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How Is Rapid Weight Loss Caused By Diabetes

We can afford to gain or lose a pound or two during the week. It's normal to lose a few pounds while battling an illness. The body can go through normal processes and lose some weight as a result. 

Sometimes, you lose significant weight unintentionally, without changing your diet, exercise routine, or lifestyle. There appears to be no reason for it, which is why, sometimes it is referred to as unintentional weight loss.

This weight loss has been linked to several health issues, including cancer. Diabetes weight loss is observed among people who have type 1 diabetes in the body.

Continue reading to learn why diabetes and weight loss go hand in hand and what you can do about it.

What Are The Possible Causes Of Rapid Weight Loss?

Weight loss that is unintentional or unexplained can be caused by various factors, including depression, certain medications, and diabetes.

Among the possible causes of unexplained weight loss are:

  • Addison's syndrome 
  • Cancer
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Diarrhea that persists
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Eating problems (anorexia and bulimia)
  • Pancreatic Exocrine Insufficiency
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hypercalcemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Infection
  • Malnutrition
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Laxatives, 
  • Thyroid medications 
  • Parkinson's disease (PD)
  • Amphetamines and cocaine 
  • Smoking
  • Tuberculosis.

Diabetes & Rapid Weight Loss

People with diabetes lack insulin, which prevents the body from transporting glucose from the blood into the cells for use as energy. When this happens, the body begins to burn fat and muscle for energy, reducing overall body weight. Unexpected weight loss is common in people before being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but it can also affect people with type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetes is a chronic condition that, if left untreated, can lead to other complications and systemic or body-wide conditions. Among them are the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes retinopathy and other eye conditions
  • A greater chance of limb damage in your feet and legs
  • Pancreatitis is a disease of the pancreas, an organ that is closely linked to blood sugar control.
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetic neuropathy is nerve damage

Diabetes symptoms are frequently subtle and worsen over time if left untreated. One such symptom is unexplained weight loss. However, many people are unaware they have diabetes or often dismiss it as a possibility and go undiagnosed. Also, know about the symptoms of binge eating disorder.

Other symptoms that are frequently associated with diabetes include:

  • Feeling hungrier and/or thirstier than usual
  • Urine frequency
  • Hazy vision

Also read about sugar free, no added sugar, and unsweetened

Why Does Diabetes Cause Weight Loss?

Insulin is a hormone the body produces to aid in the absorption of sugar, or glucose, from the foods you eat. Insulin converts sugar into energy, which powers your brain, muscles, and other organs. When the creation of insulin is irregular causing disruptions in the absorption of sugar, it results in rapid weight loss for diabetics.

If you have diabetes and weight loss, your body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use the insulin that it does produce effectively. Hence, instead of being converted into energy, the sugar remains in your bloodstream, and your blood sugar rises. Because the sugar remains in your blood, your body does not receive the necessary fuel. 

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are the most common types of diabetes. Because the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in Type 1 diabetes, the body produces little or no insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either does not produce enough insulin or becomes resistant to it. This type of diabetes usually develops later in life and is thought to be caused by both lifestyle factors (such as being overweight and inactive) and genetic factors. Read more about diabetes causes.

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How Is Diabetes Weight Loss Treated?

Consult your doctor if you've lost weight and aren't sure how to regain it. You don't want to start eating unhealthy fats just to put on weight, as this can worsen your diabetes. Diabetes weight loss should not be taken for granted. Your doctor may recommend supplemental insulin treatments or other medications to ensure that your blood sugar levels return to normal.

Unexpected weight loss is common in people before being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, but it can also affect people with type 2 diabetes. Also, try to find out what you can after your doctor has diagnosed you and read about high cholesterol treatment, diets, lifestyle changes, exercises, and so on to ensure you are helping yourself. 

The first step in any case would be to stabilize the blood sugar levels and work on the roots of the problem. Your doctor would recommend ways to ensure your blood sugar is brought under control.

Also read about medications for diabetes and tips to manage it

Bottomline

True, being overweight puts you at a higher risk of developing diabetes, but rapid weight loss for diabetics may indicate that you have diabetes. This unexplained weight loss is just one of many possible symptoms. This can be observed despite a higher desire to eat and drink more and not putting on weight after doing so.

This could be because your body's cells aren't getting the glucose energy they require from your meals. Instead, they begin to burn fat and muscle.

To manage your unexplained weight loss, you must first determine what is causing it. Diabetes could be the culprit, especially if other symptoms are present. Your weight concerns may subside once you have your blood sugar under control.

Remember that unexplained weight loss is not normal. If you or your child is losing weight and you don't know why, see your doctor as soon as possible. Aside from diabetes, weight loss can indicate a serious condition such as cancer, AIDS, dementia, or thyroid dysfunction.

FAQs

1) Can diabetes cause drastic weight loss?

In diabetics, a lack of insulin prevents the body from transporting glucose from the blood into the cells for use as energy. When this happens, the body begins to burn fat and muscle for energy, resulting in a reduction in overall body weight.

2) Why am I losing weight so fast as a diabetic?

When glucose does not reach your cells, your body assumes you are starving and finds a way to compensate. It generates energy by rapidly burning fat and muscle. This results in unexplainable weight loss. Your kidneys will also start working extra hard to eliminate the excess sugars in your blood.

3) What kind of diabetes makes you lose weight?

Because they can't use the sugar they eat for energy, people with type 1 diabetes may lose weight unintentionally. The pancreas does not produce insulin in this case, and sugar is excreted from the body through urination.

References

  • https://www.diabetes.co.uk/symptoms/unexplained-weight-loss.html#:~:text=Diabetes%20and%20sudden%20weight%20loss,reduction%20in%20overall%20body%20weight
  • https://www.verywellhealth.com/rapid-weight-loss-5101064

Disclaimer

This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.