According to the study The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial, the fact that the use of insulin is associated with an increase in weight, especially at the beginning of therapy, can generate body dissatisfaction in people with diabetes. This disorder is known as diabulimia.
It occurs in insulin dependent people who, in order to lose weight, reduce or omit the corresponding dose of insulin to maintain proper glycemic control. If not properly addressed, this insulin omission behavior can become chronic and have fatal consequences for the person affected.
Leaving insulin aside, explains the Webconsultas.com website, leads to dehydration, diabetic ketoacidosis (when the body cannot use sugar as a source of energy, and instead uses body fat) and the presence of early diabetic complications (failure of the heart, retina, liver, etc.). This lowers the patient’s quality of life, leads to more hospitalizations and an increased risk of mortality.
In order to reduce the risk of diabulimia, people with diabetes should seek nutritional advice to know how to control food intake in order to achieve their glucose goals and a normal weight for their age and physical condition.
People with diabulimia tend not to be aware of their problem and professionals and family may interpret the symptoms as those of a “non-compliant” patient with diabetes, without taking into account the psychological problem at the base.