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What Causes Weight Loss In Diabetes

Losing Weight And Insulin Resistance

Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels in the body and helps your cells convert blood sugar into energy. In some people with diabetes, however, blood sugar levels are high for a sustained period of time, causing the pancreas to produce more and more insulin. Eventually, the cells stop responding to that insulinbecoming insulin resistant. Losing weight with insulin resistance is more difficult because your body converts blood sugar into fat instead of energy.

The solution? For a start, reducing the sugar and processed carbohydrates in your diet while increasing healthy fats along with vegetables and whole grains. Even a small improvement can make a big difference. Studies show that a weight loss of just 57 percent is enough to reduce the risk of diabetes by 58 percent in a person who has a high risk of the condition.

Diabetic Medications That Help With Weight Loss

Ahmet Ergin, MD Endocrinologist

My patients with diabetes at their initial presentation, commonly complain about excessive weight gain and not being able to lose weight. If you feel you are one of those patients, this article is definitely for you. In this article, we are going to answer several questions. The main questions are: What causes weight gain with diabetes? What causes weight loss in diabetes? We will also talk about what diabetic medications that cause weight gain and what diabetic medications that cause weight loss?

Table of Contents

When To See A Healthcare Provider

Sometimes, body weight can fluctuate naturally, so when should someone be concerned? The general consensus is that an unintentional 5% or more decrease in body weight over a six- to 12-month period is abnormal.

Sudden weight loss can be a sign of rising or uncontrolled blood glucose levels, says Lisa Moskovitz, RD, the CEO of NY Nutrition Group. Whether or not youre intentionally losing weight, any loss greater than two to three pounds per week should be reported to your healthcare provider.

On the flip side, obesity is a significant risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. People with a body mass index of 30 or higher often have a higher level of insulin resistance, potentially leading to Type 2 diabetes. Not every case of obesity leads to diabetes, but it certainly increases the chances of developing it. On top of that, obesity can exacerbate diabetes symptoms for anyone who already has it.

For this reason, healthcare providers and dietitians will often develop diets or weight loss programs for patients with diabetes or prediabetes. These programs often include meal plans and physical activity routines that help patients achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reducing the risk or severity of Type 2 diabetes. Typically, this involves analyzing the patients current eating and exercise habits, then laying out practical lifestyle changes that will help achieve personal weight loss goals.

RELATED: Overweight and obesity statistics

Symptoms In Older Adults

At least 25.2 percent of people aged 65 and above have type 2 diabetes in the United States. They may have some or all the classic symptoms of type 2 diabetes.

They may also experience one or more of the following:

  • flu-like fatigue, which includes feeling lethargic and chronically weak
  • urinary frequency
  • blurred vision

A person may have mild or subtle symptoms for many years, but these can become in time. Further health problems can develop.

Keep Track Of Your Goals And Progress

does diabetes cause weight loss

Writing down the details of your weight loss journey helps you set healthy targets and notice patterns. Youll be able to appreciate your progress over time, as well as notice when your diet might have gotten a bit off track.

Try jotting down all of the foods you eat, including the serving sizes, in a journal every day. Not a fan of pen and paper? Try one of the many free apps. Its a good idea to weigh yourself at least once a week, per your doctors or diabetes educators recommendation, to keep track of your progress. You might also want to write down when you exercised, what you did, and how you felt after.

Diabetes Medications And Body Weight

Abstract Tight diabetes control sometimes comes with a price: weight gain and hypoglycemia. Two of the three major recent trials that looked at the relationship between intensive diabetes control and cardiovascular events reported significant weight gain among the intensively treated groups. There is a growing concern that the weight gain induced by most diabetes medications diminishes their clinical benefits. On the other hand, there is a claim that treating diabetes with medications that are weight neutral or induces weight loss or less weight gain while minimizing those that increase body weight may emerge as the future direction for treating overweight and obese patients with diabetes. This review clarifies the weight effect of each of the currently available diabetes medications, and explains the mechanism of action behind this effect. Despite the great variability among reviewed clinical trials, the currently available evidence is quite sufficient to demonstrate the change in body weight in association with most of the currently available medications. This review also provides some guidelines on using diabetes medications during weight management programs.Continue reading >>

Weight And Type 1 Diabetes

In diabetes, the body doesn’t use properly. Glucose, a sugar, is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose levels are controlled by a hormone called , which is made in the pancreas. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not make enough insulin.

Undiagnosed or untreated type 1 diabetes can cause weight loss. Glucose builds up in the bloodstream if insulin isn’t available to move it into the body’s cells. When glucose levels become high, the kidneys work to get rid of unused sugar through urine . This causes weight loss due to and loss of calories from the sugar that wasn’t used as energy.

Kids who develop type 1 diabetes often lose weight even though they have a normal or increased appetite. Once kids are diagnosed and treated for type 1 diabetes, weight usually returns to normal.

Developing type 1 diabetes isn’t related to being overweight, but keeping a healthy weight is important. Too much fat tissue can make it hard for insulin to work properly, leading to both higher insulin needs and trouble controlling blood sugar.

How To Safelylose Weight When You Have Diabetes

Even though people with diabetes can experience sudden, unexplained weight loss, this isnt the most common outcome. It mainly occurs in Type 1 diabetes cases, which only comprise 5% to 10% of all diabetes cases. More often, its the oppositelosing weight is a struggle. Insulin resistance leads to higher insulin levels, which can increase hunger and overeating. And during insulin therapy, the body stores more glucose as fat. Both situations can lead to weight gain or, at least, more difficulty with weight management.

While theres no cure for Type 2 diabetes, sustained weight loss through dieting and physical activity can reverse it . This doesnt mean that diabetes is gone forever. It simply means that the disease is in remission, and the patient is maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, but symptoms could always return.

The biggest question is: Whats the best, safest way to lose weight if you have diabetes? There are plenty of fad diets that arent healthy. Sure, consuming nothing but carrot juice for a week will probably help lose weight, but its probably not the healthiest option in the long run. Its often better to eat a personalized, well-rounded diet, manage portions, and exercise regularly. Here are some diabetes weight loss options that might be more effective:

High Carb Diet Causes Hunger Pangs Fatigue Mood Swings Depression And Anxiety

When you eat carbs, your blood sugar levels rise and then fall as the body tries to keep them within a normal range.

If this happens too often it can lead to fatigue, mood swings, depression, and anxiety among other things because of the high fluctuations of glucose and insulin caused by high carb diets.

The more processed sugars and carbs you ingest over time contribute to an increase in hunger pangs due to their effect on insulin production while at the same time causing blood glucose levels after eating carbohydrates drop excessively below normal ranges.

This phenomenon leads people who consume high-carb diets all day long into overeating and weight gain because they are always hungry.

This is why people who consume only carbs for more than half of their calories can suffer from obesity.

What Should I Do If I Experience Unexplained Sudden Weight Loss Constant Hunger Or Fatigue

If you experience these common symptoms but have not been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you should see your doctor and discuss what you are experiencing. Talk to your doctor about measuring your blood glucose to determine if it is high and whether you may have diabetes.

If you have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, unexplained sudden weight loss, constant hunger, and fatigue are signs that your blood glucose levels are not under control. You should contact your doctor right away about these symptoms, especially if you have signs of diabetic ketoacidosis .4

Rapid Weight Loss For Type 2 Diabetes May Harm Some

People with type 2 diabetes are often encouraged to lose weight, as this can help return their blood sugar to normal levels. But few studies have actually looked at how weight loss affects these patients long-term health, including their risk of heart disease and risk of premature death. This is what our latest study sought to investigate.

Our results showed that large weight loss during the five-year period after type 2 diabetes diagnosis was associated with a two-fold increased risk of premature death from any cause. The risk of death after weight loss was highest among participants who did not have obesity at the time they were diagnosed, suggesting obesity could be a particular factor in how patients are affected by losing weight.

Our study included 2,730 adults with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes from the UK, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Their ages ranged from 40 to 69, and 42% were women. Our aim was to understand whether weight loss after a diabetes diagnosis was associated with risk of heart disease and mortality, and whether short- and long-term weight loss had different effects.

We first measured participants weight at the time of their diabetes diagnosis, then again one year and five years later. Then, for the next five years, we tracked information on participants heart disease diagnoses and deaths from hospital records and national registries.

Will Losing Weight Help Manage Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes can improve their blood sugar numbers by losing 5 to 10 percent of their body weight, according to John Hopkins Medicine.

But dieting is already tough when you don’t have a medical condition. Since insulin as well as other medications used to treat diabetes can make it harder to lose the weight necessary to get blood sugar numbers under control, some extra effort may be necessary to get that scale moving in the right direction.

“To reduce the risk of weight gain with diabetes, it is important to manage glucose levels through a healthy diet and exercise,” Schrager says.

She recommends meeting with a registered dietitian to come up with a meal plan that’s individualized to your lifestyle and needs. But you can also adopt the following healthy guidelines to get you started.

Healthy Fats Are Needed By Your Body To Function

Type 2 diabetes: Lose 10

Your brain and your cells need a constant supply of healthy fats, omega 3 to function.

Healthy fat provides fuel for the body, is needed for nutrient absorption, helps keep you from overeating by stabilizing blood sugar levels and hormone production.

The low-fat craze that has been plaguing America for decades now is causing more harm than good because it deprives the body of essential nutrients.

Healthy fats have been replaced with highly processed junk with empty calories and high sugars. This is risky.

The problem with this kind of lifestyle is that it has been exported to other countries, mine included, I see many of these fast food junk open up everywhere.

This means that there are higher chances of getting cancer or other diseases due to malnutrition which will lead to premature death.

The irony here is no one knows whats going on until they have already lost their lives because they were not warned early enough about this problem!

What Is The Dka Risk In Patients Taking Jardiance Invokana Steglatro Farxiga

There is a slight chance of DKA in patients taking these agents.  DKA is a condition where the body starts producing a lot of ketone bodies. Strangely patients who have DKA on these agents do not have high blood sugars. For DKA to happen your body must be depleted of the insulin.  So if you have any nausea, abdominal pain or vomiting on these agents you should inform your doctor immediately.

What Type Of Diabetes Causes Weight Loss

A reduction in insulin resistance is problematic because insulin is needed tohelp glucose enter these tissues to be metabolized. If these tissues areresistant to insulin, higher than normal levels are needed for this processto occur. This is often the case inType 2 diabetes. As a result, a viciouscycle occurs, the higher the insulin levels are, the harder it is to loseweight . Onthe other hand, the heavier a person is, the more likely they are to have higher insulin levels.As you can see, the cycle is often hard to break.

Schedule Your Meals Including Breakfast

A common characteristic among the NWCR participants is thatmost of them ate breakfast. Skipping breakfast is thought to possibly lead to overeating later in the day, which can sabotage weight loss plans and cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. People who eat breakfast may also have more energy to stay more active throughout the day.

The importance of a morning meal for weight loss has been debated. One meta-analysis published in September 2014 in Advances in Nutritionshowedthat eating breakfast was associated with better weight loss, but another review of studies, published in January 2019 in , found that breakfast may not always lead to weight loss. Still, the ADA eating breakfast every day. Experts say an effectivediabetes diet involves eating three meals at regular times of the day to help the body better use insulin.

Breakfast should include fiber-rich, healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and low-fat dairy, to help keep blood sugar levels in check. Always review labels before you buy packaged foods, and skip cereals and other breakfast foods with added sugar.

Does Invokana Cause Leg Amputations

Invokana recently had a negative reputation due to an increased risk of amputations. This is a blanket statement. Invokana only increases leg amputations in patients with underlying cardiovascular disorders such as clogged leg arteries, severe neuropathy, current or history of diabetic foot ulcers. When you are on an SGLT2 inhibitor such as Invokana, Jardiance, Farxiga or Steglatro your diabetes specialist should keep an eye on diabetic foot ulcers. If you notice a diabetic foot ulcer, no matter the size, you should report to your diabetes specialist. In my practice, I typically stop these agents. It is believed that due to slight dehydration that happens with these agents, they can reduce the blood flow through the healing tissue. This can delay the healing of ulcers and can potentially progress to gangrene.

The Benefits Of Weight Loss For Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, causing sugar to build up in the blood. Having overweight or puts you at a much higher risk for developing diabetes, and it makes blood sugar levels harder to manage.

In fact, shows that losing just 5 to 7 percent of body weight may reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by over 50 percent in adults at high risk for the disease.

There are many benefits to losing weight when you have type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • , which makes it easier to reach target blood sugar levels
  • improvements in overall energy level and mood
  • levels
  • lower chance of developing complications from diabetes, like or heart disease

In some cases, weight loss can even restore blood sugar to a normal level and eliminate the need to take type 2 diabetes medications.

If you have type 1 diabetes, weight gain may occur once you start taking insulin. Losing weight may require fine-tuning your calorie and carbohydrate intake and dose.

People with type 1 diabetes can also develop insulin resistance, and in that situation, would benefit from weight loss to help them need less insulin.

Certain medications used to treat diabetes also help with weight loss, including:

Exercising For Diabetes And Weight Loss

Exercise is a key part of any weight loss plan, and for diabetics it offers multiple health benefits:

  • Improves blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity
  • Some types of exercise can help burn extra glucose in the body and also decrease resistance to insulin
  • Lowers your risk for heart disease
  • Improves circulation
  • Reduces stress

Before you exercise, make sure your glucose level is not too low or you could risk low blood sugar . You should also be cautious if your blood sugar is too high, because exercise can sometimes raise blood sugar. Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.

Ask Yourself: Is It Hunger Or Habit

Analyze your home and work environment. Do you have easy access to high-calorie, sugary foods? Do you snack because youre hungry or because you saw someone else eating?

When and how much you eat may make a difference as well. Many newer studies say its beneficial to eat more food earlier in the day and then less as the day goes on, Dunn adds. If youre skipping meals all day and then eating dinner and snacking all night, that may be why youre not achieving your goals.

Other Symptoms Of Diabetes In Children

How Does Diabetes Cause Weight Loss

Similar to adults, hallmark early signs of diabetes in children are increased urination and thirst. When blood sugar is high, it triggers a reaction in the body that pulls fluid from tissues. This will leave a child constantly thirsty, causing them to drink more fluids, which will result in a need for more bathroom breaks throughout the day. Dehydration in children becomes a risk if this occurs.

In addition to the signs of dehydration, children may have these symptoms, too:

  • Sunken eyes or cheeks
  • Not enough wet diapers

Here are some traits of diabetes found in kids:

  • Fatigue: If a child is often tired, it may be a clue that their body is having trouble converting sugar in the bloodstream into energy.
  • Vision changes: High blood sugar levels can cause blurred vision and other eyesight problems.
  • Fruity smelling breath: This sign could be indicative of too much sugar in the blood.
  • Extreme hunger: When a child’s muscles and organs arent receiving enough energy, it can cause extreme hunger.
  • Unusual behavior: If a child seems moodier or more restless than normaland its in conjunction with other symptoms that could indicate diabetesit could be cause for concern.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heavy breathing

Diabetes can be life-threatening if left untreated. If your child is showing signs of diabetes, its important for you to schedule a doctors appointment as soon as possible.

Give Meal Replacement Products A Try

Dunn says meal replacement shakes specifically for people with diabetes or calorie-moderated frozen meals can make it easier to follow structured, lower-calorie eating plans. You can feel comfortable eating the whole amount because its already portioned. Look for meals in the 220- to 300-calorie range. You can even eat an extra serving of vegetables, fruit or dairy with them and stick to your calorie budget.

For meal replacement shakes, Dunn recommends you:

  • Make them yourself with whole foods and protein powder.
  • Choose premade shakes that contain 15 to 20 grams of protein and under 250 calories per container.

Another diabetes and weight loss tip you can take to the bank? Try noshing some raw fruit or vegetables with your meal replacement shakes. They give you chewing satisfaction, which helps quell hunger, and can make you feel fuller and more satisfied than just having the shake alone.

How Much Weight Loss Is Bad For Your Body

Losing a few pounds is not a very big deal. It is said to be good for the body. Diabetics are said to keep a close eye on their weight; it is often recommended to lose some weight for them.

But when does it get out of hand?

As a diabetic patient, if you identify that you are suffering from excess weight loss, it is necessary to take immediate steps. Weights that are 5% to 10% below your normal BMI can be harmful.

When you observe that you have started losing weight unintentionally beyond 5% of your normal weight, it is a concerning issue. This is equivalent to losing around 5 kg or nearly 10lbs in six months without any diets or exercises targeted at weight loss.

It is best to keep a stable weight depending on your healthy BMI range. Anything above or even below can be risky for the body and especially harmful for diabetic patients.

Therefore, it is best to keep a regular record of your body and its weight. You can even resort to talking to your doctors for the best advice and methods to control weight loss in diabetes.

Benefits Of Weight Loss For Diabetes


People with diabetes type-2 may experience unexplained weight loss. If the weight loss is intentional to control diabetes, it gives you a lot of health benefits. It helps in lowering your blood sugar levels. It also reduces insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, and chances of developing diabetes-related health complications.

When your body becomes resistant to insulin, the sugar gets build up in your blood. It leads to a rise in your blood sugar levels and causes diabetes type-2. Being overweight or obese put you at a higher risk of developing diabetes type-2. Some research shows that losing 5 to 7 percent of body weight reduces the chances of developing diabetes type-2 by 50 percent. The benefits of weight loss for people with diabetes are:

How Diabetes Can Cause Weight Loss

Insulin is a hormone the body produces to absorb sugar, or glucose, from the foods you eat. Insulin converts sugar into energy that fuels your brain, muscles, and the rest of your body.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesnt make enough insulin or it cant effectively use the insulin it does make. As a result, the sugar stays in your bloodstream instead of being converted into energy, and your blood sugar rises.

Because the sugar stays in your blood, your body doesnt get the fuel it needs. As a result, it begins burning fat and muscle for energy, which can result in unexplained weight loss.

The most common types of diabetes are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. With Type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin because the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. Type 1 diabetes often develops in early childhood.

With Type 2 diabetes, the body doesnt produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to it. This type of diabetes often occurs later in life and is thought to develop due to lifestyle factors such as being overweight and inactive as well as genetic factors.

Weight Loss In Children

Unexplained weight loss can occur in people who have type 2 diabetes, but its more common in people withtype 1. Type 1 diabetes usually affects children and adolescents. Parents are often the first to notice an unusual weight loss in a child with type 1 diabetes.

Weight loss in kids with diabetes can occur even in those who have a normal or increased appetite for the same reasons it happens in adults with diabetes. Once kids are diagnosed and treated for diabetes, weight loss ceases and typically returns to normal.

Symptoms Of Diabetes Mellitus Watch Out For Sudden Weight Loss 10 Other Signals

Soma Das

Diabetes is often termed as a silent disease, as its early signs may be mild or go unrecognised. It is basically a group of metabolic diseases, characterised by persistent hyperglycaemia , that result from defects in insulin secretion or action.

Diabetes results due to the disruption in the way that our body utilises glucose, which is the source of energy for our body cells. Most of the food items that we consume are broken down into glucose. Insulin is required for the uptake of glucose from the cells. Diabetes results when there is either a deficiency of insulin or resistance to the action of insulin. As a result, the cells cannot take up glucose, resulting in a blood glucose spike, says Dr Sweta Budyal, Consultant Endocrinologist & Diabetologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

And while the urge to frequently urinate or excessive thirst is commonly known, there are many symptoms that we are often unaware of. Other common symptoms include excessive hunger, unexplained weight loss, itching, poor wound healing or frequent genital yeast Infections.

Types of diabetes

The most common forms of diabetes are Type 1 diabetes which mostly occurs in childhood, but can be diagnosed in adults as well. It is caused due to immune medicated destruction of Insulin secreting pancreatic cells, leading to complete deficiency of Insulin. Since there is absolute insulin deficiency, the treatment is through insulin injections and pumps.

Is diabetes hereditary?

* Unexplained weight loss


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