What You Need to Know About Diabulimia Right Now

Diabulimia is a disorder that has not yet been recorded in the register of diseases, which, nevertheless, occurs more and more often. Doctors sound alarm, urging us to be more attentive to ourselves and others, since people with diabulimia slowly and surely kill themselves. Until they are provided with qualified assistance. The story of a girl named Megan tells us all about this disease.

Just over a year ago, a phone call in the house of Lesley Davison and Neal Davison Neal Davison reported that their daughter had committed suicide. Needless to say, this was a real shock for the parents. Megan has always been an obedient and calm girl, never caused trouble to her parents, never conflicted with her peers, and studied well. Megan and her family had warm relations even when the girl grew up.

“What could make her do this terrible step?” the question kept torturing Leslie and Neil. After their 27-year-old daughter hanged herself in her own bedroom on August 4, 2016, they kept asking this question again and again. Before committing suicide, Megan wrote a six-page note, which had to explain to friends and family, why she decided to do so.

WHAT IS DIABULIMIA

According to the BBC, Megan had an eating disorder, which she hid so well that no one in the family had any clue that something was wrong with her. It was diabulimia, a combination of:

  • first type diabetes
  • bulimia.

“She left us a very detailed story about how she first tried to cope with the problem, and then realized that there is no way out, that is, there is no hope that something or someone will be able to help her,” they parents say.
“She left us a very detailed story about how she first tried to cope with the problem, and then realized that there is no way out, that is, there is no hope that something or someone will be able to help her,” they parents say.

Let us remind you that type 1 diabetes is an irreversible autoimmune disease that requires constant monitoring. Every time a patient eats carbohydrates, he must also inject insulin. In addition, patients are advised to regularly check their blood sugar levels, because they need insulin to stay alive.

Diabulimia is a condition, in which a person with type 1 diabetes intentionally takes little insulin to lose weight. It can be extremely dangerous: the longer it lasts, the more dangerous it is. “If a diabetic does not take insulin, he loses weight fast. It’s a perfect weight loss tool,” says Leslie, noting that Megan, of course, did look thin sometimes, but they couldn’t say that she was extremely skinny or that she looked ill.

Experts say that there are potentially thousands of patients with diabulimia, who, successfully hide their disease, just like Megan did. However, the story of the young British woman shows how all this can end.

WHY PEOPLE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS

“Patients with diabetes can look great and have quite a normal weight,” professor Khalida Ismail, a psychiatrist and director of the only UK clinic for people with diabulimia, told the Newsbeat. “And yet, since they limit insulin, their blood sugar levels are critically high, which increases the risk of complications, including vision problems, damage of kidneys and nerve endings.”

From Megan’s note, her family learned that the girl was being treated in a hospital for people with eating disorders. She also told about unprofessional employees of the clinic, who started to inject her with insulin in the dosage that was recommended before the illness, because they could not understand what doses she needed. “It’s the same as if an alcoholic was treated with vodka, and a bulimic with a pack of laxatives,” Megan writes.

According to the girl’s parents, they wanted to share this story in the media to help other families. Professor Ismail adds that psychiatrists around the world must “wake up” until diabulimia spreads worldwide. “Today, they do not talk about it. Doctors have no idea how to discuss it with patients, while specialists in the field of eating disorders see only extreme cases,” said Khalid Ismail.

“Honestly, I do not know how we would deal with it, if we did not have this note,” says Leslie Davison. “Our girl did not want us to blame ourselves. In the end, we still do, because none of us could help her.”