Reclaim your Rise Podcast

108. Diabulimia: The Intersection of Diabetes and Eating Disorders with Erin Akers

February 27, 2024

The Jocelyn Diabetes Center suggests that 30% of diabetic women between the ages of 15 and 30 manipulate or omit their insulin in order to lose weight. For Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I want to talk about the lesser known yet devastating eating disorder. Today’s incredible guest is the founder and executive director of Diabulimia. Helpline (DBH), Erin Akers. Erin shares the heart-wrenching story of how she flatlined and was resuscitated after her diabulimia put her in the hospital. This episode is raw and real, but also a necessary conversation to shed light on the T1D tendency towards perfectionism and a disordered relationship to food. 

Time Stamps:  

  • (06:25) The Recovery-Relapse Cycle 
  • (07:14) January 2012: The Fall
  • (08:25) The Fear of Being Found Out
  • (09:25) The Time Erin Flat-lined 
  • (10:22) A Mother’s Cry: A Call To Change 
  • (12:28) Why the Second Time Was Harder to Ask For Help
  • (14:30) Her Diagnosis Journey 
  • (16:40) When the Body Image Issues Began as a childt 9 
  • (19:10) Comparison to Her Brother’s Diabetesic Journey
  • (22:00) Giving Up on Being a “Good Diabetic” at 14
  • (22:48) The Descent: Figuring Out How She Could Lose Weight 
  • (25:40) Feeding the Hungry Heart: Our Relationship to Food 
  • (26:40) Perfectionist Tendencies and Grace
  • (32:57) Context Collapse 
  • (35:58) The Unique Pathology of Diabulimia
  • (37:54) The 2 Things 
  • (38:53) What Recovery Looks Like
  • (39:55) Relationship to the Number
  • (40:55) A Perfectionist Exercise
  • (42:10) Journaling to Heal
  • (46:38) Recovery is Not Passive: You Have To Do the Work
  • (47:45) Diabulimia An Ignored Population
  • (49:41) Community 
  • (52:35) The Helpline
  • (53:23) Why We Can’t Afford to NOT Talk About Diabuleima
  • (57:12) Erin’s Lifelong Complications
  • (59:01) Happy Recovery Stories 
  • (01:02:25) Getting Your Dreams, Belief, and Hope Back

What to do now: 

1. To Call the FREE Diabuleima Helpline: 1-425-985-3635 
2. DBH Links: 




3. Follow me
@lauren_bongiorno and @riselyhealth on Instagram to stay in the loop for when new episodes drop.
4. Learn more about our coaching programs

Disclaimer: Nothing you hear on the Reclaim your Rise podcast should be a substitute for personalized professional medical advice. Please always consult your physician or other medical professional before making any changes to your diet, insulin dosages, or healthcare plan. 

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