A woman who used her own diabetes to lose 28kgs in just six months to achieve dream shape – devastated her body so much she lost all her teeth by age 30
A woman who used her own DIABETES to lose 28kgs in just six months – devastated her body so much she’s lost all her teeth by AGE 30.
Skye Simpson’s dream of the perfect body almost killed her as she deliberately skipped her insulin injections for her type-1 diabetes.
By missing the jabs Skye was forcing her body to burn as much food as possible to try and regulate her blood sugar.
Her condition known as diabulimia is an eating disorder which sees people with diabetes risk their lives avoiding insulin to lose weight.
The beauty therapist from Melbourne, Victoria, who was diagnosed with diabetes aged seven, lost up to 3kgs (1/2 stone) a week and slimmed from a size 14, to a tiny size 6.
But now 30-year-old Skye – who is recovering from the illness after gaining nearly 20kgs (3 stone 2lbs) – will live with the terrible side effects of the condition for the rest of her life.
She says: “I’ve always been happy with my body. For as long as I could remember I weighed 75kgs (11 stone 8lbs) and was a size 14. It suited my 173cms (5ft 7in) frame.
“It was only after I unexpectedly lost 6kgs three years ago from a nasty bug and friends started complementing me, that I started to question my appearance.
“Suddenly I felt fat and ugly. I was horrified by the way I looked and wanted my body to change.
“But, I didn’t want to give up food or exercise. I was too lazy for that. I loved snacking on chips, bread and biscuits.”
Sparked with a sudden desire to be slim, Skye decided to ‘skip a few needles’ to lose more weight.
She said: “I’d always known missing insulin could cause rapid weight loss as it’s a common symptom in undiagnosed type-1 diabetics.
“At first I was only skipping one injection a day. But as the weight dropped off, I became hooked and in just a few weeks, I was skipping my insulin altogether.”
As everyone complimented Skye on her slender body, she became caught in the grip of her addiction.
At the height of her illness, Skye’s weight plummeted to just 47kgs (7 stone 4lbs) – but obtaining her tiny frame had costly consequences.
She said: “First I started losing clumps of my long blonde hair and then my vision became blurry. Stupidly, I just ignored it.
“It felt worth it if it meant I could be slim.
“But my body was in a constant state of stress from being deprived of insulin as my blood sugar level plummeted. I was tired, weak and run down and was constantly in and out of hospital.”
Skye’s deterioration left doctors baffled as they couldn’t understand how she was losing so much weight and getting so sick.
After 18 months of insulin abuse, Skye’s immune system was so low her teeth started to crumble.
She said: “Eventually, I caught an infection in my gums and doctors had to operate to remove my teeth. I was only 28.
“Luckily I could wear dentures, but I was so embarrassed. Without my false teeth in, I looked like a granny and it made me really self-conscious around my boyfriend Corey, 31.”
But even losing her teeth wasn’t enough to stop Skye from skipping her life-saving injections.
The final straw came for Skye when she became too weak to even visit her beloved horse of 16 years, Risco.
She said: “One night I was stuck at home, exhausted and frustrated when I stumbled across a post on Facebook about ‘diabulimia.’
“I realised then that I had an eating disorder and needed help. I went to see my doctor and asked her about it, but she’d never heard of it before. I was horrified.”
Determined to get better, Skye started psychotherapy treatment regularly used to treat anorexic and bulimia sufferers and started the slow road to recovery.
Now 18 months later, Skye is a healthy 65kgs (10stone 2lbs) and wears a size 12, but she still lives with the side effects of her condition.
She said: “My hair is covered in bald patches and I can’t leave the house without my extensions in, plus I’ll have to wear my dentures for the rest of my life.
“I’ve started to lose my vision because the nerves have been so badly damaged and my stomach is now so sensitive, I can only eat certain foods.
“At first, putting weight on was extremely traumatic. But when I was strong enough to ride Risco for the first time in nearly 2 years, it made the pain worthwhile.
“The worst thing about having ‘diabulimia’ was the fact that no one knew what it was. I’m lucky that I had the support from my family and partner, but I hate to think that there are other Aussie women out there like me suffering alone.”