1 in 4 patients with type 1 diabetes suffer from an eating disorder

Disturbing findings of new pooled analysis. What is insulin release?

Finnish scientists say that one in four people with type 1 diabetes have unhealthy eating habits that can mask an eating disorder.

The scientists combined data from previous studies conducted around the world. As they found, while trying to control their weight and sugar, many patients with type 1 diabetes suffer from eating disorders, such as episodic binge eating.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It develops when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the beta cells of the pancreas.

These cells produce insulin – a hormone that regulates glucose (sugar) levels in the body. Without insulin, blood sugar rises and threatens health.

Type 1 diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent, as patients need daily injections of the hormone.

The new study was conducted by scientists from the University of Eastern Finland. His findings Published in the medical journal Eating Disorders.

The researchers combined the results of 45 previous clinical trials of type 1 diabetes, 25 in Europe and 12 in North America. The rest were held in Asia, South America, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

What eating disorders do they indicate?

A total of 11,592 patients with type 1 diabetes aged 16 years and older participated in the research. As the researchers found, 2,521 of them had disordered eating habits.

It’s not too surprising, he said lead researcher Pia Niemelä, is a doctoral student of the university. Weight gain is a concern for those suffering from many diseases. Therefore, they try everything to avoid it.

However, in their efforts, they adopt dangerous tactics that lead them to disorder, such as:

  • Episodic binge eating
  • Food restriction

A significant percentage adopts another, extremely dangerous practice, which is observed only in diabetics. This is the experience insulin release during this period, they do not take or reduce some doses of the hormone in order not to gain weight.

“Deliberately omitting or reducing insulin leads to weight loss. However, at the same time, it keeps blood glucose levels high and disrupts glycemic control,” says Mrs. Niemelä.

Dysregulation of blood sugar (glucose) is associated with serious complications and is a very serious problem. A new analysis reveals that one in five patients with diabetes mellitus (21%) resort to deliberate release of insulin.

The role of gender and age

Women with type 1 diabetes are more prone to eating disorders than men. As for age, these disorders were observed in all age groups.

“Eating disorders are often seen in teenagers and young adults. But when the cause is diabetes, even middle-aged people can suffer from this disease,” said Mrs. Niemela.

As he explains, developing an eating disorder favors the complications of type 1 diabetes and makes the disease worse. Therefore, it is important for doctors to regularly assess their patients’ eating habits.

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