Momentary Study of Eating Disorder Symptoms in Type 1 Diabetes
(R01 DK089329, PI: Merwin)
Individuals with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1D) who develop an eating disorder are at high risk for diabetes-related medical complications and premature death. Eating disorders affect a significant subset of T1D patients who often withhold insulin as a means of controlling weight. Yet what accounts for the prevalence of this dangerous comorbidity and how to effectively treat these patients is unknown. Interventions developed for non-diabetic patients have failed to improve key metabolic parameters in T1D patients, suggesting extant models of eating pathology are inadequate for this unique population. This study tested somatic-affective antecedents to eating disorder symptomatology among individuals with T1D. Participants wore continuous glucose monitors (CGM) while simultaneously being cued to make diary entries of psychological state and behavior (randomly and for all eating episodes). Glucose data and diary data were then time-synced to answer novel questions about eating disorder etiological factors, including whether nonacceptance (or rejection) of diabetes leads to aberrant responding to normal fluctuations in blood glucose. Findings are published in Diabetes Care and Psychosomatic Medicine.
For more information about this study and other studies on Type 1 Diabetes, visit our Duke Diabetes Research Team website.