Skipping Insulin: A Dangerous New Weight Loss Plan to Avoid
Have you heard of Diabulimia? Although it's not acknowledged in the medical field as an actual condition, it's affecting thousands of Type 1 diabetics. It has been estimated that 450,000 women with Type 1 diabetes, in the quest to lose weight, have participated in short-changing or withholding their insulin. This is Diabulimia. If you, or someone you know, is participating in this unhealthy practice you need to be aware of the possible effects this can have on your body.
The Importance of Insulin
Insulin controls the amount of glucose in our blood. Too much glucose racing through our bodies can lead to health complications including death. Type 1 diabetes patients are no longer able to produce sufficient amounts of insulin on their own. Taking insulin shots is necessary for their ultimate survival.
Diabulimia: Signs and Risks
If diabetics withhold their insulin or take less than the necessary dosage, it results in excessive urination and weight loss due to hyperglycemia. Along with the weight loss, they can also experience dehydration, exhaustion, and deteriorating muscle tissue. A change in eating habits may be the first sign of Diabulimia. Eating more and still losing weight should also signal that there's a problem. If the diabetic continues to deny themselves insulin, the glucose levels will continue to rise. The Diabulimic is risking permanent damage to her body, including the premature development of diabetic complications. With this continued course, the eventual health risks include coma, stroke, kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness, amputation, or heart attacks. "Based on death certificate data", according to the American Diabetes Foundation, "diabetes contributed to 224,092 deaths in 2002", and that "studies indicate that diabetes is generally under-reported on death certificates".
What You Can Do to Help
The American Diabetes Foundation states that 7% of the United States population, or 20.8 million people, have diabetes. According to some studies, a woman with Type 1 diabetes, is two times more likely to develop an eating disorder. Diabulimia is most often associated with young women and girls in their teens. With these statistics in mind, it's important to provide alternatives for weight loss, to persons with diabetes to ensure that they do not try to harm themselves with unhealthy practices. Research tells us that skipping meals, and lowering caloric intake will slow the metabolism down, causing the body to conserve and store any calories that it does receive. A wise course would be to eat 3 balanced meals each day and include some healthy snacks to provide the body with an adequate supply of nutrients. Additionally, exercising regularly is a necessary function needed to increase your metabolism and burn off fat. Achieving weight loss with a "quick fix", is unhealthy for anyone. Diabetics risk additional complications and should exercise extreme caution when attempting to lose weight.