Raise Awareness to End Dangerous Eating Disorder

Diabulimia

Target: American Psychological Association

Goal: Raise awareness about diabulimia, an eating disorder among type-1 diabetics, to end its prevalence

Diabulimia is a dangerous, even life-threatening, eating disorder that affects between 11 and 39 percent of individuals with type-1 diabetes. These individuals deprive themselves of their prescribed amount of insulin, deliberately taking less, in order to lose weight. Without insulin, calories are purged through the loss of glucose in urine. They are able to eat whatever they want and still lose weight, making this dangerous weight-loss method appealing. Weight can be lost rapidly this way; in some cases individuals have lost 10 pounds in as little as two days, but at a very high cost. This disorder is incredibly dangerous and can have very serious long-term health effects.

The death rate of those with diabulimia is estimated to be three times that of the normal rate for those with type-1 diabetes. Diabulimia can eventually lead to very serious complications, including vision loss, kidney failure, or foot ulcers that may require amputation. Survivors may be forced to live with limited mobility, blindness, or kidney dialysis in the future. This disorder often affects teenagers, who are more susceptible to body-conscious behaviors and have a limited view of the negative consequences of diabulimia. The effects can be more immediate than they may think, causing extreme fatigue or hair loss, leading to cataracts in less than five years, or suddenly causing a coma, or even death, due to the extremely elevated levels of sugar in the blood. Sadly, teenage girls who have type-1 diabetes are more than two and a half times more likely to develop an eating disorder.

Diabulimia is a little-known, but extremely dangerous disorder. Ask the American Psychological Association to raise awareness about this terrible disorder.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear American Psychological Association,

Diabulimia is a little-known, but extremely dangerous and prevalent disorder. Teenage girls with type-1 diabetes are two and a half times more likely to develop an eating disorder, yet it is life-threatening for them to reduce their insulin intake in order to lose weight, as it can lead to a coma or even sudden death due to the extremely elevated amount of sugar in the blood. Use your position of authority in the field of mental health and wellness to raise awareness about diabulimia to prevent its occurrence.

Discourage individuals with type-1 diabetes from restricting their insulin intake in order to lose weight by exposing this dangerous disorder. Educate the public about the harmful effects of such behavior, and point them in the right direction to receive help if needed. Inform medical and mental health professionals about diabulimia as well, and promote research studies that investigate the most effective treatments for diabulimia. Other eating disorders have received much attention in the media, exposing the negative effects and helping those who suffer from the disorder to feel like they are not alone, and to feel less ashamed so that they can seek help. Diabulimia needs to be exposed to help those who suffer in secret from this terrible disorder.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: o5com, Flickr

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