Posted on 26/09/2017

Dicing with death: the dangers of diabulimia

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Dicing with death: the dangers of diabulimia

Our colleague, Lex, describes her experience of Diabetic Ketoacidosis and how dangerous it is for young girls across the UK to put themselves at risk of experiencing the same symptoms.

Across the UK, increasing numbers of young women with diabetes are risking their lives to stay slim, by refusing to take their insulin. Although not yet a medically recognised term, this condition is known as "Diabulimia" and can be fatal if not treated rapidly.

How can "Diabulimia" be fatal?

When insulin dependent diabetics do not take the right amount of insulin, this can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) - a life threatening condition, where a lack of insulin causes sugars to stay in the blood rather than feed the organs in the body. This forces the body to break down fat and muscle as an alternative source of fuel, causing dramatic weight loss.

People experiencing diabulimia will therefore choose not to take their insulin as a way to manage their weight. What many may not realise is that by doing this, poisonous chemicals known as "Ketones" build up and, if left unchecked, will cause the body to become more acidic - hence the term "Ketoacidosis". If not treated rapidly, DKA can lead to coma...or death.

Our colleague Lex has first hand experience of Diabetic Ketoacidosis and agreed to make the video above to raise awareness of just how dangerous it is.

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