With a heart-wrenching documentary, BBC is trying to raise awareness on a little-known condition called diabulimia, which can have tragic consequences if patients don’t get help.
The documentary was followed by a series of media reports detailing the struggles of people living with the condition, like a 27-year-old woman, Megan Davison, who committed suicide after keeping her condition secret for years. Experts describe diabulimia as an unfortunate mix between an eating disorder and type 1 diabetes.
Megan hid so well her suffering that no one in her family knew she had the disorder. The condition is not fully understood or officially recognized.
Megan’s parents learned from her suicide note that she felt there was no hope for people like her.
“In the absence of the help she needed, she couldn’t see any way of carrying on,”
the woman’s mother, Lesley, told reporters.
Insulin Keeps People with Type 1 Diabetes Alive
Patients with type 1 diabetes need constant care and insulin shots to keep their glucose or blood sugar levels in check. They also need to monitor their glucose levels on a constant basis. In other words, insulin keeps these people alive.
But some patients, most of them women, forgo insulin to lose weight, even though skipping treatment leads to a dangerous condition called hyperglycemia. Megan’s parents acknowledged that their daughter “sometimes looked a bit thin” but they had no idea what she was doing behind their backs to lose weight.
Experts warn that there are thousands of people living with diabulimia but keep their struggles secret. A specialist in diabulimia said her patients can look quite well and have a healthy weight. Yet, skipping insulin shots leads to complications like heart disease, damage to the eyes and kidneys, and even neurological conditions, as nerves get affected.
After Megan’s death, her parents found that three of her friends and her boyfriend knew about her struggles but they were sworn to secrecy.
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