Episode 51: Diabulimia – T1D Eating Disorders

August 4, 2020

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In this episode, Jessie and I talk about the risks of diabulimia and how to get help. Diabulimia is an eating disorder combined with restricting insulin to lose weight. 


It's incredibly dangerous to restrict insulin. Sometimes, people restrict insulin because they can't afford it. Other times, people restrict it on purpose to lose weight. Diabulimia affects more female type 1 diabetics than male. Women are more likely to fall victim to eating disorders in general, and adding diabetes on top of it can be really tough.

Wins & Fails

Jessie's Win: Jessie hiked the Grand Canyon! She kept her blood sugars mostly in range, which is a huge win for her. 

Colleen's Fail: I often wish I had gotten a CGM much, much earlier, but I didn’t want to have two devices to deal with. But now, having had a CGM for over 5 years now, I won’t ever give it up. This isn’t something I can go back in time and re-do, but the more people we tell about CGMs and the more prevalent they become, the better everyone’s blood sugars will be.

Hack of the Week

If you're out hiking for a long time, you'll probably have to carry a lot of extra water with you. To cut down on extra weight, use plastic water bottles instead of reusable metal water bottles. It might make all the difference. 

In this episode, learn about the risks of diabulimia and how to get help. Diabulimia is an eating disorder combined with restricting insulin to lose weight.

Diabetes Spotlight

Founded in 2009, Diabulimia Helpline is the world's first non-profit organization dedicated to education, support, and advocacy for people with diabetes and eating disorders, and their loved ones. After 10+ years of work in the field, they have expanded into the field of diabetes and mental health including diabetes burnout, diabetes and depression, anxiety, PTSD, or OCD.

The Diabulimia Helpline has a 24-hour hotline available 365 days a year:

(425) 985-3635.

They have:

  • Nationally renowned insurance specialists to walk clients or their loved ones through the complicated world of insurance coverage, a referral service to help people find the right treatment center, doctor, and/or therapist that will be the right fit on the road to recovery.
  • National database of professional healthcare providers with experience/expertise in both mental health & diabetes. 
  • Healthcare Professional Education Series for both diabetes clinics and eating disorder treatment centers. 
  • Host International Conference on Diabetes & Eating Disorders. 

The Diabulimia Helpline's mission is to bring awareness about the co-morbidity of diabetes and eating disorders; provide resources to those afflicted and educate healthcare professionals about the presence and dangers of mental health issues in the diabetes community.

Question for You!

Have you ever struggled with diabulimia, or another eating disorder? We know this is a tough topic, but if you need help, please reach out to a professional.

Links & Resources


Our music is by Joseph McDade. Check out his website here!

Full Searchable Transcript

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Life & mindset coach, writer, host of podcast This is Type 1: Real Life with Type 1 Diabetes, and full-time analyst in the power industry. I'm passionate about showing people that how we think determines our realities.

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