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September 24, 2002


Question from Rockford, Illinois, USA:

I’m an 18 year old, who has type 1 diabetes and anorexia, and I don’t know what to do. I rarely eat anything, and I am losing around 5 pounds a week. Then, I will binge for a week, and gain it all back. My BMI [body mass index] is borderline between normal and underweight. The past few days have been the most challenging for me because when I see food, even if I know it is low calorie and fat free, I can’t let myself touch it for fear that I will gain lots of weight.

I only take about 5 units of Humalog every day with 20 units of Lantus (insulin glargine) at night, and I want to get on the insulin pump because I think it can help me to overcome my disordered eating by having more control of my insulin doses. Where can I go to find help? Can you please offer some tips for helping me to talk to my parents about my problems?


From: DTeam Staff

Please talk with about your struggles with someone you trust, as soon as possible. People with diabetes who have anorexia (or other eating disorders) can become very sick, very quickly. So, please get help immediately!

It is wonderful that you recognize that you are in a difficult spot, but figuring out how to manage your weight and your blood sugars is a job that is too big for one person to manage. That means that whether it is a favorite teacher, close friend, boss, co-worker, parents, or members of your diabetes team, you need to ask someone for help. The best way to ask for help is always the simplest way: tell them that you are having trouble balancing your weight and your diabetes. Say that this feels out of control for you, and you need help. Once you take the step of asking someone else for help, you’ll be a lot closer to getting the help you need.