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August 2, 2001

Diagnosis and Symptoms

Question from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA:

I am a 22 year old female, I have severe anorexia, and I am in the "refeeding stage" of my disease. After I eat a meal, primarily if it is carbohydrate-dense, I become extremely fatigued and thirsty, and I often become so tired that I have to go to bed and can sleep for hours. I don't think that the fatigue and thirst are related to the refeeding as I've been through the process before and have not experienced these symptoms. Conversely, I find that when I don't eat now, I become extremely dizzy and experience muscle tremors and loss of vision when I move. My father and his entire family all have severe diabetes. My father has had the disease for over 20 years and has many complications (extensive nerve and eye damage -- he's almost completely blind -- kidney complications, etc.). Could my symptoms be related to diabetes? Should I ask my primary care physician to do a diabetes test? I am very concerned that I will develop diabetes as it is rampant through my fathers' family.

Answer:

I think you should ask your primary care physician to conduct a diabetes test to eliminate this as a consideration and allow you to focus on complying with your treatment regimen for the eating disorder. Type�1 diabetes does not always have to involve all generations. There is hope that you would not be affected by this disease.

JTL