Eating Disorders + Body Image with Type 1 Diabetes


Type 1 diabetes forces us to watch every crumb we eat. This constant focus on food can easily lead to disordered eating, struggles with body image and an overall funky relationship with food.

Common struggles around food and type 1 diabetes might include: binge-eating during every low blood sugars, purging after eating, restricting your calorie intake, or skipping insulin doses. If you are struggling in any way with your relationship with food, you’re not alone.

Here are resources to help you find treatment for disordered eating as a person with diabetes:

Diabulimia + Eating Disorders 101

What is Diabulimia?

What are the warning signs of the type 1 eating disorder "diabulimia"? What are the best forms of treatment? What behaviors or psychological characteristics can put a person with Type 1 at a higher risk for developing it?

Help Your Loved One with a Type 1 Diabetes Eating Disorder

Drawing on a series of recent interviews and over fifteen years of research and clinical experience with this unique phenomenon, author Ann Goebel-Fabbri provides groundbreaking insight into the lives of women who have recovered from eating disorders in type 1 diabetes.

Know the Signs: Eating Disorders + T1D

Having Type 1 diabetes is already difficult, and can be greatly exacerbated by an eating disorder, as Sara Mobäck discusses in this interview with BT1.
eating disorders in type 1 diabetes

Prevalence & Treatment of Eating Disorders in Type 1 Diabetes

Learn why People with type 1 diabetes are significantly more likely to develop an eating disorder than their non-diabetic peers, and the most effective treatment approaches.

Your Relationship with Food

relationship with food and T1D

Has Type 1 Diabetes Affected Your Relationship with Food?

There’s no denying that type 1 diabetes affects how we think, feel, and behave around food. Read a few tips and experiences from fellow T1Ds.
Ginger Vieira tips on over-treating low blood sugars

5 Tips to Stop Over-Treating Low Blood Sugars

Low blood sugars are the worst—but what makes them even more miserable is the desperate urge to eat everything in sight. Here are a few tips to help you break this habit.

Diabulimia Recovery

Honesty: How this Type 1 Overcame Diabulimia

In a fit of rebellion and rage, I stopped taking all of my necessary insulin and started keeping my blood sugars high on purpose. What started out as an attempt to avoid having low blood sugars became a dangerous eating disorder that nearly cost me everything.
diabulimia recovery

What to Expect During Recovery From Diabulimia

In your path to recovery from diabulimia, here are a few things to expect and prepare for. This path isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.
inhaled insulin helping diabuliima

How Inhaled Insulin Helped Me Recover From Diabulimia

Cynthia Celt struggled with diabulimia — a life-threatening eating disorder — for nearly 20 years before she started using inhaled insulin.

Diabulimia Stories

My Type 1 Truth: Shedding Light on Diabulimia

As Amy passed her 20-year anniversary of living with type 1 diabetes, she recounts her type 1 truth and shares her experience with diabulimia.

Life with a T1D Eating Disorder

Shelby Charles lived with type 1 diabetes for years and used it as a weight loss tool before understanding just dangerous her habits had become.

Diagnosis + Diabulimia: QiQi’s Journey

Eating disorders aren't discussed much in the diabetes world. Qiana shares her story about diabulimia to normalize the discussion about eating disorders.

Community Table: Eating Disorders + Diabetes

Every month, all year long, Beyond Type 1 will be hosting conversations around under-discussed issues facing the diabetes community. January featured a conversation about Eating Disorders and Diabetes, recapped here.

Body Image + Body Dysmorphia

Body Image and Type 1 Diabetes

Erika Arff discusses body image and how it relates to type 1 diabetes.

Surviving an Eating Disorder with Type 1 Diabetes

Julie Vagle struggled with an eating disorder and her stress was compounded by a T1D diagnosis. She had to undergo recovery in order to make peace with both.

Body Image + Stigma in Diabetes

Four panelists discuss body image and stigma they have faced in the diabetes community as part of the Beyond Type 1 September Summits.
Body Dysmorphia and Type 1 Diabetes

Years I’ll Never Get Back: Body Dysmorphia, Type 1 Diabetes and Self-Love

Loving my body was hard—it shouldn’t have been. TRIGGER WARNING: This story includes a personal account of disordered eating while living with type 1 diabetes.
teens need emotional support

Yes, I Lied About My Blood Sugar Levels as a Teenager with Diabetes

This is what happened when I didn’t get the emotional support I needed to thrive as a teenager with type 1 diabetes.

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 04/21/22, UPDATED 01/06/23

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.