Diabetes? Involuntary weight loss? How to stop weight loss in diabetes? The first thing you need to do is check your blood sugar. High blood sugar usually means that your body is not processing glucose. Glucose remains in the bloodstream and can’t be used by the cells for energy, instead, our body will start burning muscle tissue and fat for energy,
Unexplained weight loss or unintentional weight loss – especially if it is significant or persistent – could be a sign of medical problems.
It is normal to lose weight noticeably after the stress of changing jobs, after a divorce, or after losing a loved one. However, unexplained weight loss or effortless weight loss (such as diet or exercise) – especially if it is significant or persistent – signals a condition.
When to worry and go to the doctor
Weight is influenced by caloric intake, level of physical activity, general health, age, absorption of nutrients, as well as economic and social factors. It is not known exactly when weight loss becomes a medical concern. However, most doctors say that a medical evaluation is required if you lose more than 5% of your weight within 6-12 months, especially if you are an older adult (after 45 years, your weight should remain relatively normal from year to year). If you are an older adult and have more health problems, even a minor weight loss can be significant.
For example, a 5% weight loss in a person who weighs 72 kg means 3.6 kg. In the case of a person who weighs 90 kg, 5% means 4.5 kg. You should pay special attention if symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, changes in toilet habits, increased frequency of infections. Your doctor will try with you to determine the cause of your weight loss. Initially, the procedure will involve going through personal history, a physical exam, and basic blood tests.
Imaging investigations for hidden cancers are usually only helpful if there are certain clues that point in that direction. If the baseline assessment is negative, the next step is monitoring for 1-6 months. A special diet may be needed to prevent another possible weight loss or to regain the lost pounds. Unexplained weight loss has many causes, medical or non-medical, but sometimes it does not have an identifiable cause (of known etiology). Often, a combination of causes, a decline in overall health, and associated weight loss.
Possible causes of unexplained weight loss: abuse of toxic substances (alcohol, cocaine, etc.), Addison’s disease (adrenal insufficiency), celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, BOPC (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), bowel cancer, dementia, depression (major depressive disorder), diabetes, hypercalcemia, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, HIV, heart failure, drugs changes in diet or appetite, dental problems, tuberculosis or eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, taste disorders, odor disorders, peptic ulcer.
Why do some patients with diabetes drop dramatically, while others, on the contrary, gain weight quickly and suffer from obesity?
It is about the pathogenesis of various forms of the disease. Usually, people with the first type of diabetes, who do not produce insulin, after the onset of the first symptoms of the disease begin to “melt”.
In the case of type 1 diabetes, an insufficient amount of insulin (a hormone that breaks down glucose) causes energy starvation of the tissues, so that, in order to maintain their function, they begin to look for an alternative to the usual energy source. At the same time, gluconeogenesis is activated, the synthesis of glucose in the tissues of non-carbohydrate substrates, which have successfully become muscle and fat.
But due to lack of insulin, the resulting glucose does not enter the cells of the body, but only increases in blood. As a result, diabetics continue to deteriorate, and their weight decreases.
Patients with type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, are prone to obesity. They lose weight already in the form of serious complications or with an inadequate dose of selected drugs. As it is known, in such people the pancreas normally synthesizes insulin, only the cells of the body remain resistant to it and therefore do not take glucose. This leads to an increase in blood sugar levels, the accumulation of lipid conglomerates, and an increase in body weight due to lipid compounds.
The main reasons why diabetics lose weight
Diabetes in patients is expressed by many pathological symptoms, in particular, the appearance of severe thirst, increased urgency to urinate, disorders of the general condition, the appearance of dry skin and paresthesias, tingling or burning in the limbs.
In addition, the disease affects the weight of a person who starts strong and apparently becomes thin for no reason. Sometimes this weight loss can be up to 20 kg per month without physical effort and dietary changes.
Why do people with diabetes lose weight? Sudden weight loss is more common in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes. In these patients, the pancreatic gland refuses to produce enough hormonal insulin that regulates glucose metabolism.
In this case, the human body begins to look for alternative sources of energy to maintain its vital functions, attracting it from fat deposits and muscle tissue. Such processes lead to a marked loss of weight due to the reduction of muscle and fat layers.
In type 2 diabetes, insulin in the human body is synthesized but not perceived by liver cells, so the body feels a severe glucose deficiency and begins to attract energy from alternative sources. The weight loss in this scenario is not as rapid as in type 1 diabetes.
Intense weight loss as a symptom of diabetic complications
Intense weight loss in diabetes is a sign of the development of its aggravated forms, which are accompanied by pathological changes in the functioning of internal organs, leading to general exhaustion and significant deterioration in the well-being of a sick person.
Such changes in the patient’s body indicate that he can no longer control metabolic processes without external help and therefore needs additional help.
Strong weight loss is the result of energy starvation of body tissues, which leads to severe metabolic disorders. These patients have a severe blood protein deficiency, ketoacidosis, and anemia.
They constantly face thirst associated with an increase in glucose levels.
Why is it so hard to lose weight with diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the development and/or use of hormonal reserves, called insulin, is disrupted in the body. Insulin deficiency may be due to genetic (congenital) factors, such as type 1 diabetes or to be acquired, which is characteristic of type 2 diabetes.
In both cases, patients with diabetes often have problems with loss of weight due to a violation of the body’s control over blood sugar and insulin..
To understand the causes of weight loss in patients with diabetes, it is necessary to clarify the relationship between blood sugar, insulin and diabetes itself.
Blood sugar levels depend on foods that contain carbohydrates. The level of sugar in the blood increases in proportion to the speed of digestion of food consumed: the more carbohydrates the food contains, the faster it breaks down in the gastrointestinal tract, the faster the sugar enters the blood.
In response to an increase in blood sugar, the body signals the pancreas to develop a certain amount of insulin and release it into the bloodstream. When insulin enters the bloodstream, it binds to sugar and delivers it to the body’s cells, as needed: during exercise, sugar is passed on to muscle and brain cells, providing them with energy; if the body does not need extra energy, the sugar is delivered to the fat cells (fat store), where it is stored. Thus, if the body needs energy, the sugar will be broken down by cells and used for work; otherwise, the sugar will lead to an increase in body weight. The problem of weight loss in diabetics is due to the fact that their blood sugar levels increase almost constantly because the body can not regulate the sugar balance due to insulin deficiency.
Thus, the flow of blood sugar in the body fat store practically does not stop, which contributes to the constant increase in body weight.
How to adjust your weight in diabetes?
The total amount of carbohydrates must be indicated on the packaging of any product. It should be borne in mind that different carbohydrates behave differently in the process of digestion and affect the pancreas in different ways.
An objective criterion for knowing how fast certain carbohydrates raise blood sugar is the value of the glycemic index.
The value of this index allows you to assess how this product raises blood sugar.
Foods with a low index are foods whose glycemic index does not exceed 55. The glycemic index of glucose is 100%, honey – 85%, potatoes – 85%, milk chocolate – 70%.
Patients who suffer from diabetes should avoid carbohydrates with an index above 70%, except for when they suffer from hypoglycemia.
The main task of diabetics is to regulate blood sugar levels. Because their bodies cannot properly “process” the excessive amount of carbohydrates they consume and send them to the fat store or lead to a sudden uncontrolled rise in blood sugar levels with adequate symptoms.
Diabetics are advised to limit themselves to consuming only carbohydrates that minimally affect blood sugar levels: fruits, vegetables, grains.
Why do diabetics lose weight? How to stop weight loss in diabetes?
The progression of diabetes in the body is almost always associated with weight loss in patients. Only in some cases, the diabetic has an increase in body weight. For this reason, the question is reasonable – in terms of diabetes, they lose weight or gain weight, and in some cases, this situation develops.
The answers to these questions allow you to prevent a sudden change in body weight, which allows you to prevent in advance the development of various pathological situations in the body.
To understand why people lose weight in type 2 diabetes, it is necessary to become familiar with the mechanism of development of the pathology in humans. The appearance and progression of the pathology is due to the accumulation of a large amount of sugars in the blood plasma, which occurs against the background of a decrease in the production activity of pancreatic cells. The result of a decrease in the activity of pancreatic cells leads to a decrease in the amount of insulin produced in the body, which regulates the body’s ability to absorb glucose.
In some cases, the pancreas has normal activity, ensuring the production of the required amount of insulin and an increase in glucose levels in the body is due to the fact that insulin-dependent tissue cells become immune to the hormone, preventing it from transporting sugar across the cell membrane of the cell. As a result of these processes, the cells have a smaller amount of energy needed to compensate for the energy deficiency, the body begins to attract energy from fat reserves and muscle tissue. The occurrence of such a situation leads to rapid weight loss, despite the proper consumption of food. Long-term weight loss in diabetes leads to exhaustion of the body and the development of a large number of disorders and pathologies in the patient.
Why do type 2 diabetics lose weight?
Most often, a marked change in weight in diabetic suffering from type 2 pathology is associated with the appearance of strong emotional stress and the effects of stressful situations on the body.
In some cases, weight loss may be associated with the development of neurological disorders during diabetes. Another reason for a sudden drop in body weight may be a problem with the functioning of the pancreas. These violations and negative effects on the person lead to disruptions in metabolic processes and, as a result, the patient has a violation of the processes of assimilation of components that are beneficial to the body in the composition of the food.
With a marked weight loss in a diabetic, he is assigned a special diet that contributes to the normalization of body weight, while controlling the progression of the pathology, which helps prevent the development of complications.
The main reasons why there is a sharp decrease in the weight of a person suffering from a sweet disease are the following: autoimmune processes – are the main cause of disorders in the functioning of the pancreas and insulin. Reducing the sensitivity of insulin-dependent tissue cells to the hormone, which leads to a lack of energy, fueled by the breakdown of fats and proteins.
The impact of metabolism in the context of decreased insulin-dependent tissue cell sensitivity.
In some cases, diabetics may gain excessive body weight. Therefore, sometimes you can answer the question of why diabetics get fat. As with weight loss, the culprit for weight gain in a patient is a disturbed metabolism, which leads to the deposition of large amounts of fat. This is especially noticeable in patients who are not looking to maintain a proper diet and recommended diet.
In addition to emotional stress and stressful situations, the following reasons may lead to weight loss in the presence of diabetes in women: anorexia; postpartum depression; breastfeeding; the appearance of hormonal imbalance; insufficient or inadequate nutrition.
Various pathologies in the activity of the gastrointestinal tract, oncological diseases, and a number of infectious diseases, as well as the absence of necessary complex nutrients in the body, compounds, and bioactive compounds, can contribute to a weight loss in diabetes.
Tissue destruction processes in the body.
It should be remembered that for patients suffering from diabetes there is a possibility not to lose weight, but to develop exhaustion – cachexia.
If you are overweight and have type 2 diabetes, people are wondering if you can cure type 2 diabetes if you lose weight. In answering this question, it should be noted immediately that it is impossible to cure diabetes with weight loss, but if there is too much weight, weight loss will have a beneficial effect on the condition of the body and general well-being.
What is the danger of weight loss?
A dramatic change in the patient’s body weight has many health risks. Firstly, with a drastic weight loss, there is a violation of metabolic processes that ensure the normal functioning of the person and, secondly, the development of muscular dystrophy and fatty tissue is observed.
In addition, weight loss may experience severe intoxication. In the patient’s blood, an increased accumulation of products of the incomplete breakdown of adipose and muscle tissue is observed. The body is not able to fully cope with the process of excretion of decay products, which adversely affects the condition of all organs and their systems.
Especially strong negative impact of toxins on the brain, which can eventually trigger the onset of a fatal outcome. With a decrease in body weight in a diabetic, the digestive system first suffers.
The patient has a decrease in the motility of the stomach, such a violation is accompanied by the appearance of nausea; vomiting; sensations of pain; feelings of heaviness, and others. All these changes affect the functioning of the pancreas and gallbladder.
For this reason, the appearance and progression of pancreatitis and gastritis frequently become companions of patients suffering from diabetes and quickly lose body weight. As a result, metabolic processes and the accumulation of a large number of toxins in the blood lead to a change in water-salt metabolism. Such a violation causes liver and kidney dysfunction.
Such pathological changes lead to serious consequences: kidney insufficiency, hepatitis, urolithiasis, etc. In addition to these disorders and pathologies in a diabetic who loses weight quickly, the following complications can occur: the onset and progression of hypoparathyroidism; formation of severe edema; there is an increased fragility of hair and nail plates, which develops against the background of lack of vitamins and mineral compounds in the body; development of hypotension; memory and concentration problems.
In addition to these problems, a diabetic with weight loss is accompanied by psychological disorders. Patients become irritable, sometimes show aggression and there is a tendency to develop depressive states.
It is impossible to recover from diabetes, but it is possible to prevent complications. This requires strict adherence to the recommendations of the endocrinologist and regular taking of prescribed medications. If it is necessary to reduce body weight, this process should be strictly controlled by the attending physician.
Weight gain in diabetes
Consuming a sufficient amount of water for a patient who is losing weight in diabetes is extremely necessary. Each day it is recommended to drink at least 2 liters of pure water, while this volume does not include compotes, tea, soups, and other liquid foods.
Sufficient water consumption is necessary for several reasons. Due to frequent urination, the body is dehydrated, so the fluid supply must be supplemented regularly. When you consume the required amount of fluid it stimulates the pancreas. Potassium, magnesium, and sodium contained in the composition of mineral water have a beneficial effect on insulin synthesis processes. With a sufficient amount of fluid in the body, there is an acceleration of metabolic processes, which helps absorb glucose and quickly removes toxins from the tissues.
Sport can also have a beneficial effect on weight loss. During the exercise period, there is an increase in metabolic processes, which improves appetite. The training force allows you to restore the volume of muscle mass and return to a normal indicator of body weight. Before performing sports, you should consult a doctor who will develop an individual set of exercises and tell you which are optimal for the patient individually.