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January 28, 2005

Meal Planning, Food and Diet, Weight and Weight Loss

Question from Jackson, Michigan, USA:

I have type 1 diabetes. For a long time, I was pill controlled because I started as a type 1.5. I am 5 feet, 10 inches and probably 180 pounds. Three years ago, I was 135 to 140 pounds. I started eating compulsively because of stress and everything went to you know where. Because of the weight gain, poor sugars, embarrassment and shame, I don't want to see a doctor. I just keep gaining weight and I have become very insulin resistant. I understand that the binge eating/large amounts of insulin contribute to weight gain. How can I break this cycle? I do not believe Atkins is the way to go. I am tempted to just stop taking insulin altogether so that the diabetes burns my weight back down to where I was. I estimate this will take about four to five months. I seriously don't think any long-term complications could come from four to five months! What can I do on my own, besides seeing a doctor? Sorry, but I hate doctors. I took great pains to learn diabetes backward and forward when first diagnosed and taught myself carbohydrate counting so I know I can do this alone. I wasn't compulsive about my eating then, so the problem is a different one now. How can I combat the compulsivity and the huge amounts of carbohydrates I crave? How can I cut down the insulin I use? I already exercise.

Answer:

I don’t think you are approaching the problem straight on. You need to change your lifestyle to one that is more healthy. It took time to put on the weight and will take time to take it off. Even five to ten pounds of weight loss can significantly change insulin requirements and blood sugars. Stopping everything puts your health at risk and is not a good choice. You may want to obtain help with a psychiatrist or psychologist. There may be some therapy that can address the compulsive behaviors you describe. Please don’t look for the easy solution here.

JTL