King’s diabulimia clinic to feature in BBC documentary

21 September 2017 - A King’s College Hospital clinic treating patients with type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder is the subject of a new BBC Three documentary.

Gemma diabulimia doc

The programme – called Diabulimia: The World’s Most Dangerous Eating Disorder – features King’s Consultant Liaison Psychiatrist Professor Khalida Ismail, as well as a number of the patients she treats.

The diabulimia clinic is offered by the Type 1 Diabetes and Eating Disorder services at King's, and has been running in its current form since January 2017.

The one-off programme follows patients from King’s and further afield who have diabulimia – a relatively new term used to describe those with type 1 diabetes who have a fear that injecting the insulin they need to control their diabetes will lead to weight gain. They deliberately reduce or stop injecting insulin in order to lose weight, risking potentially life-threatening complications in the process.

The programme highlights the patients’ battles to control the physical symptoms of type 1 diabetes, as well as manage their eating disorder, and shows the coming together of mental and physical healthcare professionals to understand more about this condition as patient numbers increase.

One such patient is 22-year-old mother-of-one Gemma (pictured), who is hospitalised at King's and then admitted to an eating disorder unit after her condition reaches dangerous levels.

You can watch Diabulimia: The World’s Most Dangerous Eating Disorder from 10am on Sunday 24 September 2017 on BBC Three, via BBC iPlayer.

You can also read more in MailOnline's article about the programme and BBC Three's interview with another of the patients.

Information for patients

If you wish to be considered for treatment under the diabulimia clinic at King’s, please ask your GP or your Diabetes Consultant to complete a referral.