After battling an eating disorder that causes people with type 1 diabetes to skip insulin injections in order to lose weight, Lucy Travers and Alice Flower want better support for those with the condition.
Now in recovery, the pair from Norwich are launching a campaign to raise awareness of ED-DMT1, or diabulimia, to help others spot the symptoms.
They also hope to encourage medical professionals, including GPs, diabetes experts and eating disorder specialists, to talk to each other and work together so patients get the best possible treatment.
‘I had ED-DMT1 for almost 2 years and the illness took everything I had,’ explains 24-year-old Lucy.
‘I believe lack of knowledge and poor communication within my care led to my prolonged suffering.
‘I felt I was thrown from pillar to post – never moving forwards.’
Alice (22) adds: ‘I first developed the eating disorder aged 18.
'At my worst, I was in hospital about 18 times in 11 months.
‘I want to raise awareness so the symptoms can be picked up more swiftly and sympathetically.’
With Fixers, Lucy and Alice have created a resource pack for doctors offering both an overview of diabulimia and their personal stories.
In it, they explain that if you have type 1 diabetes and aren’t getting enough insulin, the body burns stored fat, muscle and even organ tissue to create the energy it needs. The by-products of this process can be fatal if left untreated.
Lucy and Alice also directly address health practitioners in the booklet, providing their thoughts on how treatment can be improved.
Read their booklet ‘Diabetes & Eating Disorders’ below.
‘I’m over the moon with how the booklet looks,’ Lucy comments.
‘I feel it is concise enough for people to engage with, thus being more likely to stick in their minds.’
Alice says: ‘Even if we just reach a couple of medical professionals, that’s a couple more that will understand.’
The Fixers hope to distribute their booklets to GP surgeries, diabetes and eating disorder centres, mental health facilities and hospitals in their area.
Lucy adds: ‘I want to highlight the importance of communication during treatment of a patient with ED-DMT1.
'I believe this could help lead to more efficient care.'
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