Anorexia nervosa complicated by diabetes mellitus and the case for permissive hyperglycemia

April 07, 2014

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ABSTRACT: The coexistence of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and anorexia nervosa results in an increased incidence of known diabetic complications such as retinopathy and nephropathy, presumably because blood glucose is difficult to control within the throes of comorbid anorexia nervosa. In addition, even when a diabetic patient with anorexia nervosa has committed to resolving his or her eating disorder, glucose control is again difficult and fraught with complexity and peril as will be highlighted in the following case report.

Prudence dictates that strict glucose control is not indicated for the relatively short period of time that constitutes the early stage of refeeding in a patient with severe anorexia nervosa. Rather, “permissive hyperglycemia” may be the more optimal course to pursue, as a clinical strategy which is considerate of both the criticality of the refeeding treatment plan and of the longterm nature of the diabetic illness.

 

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  1. Brown, CA, PS Mehler. 'Anorexia nervosa complicated by diabetes mellitus: The case for permissive hyperglycemia'. Int J Eat Disord. 2014; 47(6):671-4. DOI: 10.1002/eat.22282