Like all eating disorders, the cause of diabulimia is the result of a complex interplay of genetic, biological, psychological and sociocultural factors.
Specific to diabulimia, several factors contribute to the heightened risk of developing an eating disorder alongside type 1 diabetes.
- A necessary focus on food and dietary restraint required for management of type 1 diabetes. Carbohydrate counting, meal planning and dietary restriction are important to effectively manage diabetes. This can create an unhealthy focus on food, numbers and control.
- Weight gain often accompanies the commencement of insulin treatment, particularly among adolescents. This change can be physically and emotionally uncomfortable, and despite the obvious dangers, insulin manipulation is an easy and effective weight loss method.
- Depression and anxiety are among the standard psychological effects of having to manage a chronic medical condition like type 1 diabetes. Depression and anxiety are common co-occurring mental illnesses with both type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder diagnosis.
Recovery is possible
Because of its complexity, a team of medical, dietary and therapeutic professionals who are experienced in both diabetes management and eating disorders is essential. The good news is that there is hope. Recovery from diabulimia behaviors is achievable with the right care. ERC is a center of excellence with specialized treatment experience for type 1 diabetics struggling with an eating disorder.
Please call us at 877-825-8584 to speak with an Eating Recovery Centered Masters-level clinician.