By Niamh Shackleton
A diabetic woman was just days from death after her weight plummeted to five stone after she restricted her insulin to lose weight.
Becky Rudkin, 30, battled Diabulimia – an eating disorder which affects people with type 1 diabetes – for five years before she sought the help she desperately needed.
After her weight dropped to just five stone, Becky was left fighting for her life after her insulin levels became dangerously low and she fell into a diabetic coma for three days.
Becky was told by doctors her body was close to shutting down unless she rapidly changed her ways.
But after turning her life around in 2013 due to spending years in and out of hospital, Becky now has her life back on track and is sharing her story to raise awareness.
Becky, from Aberdeen, Scotland, said: “Battling an eating disorder is dangerous enough as it is but having diabetes as well can cause so many more issues.
“I was left days from death after limiting my insulin to a point where my body couldn’t operate.
“I’d struggled with my diet for years before I was diagnosed with diabetes at 19 years old.
“But once I realised I could control my weight by restricted my insulin, it all started spiralling out of control.
“I’d struggle to breath, I’d hallucinate and even lost the feeling on one side of my body.
“I became so frail that you could see every bone in my body.
“At my worst point I couldn’t even stand up, I couldn’t go to the bathroom, I couldn’t even go and speak to my mum downstairs – all I wanted to do was stay in bed.
“After years of hospital stays and battling diabetic comas, I decided to get help and start looking after myself.
“I realised this after I hit rock bottom almost six years ago when I hit my lowest weight in 2013.
“I’m so happy I was able to overcome it and live my life properly.
“I need to share my story to show others how dangerous it can be, I wouldn’t want anyone with diabetes to think that this is the best way to lose weight as it can be fatal.”
Prior to her diabetes diagnosis in 2007, Becky had managed to hide her anorexia by eating a minimal amount of food each day and drinking fizzy drinks and water to make herself feel full.
She added: “Having diabetes meant that I could lose more weight quickly as my body needed the insulin to break down the food I was eating.
“By not taking it I would be sick and my body was effectively starving itself.
“Whilst I wasn’t overweight, it was in my head that I was.”
The sales assistant admitted herself into hospital in 2013 after discovering one side of her body was completely numb and she was struggling to breathe.
She added: “I felt awful but I wasn’t taken seriously by the doctors.
“The wanted to send me home as they had done so many times before but this time I said ‘if I go home today I will be back tomorrow in a body bag.’
“Eventually they were able to keep me in over night; I was initially in the cardiac unit before being taken to intensive care.”
Becky was in hospital for six weeks while doctors tried to increase her weight and stabilise her condition.
She added: “I’ve been in quite a few comas during my Diabulimia battle, some of which I don’t genuinely remember.
“I was so frail but I’m so glad something finally clicked in my head.
“I think it was because I was scared half of my body had gone numb and my breathing wasn’t right, I was like OK, I really need to get help.”