Johns Hopkins Diabetes GuideComplications and ComorbiditiesNeurology Psychiatry

Eating Disorders in Diabetes

Mariana Lazo, M.D., Mimi Huizinga, M.D.
Eating Disorders in Diabetes is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Guide.

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DEFINITION

  • A group of psychiatric illnesses including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other eating disorders not otherwise specified (e.g. binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, night eating syndrome) with potentially life-threatening health impact.
  • Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, and an intense fear of weight gain.
  • Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating (eating large amounts of food - more than most people would eat in one meal - in short periods of time) followed by purging (getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising).
  • Binge eating disorder is characterized by feeling compelled to consume a large number of calories (i.e. 10,000 calories) over a specified time period.
  • In patients with diabetes, one common purging manifestation is deliberate insulin omission and restriction.

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Last updated: June 26, 2015