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Disordered eating in women with type 1 diabetes: Continuous glucose monitoring reveals the complex interactions of glycaemia, self-care behaviour and emotion

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Suresh Rama Chandran, Natalie Zaremba, Amy Harrison, Pratik Choudhary, Yee Cheah, Jacqueline Allan, Fredrik Debong, Fiona Reid, Janet Treasure, David Hopkins, Khalida Ismail, Marietta Stadler

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Accepted/In press2020

King's Authors


Objectives: Glycaemia in people with type 1 diabetes and disordered eating is not well characterised. We explored the glycaemia, self-care behaviour and emotional state of women with type 1 diabetes and disordered eating. Research design and methods: In all, 13 women with and 10 without disordered eating and type 1 diabetes participated in this case–control study. We used a mixed-methods approach with a 7-day blinded continuous glucose monitoring and real-time record of non-prompted capillary glucose (CG), emotion, activity and physical symptoms on a diabetes diary using a smartphone application (mySugr®). We compared groups using Mann–Whitney U test or Fisher's exact test. We conducted thematic analyses of free-text diary entries (NVivo®) and quantitative analysis of emotion/symptom tags. Results: People with type 1 diabetes and disordered eating spent longer time above range in level 2 hyperglycaemia (>13.9 mmol/L, Median [interquartile range]: 21% [16,60] vs 5% [2,17], p = 0.015). They had lower time in range and similar time below range compared to those without disordered eating. The standard deviation of CG was significantly higher in the disordered eating group (4.7 mmol/L [4.5, 6.1] vs 3 [2.8, 3.2], p = 0.018). The median of the percentage of rising sensor glucose trends was three times higher in the disordered eating group. They also had higher negative emotional and physical symptoms associated with high blood glucose (>15 mmol/L). Conclusions: Disordered eating has a significant impact on the glycaemia and emotion of a person with type 1 diabetes.

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