Anorexia nervosa complicated by diabetes mellitus: The case for permissive hyperglycemia

Authors

  • Carrie Brown MD,

    1. Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Denver Health
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  • Philip S. Mehler MD

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Denver Health
    2. Department of Patient Safety and Quality, Denver Health, Denver, Colorado
    • Correspondence to: Dr. Phillip Mehler, Denver Health Medical Center, 777 Bannock Street, MC0278, Denver, CO 80204. E-mail: pmehler@dhha.org

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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 long-term nature of the diabetic illness. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:671–674)

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