The Associated Press reported on the latest trend amongst the eating disordered: diabulimia.
Diabulimia is characterized by the restriction of insulin among those who have Type 1 diabetes. Insulin is vital for delivering glucose from the bloodstream to the body’s cells. Without insulin, cells starve even while the bloodstream becomes burdened with too much glucose.
And skipping insulin equals weight loss, one of the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes. So too is the risk of falling into a coma or even dying. Blindness, amputations and kidney failure are some of the long-term complications that can develop.
“Diabulimia” is a term that has only cropped up in recent years and is not a recognized medical condition, said Barbara Anderson, a pediatrics professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
But it’s one that’s catching on quickly. One expert who has studied the phenomenon estimates that 450,000 Type 1 diabetic women in the United States — one-third of the total — have skipped or shortchanged their insulin to lose weight and are risking a coma and an early death.
Maybe instead of “diabulimia,” it ought to be called “diebulimia.”