Causes of Diabulimia

What Causes Diabulimia?

Like all eating disorders, the cause of diabulimia, an eating disorder associated with type 1 diabetes, is an interplay of genetic, biological, psychological and sociocultural factors.

Several specific factors may contribute to one having an increased risk of developing diabulimia:

  • An unhealthy focus on food, numbers, and control  It is necessary for people with type 1 diabetes to focus on food and dietary restraint to some degree, including carbohydrate counting and meal planning. Some may become overly focused on this or be predisposed to perfectionism — another risk factor for eating disorders.

  • When weight gain occurs at the commencement of insulin treatment, particularly among adolescents — This change can be physically and emotionally uncomfortable and, despite the obvious dangers, some people believe that insulin manipulation will be an easy and effective weight loss method. However, manipulating insulin is dangerous and has real health consequences.

  • Depression and anxiety — Unfortunately, feelings of depression and anxiety commonly affect people with chronic medical conditions like type 1 diabetes. Depression and anxiety also commonly occur for individuals that develop eating disorders.

Know when to seek help

Because of the complexity of treating co-occurring eating disorders and type 1 diabetes, it is essential to work with a team knowledgeable about medical issues, nutrition, diabetes management and eating disorder treatment. At Eating Recovery Center, our highly experienced professionals offer treatment for diabulimia at all levels of care.

There is hope for a full and lasting recovery from diabulimia with the right care. Please call us at 877-825-8584 to speak confidentially with a Masters-level clinician at one of our nationwide eating disorder treatment centers. The call is free.

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