There definitely appears to be a correlation between diabetes and eating disorders. The American Diabetes Association estimates that persons with diabetes are three times more likely to develop an eating disorder compared to persons without diabetes.
What are eating disorders? Ailments that cause severe disturbances to your everyday meal plan, such as eating very small amounts of food or from excessively overeating. A person with an eating disorder may have started out with eating too little or too much, at some point, the compulsion to eat more or less goes out of control. There is a lot of distress in relation to body weight and shape which are indicators of an eating disorder.
Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorders.
In anorexia nervosa one of the main symptoms is severe weight loss and believing that one is fat, when in fact, the person is excessively thin.
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by regular binge-eating and then struggling to avoid weight gain from their binge through purging (e.g., vomiting, abusing laxatives, exercising excessively).
People with binge-eating disorder have no control over their eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge eating are not followed by compensatory behaviors like purging, exercising excessively, or fasting and people with binge-eating disorders are very overweight or obese.
It is important to note that having diabetes does not necessarily mean that one is going to develop an eating disorder. It is essential to pay attention to how you eat, how much you eat, and how you manage your food and exercise, especially because weight and blood sugar issues are involved.
Being diagnosed with diabetes implies that one needs to follow a specific eating plan that may appear to be restrictive in nature, but which is necessary to control the disease. Because of this perception, one may experience pressure to be thin, or you may be struggling with having diabetes and therefore turn to comfort food which is not diabetes conducive.