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I've been diagnosed with diabetes... Can I still work on healing my relationship with food?

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

Treatment for diabetes can feel like it's at complete odds with treatment for an eating disorder.

Traditional treatment for diabetes is often "eat more of this," "eat less of that," rules rules rules. Treatment for an eating disorder includes working on getting rid of rules and increasing flexibility. No wonder healing and treatment for these two conditions can feel like they're pulling you so hard in opposite directions that you might break in half. If you are in this position right now, know that I am sending you loads and loads of compassion.

But when we take a more holistic view (and I mean truly truly holistic: looking at everything in your life), it's IMPERATIVE that treatment for diabetes is built upon the strong foundation of eating disorder recovery. This is because without a strong foundation of continual work on recovery, diabetes can throw a door (and a window, for that matter) open for the eating disorder to burst it's way back through.

So if you've recently been diagnosed with diabetes while you're actively working on recovery from an eating disorder, disordered eating, or chronic dieting, consider adjusting the dial on your diabetes management. This might give you some space to give attention to thethings that have been positive and helpful in your recovery.

This might look like:

  • Taking a break from checking blood sugar, or turning down the dial on the frequency of checking.

  • Asking a loved one to take over some diabetes-related tasks.

  • Increasing/adjusting medication to allow you some more flexibility with food choices.

  • Taking a break from learning/googling about diabetes. You don't have to know everything right now.

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