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Ninjabetic – Diabulimia support needed

By Editor
17th August 2016
Latest news, Ninjabetic Views from The Diabetes Times

Today I want to talk about a charity that has been on my radar ever since I joined the diabetes online community, but one that, in the past, hasn’t had the spotlight that it deserves.

A revamp of the website, a strong social media presence and a new lease of life has seen Diabetics with Eating Disorders (DWED) have a powerful and inspiring comeback, and their continuous work to improve the lives of people with diabetes should be applauded.

Did you know that people with type 1 diabetes are twice as likely to develop anorexia and bulimia then a non-diabetic? And that 40 per cent of 15-30 year olds with type 1 actively omit insulin on order to lose weight?

Grassroots support

This is known as diabulimia and has devastating physical and emotional consequences.

DWED supports people with type 1 diabetes and eating disorders and their carers through a number of channels including emails, support forums, phone calls and through a variety of social networking sites.

The charity, founded in 2009, has grown from a grassroots support service to a well-established organisation involved in campaigning, training, awareness raising and advocacy.

More recently, as a result of DWED’s make-over, an online recovery programme, membership options and a collaboration with diabetes.co.uk to provide a peer to peer support forum have been launched, along with an impressive call to action from health care professionals to become more involved.

Many people with complications as a result of diabulimia came forward to share their experience

I remember running an our diabetes tweet chat with DWED a few years back and was surprised at how many people in the community came forward to openly discuss their issues around diabetes and weight loss.

It was important to provide emotional support during this chat but to also stress the importance of the effects insulin omission can have.

Many people with complications as a result of diabulimia came forward to share their experience and it showed just how neglected this area has been within the world of diabetes health care.

With statistics such as the ones above, it stumps me every time that there is so little attention given to the psychological aspects of life with diabetes, how often recurring DKA admissions go unnoticed and how quickly a patient can slip through the net without it being flagged by their health care team.

No shame

Something that DWED is actively encouraging is for healthcare professionals to work with them in a bid to stop this from happening.

A plea from myself to any healthcare professional reading this… please contact DWED for help if you need it.

There is no shame in saying that you are unsure in a situation where a patient is omitting insulin, the issue comes when it is swept under the carpet in the hope that someone else will pick it up.

By then it may be too late. DWED can help you, your colleagues, and your service and most importantly they can help your patients, so please go to them.

The founder of DWED, Jacq, is the most inspiring person I have ever met. She’s a real character with such passion for what she does and every conversation I have had with her has demonstrated her burning desire to help anyone and everyone who needs it.

DWED has a deeply sad story behind it which you will see when you look at their website. Please do take the time to read this story as it will show you just what an eating disorder can do to people with diabetes.

Please do help DWED in any way that you can because this website gives so much to people in need, we must take care of it and ensure that it can keep providing all that it does and more.

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