004

Behavior, Mental Health

Question from Columbus, Ohio, USA:

I am 23 years old and have had type 1 diabetes since I was nine. I had pretty good control over my blood sugars until I left for college. After my freshman year, I was diagnosed with anorexia. I was previously overweight. My blood sugars were the best that they have ever been during this time. About a year later, I began to binge on any kind of junk food that I could find. My blood sugars went wild and the weight packed on. I then took up purging. My life went out of control. I left college and went into treatment. Between fall of 2001 and summer of 2002, I spent time in three treatment clinics in three states. I started cutting out doses of insulin and eventually went into severe DKA. That was 1 1/2 years ago, and I am still a mess and overweight again. I am so terrified that I will not live to see my 25th birthday. I saw my doctor today where he mentioned doing a kidney test next month and considering using ACE inhibitors. My a1c was a 13. I don't know what to do. I am back in school and have been told that I look like I have it all together, but I know I'm dying on the inside. Do you have much experience with type 1 and eating disorders? I need any kind of help that I can get.

Answer:

It is important that you seek professional help as soon as possible. Both a psychotherapist and a dietitian who are experienced with eating disorders should be consulted simultaneously. I would recommend that you contact the Renfrew Center about their programs. Eating disorders require outside assistance; you may even need to get into a long-term treatment program where you will have constant supervision and guidance. Once you get the help you need with your eating disorder, you should be able to put a more healthful focus on your diabetes care. You’ve already taken the most difficult step, admitting you have a problem. Finding therapists to help you overcome your ED will be the best step you will take in taking back your life and your health.

MF