Alsana Birmingham Programs Welcome Eating Disorder Clients With Co-Occurring Type 1 Diabetes 


Alsana’s Diabulimia Treatment Program Provides Life-Saving Care For People Who Have Diabetes And Who Are Also Struggling With An Eating Disorder.

  ED-DMT1, Press and Media, Blog
Diabulimia treatment offered in Westlake Village, CA, St Louis, MO, Birmingham, AL

St. Louis, MO October 11, 2023 – This fall, Alsana Birmingham’s Residential and PHP/IOP eating disorder treatment programs will begin serving adult clients with co-occurring diabetes. This specialized care has been offered by Alsana’s residential and PHP/IOP programs in Westlake Village, CA, since 2020. 

ED-DMT1, also known colloquially as “diabulimia,” is one of the most dangerous and least understood eating disorders. The non-clinical term diabulimia is sometimes used to describe co-occurring diabetes and eating disorders in individuals who restrict insulin in order to lose weight. 

Research shows that individuals with type 1 diabetes may be more susceptible to disordered eating behaviors than those without diabetes, and at 34.8 percent per year, the mortality rate of this dual diagnosis is exceptionally high.

“Compassion-Focused Therapy, a method that aims to help clients replace shame and self-criticism with compassion, is at the heart of our therapeutic approach,” says Jessica Harris, LMFT, CEDS. “Self-compassion is crucial in the eating disorder recovery process. This is especially true for individuals trying to build healthy relationships with their bodies while managing chronic, physical illnesses.”

Like many people with eating disorders, individuals with diabulimia often struggle with shame and self-criticism. They may also experience diabetes stigma, which is defined as the negative attitudes originating from false ideas that people’s poor choices caused their diabetes.

At Alsana, clients with diabulimia learn to manage their illness without focusing on restriction or weight loss. “Eating disorders are complex biopsychosocial illnesses. Reducing body weight fails to treat the actual core of the eating disorder,” says Harris. “Our care teams work to decouple the idea that weight and health are directly tied to one another and focus instead on health-promoting behaviors.” 

Start the road to recovery with Alsana.

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