Park Nicollet Hosts Conference to Explore the Best Treatment of 'Diabulimia'

    Experts across North America meet in Minneapolis Sept 18-19

    High Mortality Rate: Up To 1/3 of Dual Diagnosis Patients Die Prematurely

    ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn., Sept. 10 /CNW/ -- Leaders in the fields of
diabetes and eating disorders from across the U.S. and Canada will convene in
Minneapolis to begin the process of setting international standards for
treatment of the dual diagnosis of these two disorders. Organizers want to
raise awareness, collect current best practices, define research questions and
submit a peer reviewed paper to a major medical journal critically reviewing
this field. They also hope to identify international centers for treatment and
establish an ongoing collaborative network.
    "It's time to get the experts together, not only to review the research,
but to learn from each other," says Richard Bergenstal, MD, Executive Director
of the International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet, and co-host of the
    Panelists include Ovidio Bermudez, MD from the Laureate Psychiatric
Hospital in Tulsa; Gary Rodin, MD from Toronto; William Polonsky, PhD, of the
Behavioral Diabetes Institute at the University of California, San Diego;
Patricia Colton, MD from Toronto General Hospital; Scott Crow, MD from the
University of Minnesota; Ann Goebel-Fabbri, PhD, from the Joslin Diabetes
Center in Boston; and Juliet Zuercher, RD, from Remuda Ranch Treatment Centers
in Phoenix.
    What is "diabulimia"?
    The public calls it "diabulimia" and clinicians call it "Dual Diagnosis."
Either term describes the potentially deadly combination of diabetes and
eating disorders. Patients withhold insulin injections-the drug they need to
treat type 1 diabetes-so their bodies will pass the sugars and carbohydrates
they eat without processing them. It may make them thin in the short run, but
over time it can lead to increased rates of blindness, loss of limbs, kidney
disease, heart disease and death. Research shows the mortality rate is 33%
(Mortality in Concurrent Type 1 Diabetes and Anorexia Nervosa, Diabetes Care
25:309-312, 2002).
    Currently there is no established best-practice protocol for treatment.
Patients often go back and forth between specialists in the two areas with
little or no coordination.  Park Nicollet Health Services-one of the first
health systems in the nation to develop a comprehensive combined treatment
program-is determined to change that by hosting an international conference to
establish new standards for treatment of eating disorders and diabetes. "We
want to bring together a team of experts and establish guidelines for the
treatment of this potentially lethal illness," says Joel Jahraus, MD,
Executive Director of the Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital Eating Disorders
    "There is great irony in a dual diagnosis," says Dr. Bergenstal. "Our
diabetes patients are taught to count carbohydrates and calories and keep
track of what they're eating. But doing that may also trigger an eating
disorder."  That medical catch-22 is one of the many unique challenges that
experts will wrestle with this fall.
    "Recently we've seen an increase in numbers of individuals with dual
diagnosis illness seeking treatment at the Eating Disorders Institute and the
International Diabetes Center," says Dr. Jahraus. "This has caused us to
collaborate internally and rethink our approach to the dual diagnosis of an
eating disorder and diabetes.  Now is the time to bring together a larger
audience of clinicians and researchers to develop useable, comprehensive
treatment plans.  It just can't wait any longer."

    For more information, visit:
    International Diabetes Center at Park Nicollet provides world-class
diabetes care, education and clinical research to meet the needs of people
with diabetes, their families and the health professionals who care for them.
Located in suburban Minneapolis, the center is recognized internationally for
its range of clinical and educational programs, products and services.
International Diabetes Center is part of Park Nicollet Institute, a division
of Park Nicollet Health Services.
    Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital Eating Disorders Institute (EDI) is a
nationally recognized program treating people struggling with anorexia
nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.  EDI collaborates with
each client and family to develop an individualized treatment plan, using a
multidisciplinary approach to treatment, including physicians, dietitians,
psychologists, psychiatrists and other specialty disciplines.   EDI offers a
full continuum of care including inpatient, partial hospital program, and
outpatient programs.

For further information:

For further information: Steve McCarthy of Park Nicollet,
+1-952-993-6726, pager, +1-952-231-5029 Web Site:

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