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Dear concerned parent,
As you, insulin resistance allows glucose levels to rise but the cells cannot absorb and be energized by the glucose. They starve. The insulin cannot bind sufficiently to the insulin receptors and cannot tell the cells to take in glucose. The body thinks it is starving and begins to break down stored glycogen in the body which becomes glucose. This triggers more insulin secretion, which makes the person feel hungry. Glucose levels rise, and low energy levels ensue as do mood swings. Excess glucose is secreted in the urine. Vital organs and nerves can be harmed, and one result is hirsutism Another is depression.
Insulin resistance is significant correlated with depression (per the journal BMJ, January 2005). The depression usually precedes the diagnosis for diabetes. It is hypothesized that the insulin may produce other hormones in response, particularly cortisol, the "stress
hormone" or another called glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP-1) which triggers depression and anxiety
Another researcher (Jurriaan Plesman) suggests that this depression is a nutritional disorder. Because the cells do not get enough energy, they produce an insufficiency of serotonin thus causing depression. To counteract this he suggest a hypoglycemic diet (protein-complex carbohydrate snack every three hours) in order to stabilize glucose levels and hence serotonin levels. This therapy approach is one that takes months or even longer to implement full results.
Most people with this condition gain a great deal of weight, yet your daughter has lost 40 pounds and has trouble with her body image. This sounds very much like anorexia nervosa
, which is her way of reaction to her illness. I'm sure that if her hirsutism is significant (meaning barely visible in a teenage girl) then this, along with her depressed state, triggers her anorexia. She fights her tendency to gain weight by starving herself (and possibly secretly purging).
Her depression is probably driven by the effects on her endocrine system. However, she may be suffering from low serotonin and might need therapy to raise it. Furthermore, her depression is probably increased by health uncertainties and hirsutism.
There is an excellent therapist in State College whose main specialty is eating disorders. She is:
Ms. Nancy E Campbell
Clinical Social Work/Therapist , LCSW, LLC
315 S. Allen St, Suite 426 B
State College, Pennsylvania 16801
She works primarily with clients struggling with eating disorders, and after completing her masters at Univeristy of Pittsburgh, she complete her professional training at UPMC/Westgern Psychiatric Clinic (WPIC), the Center for Overcoming Problem Eating (COPE) and Anxiety Disorder/OCD Clinic, where she was trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. She will have the skills and the contacts to help your daughter as well as anyone else, even if you go further afield
I wish you great success.
Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC