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There are several emotional, behavioral and physical signs and symptoms of diabulimia. If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs and symptoms of diabulimia, it’s important to seek help and medical treatment.

Physical signs and symptoms of diabulimia

Physical signs and symptoms of diabulimia include:

  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • An A1c of 9.0 or higher.
  • Persistent thirst and frequent urination.
  • Frequent episodes of nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Multiple diabetes-related ketoacidosis (DKA) episodes or near-DKA episodes without any explainable causes.
  • Fatigue or lethargy.
  • Frequent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and/or vaginal yeast infections.
  • Deteriorating or blurry vision.
  • Dry hair and skin.

Behavioral signs and symptoms of diabulimia

Behavioral signs of diabulimia include:

  • Not giving insulin (bolusing) for meals and/or under-bolusing for meals.
  • Increasing neglect of diabetes management.
  • Secrecy about diabetes management.
  • Avoiding diabetes-related appointments.
  • Discomfort in testing blood sugar or administering insulin in front of others.
  • Infrequently filled insulin prescriptions.
  • Sleeping more than usual.

Emotional and psychological signs and symptoms of diabulimia

Emotional and psychological signs of diabulimia include:

  • Fear that insulin causes weight gain.
  • Anxiety about body image.
  • Feeling drained by diabetes management (diabetes burnout).
  • Fear of low blood sugars (hypoglycemia) due to needing to eat food to treat them.
  • Depression and/or anxiety.
  • Feeling irritable and/or having mood swings.
  • Having an obsessive interest in food, calories and dieting.


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