Those who suffer with both diabetes and eating disorders (sometimes referred to as Diabulimia) are faced with many challenges. Balancing dietary needs with eating disorder treatment can be difficult and requires professionals that are specialized in both. Center for Change provides care and treatment for adolescent girls and adult women who suffer with both of these life threatening illnesses.
Our Unique Approach Toward Treatment
At Center for Change, we provide 24 hour, 7 day a week diabulimia treatment, nursing, and dietary care which moves patients from unstable blood sugars that are generated by their eating disorder, through the re-feeding process into stable blood sugars and towards a healthy and individualized weight range. In addition to nursing staff, we have physicians and nurse practitioners who evaluate patients consistently and provide medical interventions related to their specific needs. Center for Change has a Certified Diabetic Educator on staff that performs weekly assessments for each patient with diabetes. The CDE is also available for consultation with the other medical team members. Collaboration and consultation occurs on a weekly basis with outside medical specialists, such as the patient’s endocrinologist, to ensure the best individualized care and treatment are provided for each unique patient.
At the time of admission, a complete assessment is done of the patient’s medical condition and past treatment. This includes baseline labs such as HbA1c. Routinely, A1c levels will be checked throughout their treatment stay. This is important for patients to be able to see their progress through the program and recognize how their dietary needs are affecting their body and glucose control. Through our phase program, we allow patients to practice different levels of monitoring their own blood sugar and administering insulin. This creates a relationship of trust with the medical staff. Opportunities are provided to challenge and change the pattern of manipulating blood sugars and insulin to engage in eating disorder motives and behaviors. With our expertise, we are able to accommodate those patients who utilize continuous glucose monitoring systems or insulin pumps based on their history and medical assessment.
The medical and dietary team work closely together to ensure that individual meal plans are created to meet the patient’s dietary needs. At the beginning of diabulimia treatment, the dietary model is quite structured to help stabilize the patient medically, and to give them the greatest opportunity to experience success. As the patient progresses, the dietitian uses an Intuitive Eating approach to help the patient to reclaim pleasure in eating and find a nutritional balance that best manages their diabetes. It is important to move the patient to a place of medical stability and then develop ways to be successful at managing their diabetes through the treatment experience. This is critical in preparing patients for discharge.
For more information on the Co-occurring Eating Disorders & Diabetes Program, also known as Diabulimia, at Center for Change, call 888-224-8250 or click here to know how to get started.