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Our teenage daughter (14) was diagnosed at age 5. Lately she has cut down her insulin doses so that she doesn't have to eat as much. I'm afraid all the skinny models in magazines have gotten to her. Her diet consists of mostly vegetables and fruit. She's gotten quite thin. What is the danger to her of possibly being anorectic? I don't want to overreact, but I am concerned.


Teenagers are well known for experimenting with all sorts of risky behaviors. Sometimes they are just "trying things out" and other times the behaviors become destructive habits with serious consequences. It is difficult to know whether her eating behaviors are just a "fad" or have developed into something more serious but I would definitely advise having her talk with a psychologist to evaluate the possibility of an eating disorder, possibly anorexia or bulimia.

There are several "red flags" that you mentioned:

  1. Limiting food choices (excluding meat and other foods which may be perceived as fattening).
  2. Weight Loss - becoming "quite thin" and
  3. Reducing insulin - sometimes this can be done when less food is consumed. But other times individuals will intentionally do this in order to lose weight. The glycosylated hemoglobin values may be higher than recommended and this will result in glycosuria (more glucose in the urine) and weight loss.

I do not think you would be overreacting by having her formally evaluated by a psychologist/psychiatrist who specializes in eating disorders. (She may not be receptive to this idea but it may help pay off in health benefits down the line.)


Original posting 7 Nov 96


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