Friday , July 30 2021

What is diabetology and why do some consider it the most dangerous eating disorder in the world?

BBC Newsbeat / Radio 1 and 1Xtra

"I am still alive and still have my legs, they are two of the most important things for me in terms of the damage that I could do for myself."

She says Becky Rudkin, one of the protagonists of "Diabulimia: the most dangerous nutritional disorder in the world," a documentary by Newsbeat and the BBC Three broadcast in 2017.

The term, a combination of diabetes and bulimia, is used to describe people with type 1 diabetes who deliberately take too little insulin to try to control their weight.

It is not a medical recognition, but in the United Kingdom, funding of over $ 1.5m has just been approved in the hope that scientists can develop an effective plan to treat people with this eating disorder.

In the case of Becky (30), suppression of insulin caused the bones of her leg to decompose.

"The surgeon told me they had made porridge," he says.

But in the most severe cases, diabolism can cause cardiac arrest and even death.

For now, after 16 months in a unit of eating disorders, Becky no longer has to use crutches or attend sessions with the mental health team.

The young Scottish woman is excited about her future and tells the Newsbeat newspaper she has promised herself to her boyfriend, she moved with her and now has a dog.

"No injection is addiction"

Diabulism occurs in patients with type 1 diabetes who are afraid because the insulin they need causes weight gain.

But it does not increase the level of blood sugar, which is associated with serious health disorders: blindness, permanent kidney damage, or damage to the nervous system.

"Without following insulin treatment, it can cause a quick death," warns Dr. Khalida Ismail, a diabetes psychiatrist.

Diabulism is a very dangerous disorder because it is associated with a chronic disease that will accompany the patient during his lifetime.

"You need to fight both diseases at the same time," recalls Nabeelah, another 22-year-old patient.

"Do not inject insulin is addiction, because you can eat what you want and at the same time lose weight," explains Gemma, 22, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, when she was 12 years old.

Look for treatment

The team of clinical scientist Marietta Stadler, who works at the Royal College Hospital in London, will receive $ 1.5 million to conduct a diabromy research.

She and her team will use this scholarship to try to better understand diabetes and conduct interviews with people who are suffering from it.

Clinical science Marietta Stadler, who works at King's Hospital in London, hopes to design an effective treatment for patients with diabetes.

"We can not rely solely on a group of doctors who decide to intervene, we must rely on the testimony of people who have lived with this," explains Stadler.

The investigation is expected to last five years, and the current plan is to elaborate a treatment plan of 12 modules with one session every two weeks over a period of six months in patients with diabetes.

Funding has been granted by the National Institute of Health Research of the United Kingdom (NIHR), which decides to allocate money for research projects that have "clear benefits for patients".

Becky confirms that "time is" to conduct a study of these features, but she is also worried.

The last time Becky approached the hospital was at the edge of death.

"We are all different and we all treat our own diabetes and diabetes in a completely different way, so I guess that's the moment that can be difficult when it comes to finding treatment.

"What can you do in 12 sessions with someone who has diabetes? You can only scratch the surface, I do not know if a two-week meeting is enough," he says.

But Dr. Stadler says the research is only a "first step", and after five years of funding, a larger trial will be needed before a formal public healthcare plan is adopted.


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