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August 3, 2021

Mental Health

Question from England:

I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 10 years old. Shortly after my diagnosis, I almost died from anorexia nervosa and required tube feeding for 8 months. Is there some sort of link between T1D and eating disorders?


From: Marissa Town, BSN, RN, CDCES
Yes there is a link between disordered eating and type 1 diabetes. It is more common than most people know, and recovery can be extremely challenging, much like you experienced. Please see our article on Disordered Eating and Diabetes here.


There are some great resources now for people who have experienced disordered eating and diabetes such as:

1. We are Diabetes – wearediabetes.org
2. Diabulemia Helpline –http://www.diabulimiahelpline.org/
3. Beat Eating Disorders in the UK – https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/

It can be very helpful to talk to other people who have experienced the same thing as you. Some of the above mentioned organizations have mentors with whom you can connect.

Another option that could be helpful is connecting with a psychologist who has experience with disordered eating or diabetes, and ideally both, but that can be difficult to find. The American Diabetes Association has a list of mental health care professionals who work in diabetes, but they are all U.S. based so this may not be of particular help if you are not in the U.S. You may be able to check with your local and national diabetes organizations to see if they have a similar list of providers.

It’s definitely not a quick fix thing, so making sure you have lots of support is really important. You took a great step asking for help!