Eating disorders in adolescents with type 1 diabetes: Challenges in diagnosis and treatment

World J Diabetes. 2015 Apr 15;6(3):517-26. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i3.517.


Eating disorders (ED) are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating that impairs health or psychosocial functioning. They are associated with increased rates of medical complications and mortality. Insulin omission is a unique purging behavior available to individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). The standard treatment regimen for T1DM requires a major focus on food and eating patterns. Moreover, intensive insulin therapy is associated with increasing body weight. These factors, combined with the psychological burden of chronic disease management and depression, may contribute to ED. The comorbidity of ED in T1DM patients is associated with poorer glycemic control and consequently higher rates of diabetes complications. Early recognition and adequate treatment of ED in T1DM is essential.

Keywords: Eating disorders; Insulin omission; Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review