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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 anorexic? I don't want to overreact, but I am concerned.


It is very unlikely that this fashion will be more than temporary or advance to anorexia nervosa.

What you describe is a common preoccupation of girls in this age group whether they are diabetic or not. And, of course, if you reduce your food intake it is appropriate to reduce your insulin dose, a move that has the additional dividend of reducing appetite.

At the same time it is important for your daughter to understand that it is possible to be both slim and properly nourished; but she will need the help of a registered nutritionist who is used to dealing both with this age group and with Type 1 diabetes. The syllabus will involve understanding normal nutrition needs (RDA's), any deficiencies in her present diet if need be using a computer, the upper and lower limits of normal growth percentiles for her age and the importance of exercise.

Since most girls will one day want to have a family, it is important for them to learn how to achieve meticulous diabetic control and this may be a good excuse for starting. Also at some stage, if you are the meal provider, you will need to meet with the nutritionist too especially as the rest of the family will have to be considered as well.


Original posting 19 Feb 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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