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June 5, 2010

Behavior, Other

Question from Shillington, Pennsylvania, USA:

My 13-year-old daughter was diagnosed with diabetes on August 28, 2008. This past January, she was also diagnosed with anorexia. She currently sees a nutritionist, counselor, as well as her regular doctors as required (CHOP [Children's Hospital of Philadelphia] for diabetes management and pediatrician). Do you recommend any additional resources we can use to help with this issue - the one common theme (each specialist only deals with their own area)? It is very difficult to get a continuity with these issues. I expected there would be more treatment experts available. Perhaps you could give us some recommendations based on past experience.

Answer:

The combination of diabetes and anorexia is a dangerous one, and needs intensive treatment with an expert. The danger is that most young women with an eating disorder purge their calories by not taking their insulin, or by taking less insulin that is needed. It is possible that the mental health specialists that are part of your child�s diabetes team are able to provide the psychological care that your child needs. I would strongly encourage you to speak directly with them. It may also be very helpful for you to contact Dr. Anne Gobel-Fabbri at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. She is a psychologist and an expert in young women who have diabetes and an eating disorder. Even trying to see her for a consultation would likely be worth the time and effort.

JWB