Many patients do not understand why they lose weight with type 2 diabetes. Weight loss is one of the common symptoms of this disease. A person whose sugar level is normal cannot suddenly get rid of those extra pounds without making an effort.
Stressful situations are considered common causes of weight loss, but various diseases should not be forgotten. One of these is diabetes mellitus, which occurs as a result of a malfunction in the human immune system and is characterized by the complete or partial absence of the hypoglycemic hormone in the body – insulin.
In contrast to the fact that diabetes often occurs due to obesity, with the progression of the pathology, people do not gain weight, but lose weight. Rapid weight loss can cause complications ranging from kidney dysfunction to gastritis. Therefore, this article will help you understand why people lose weight in diabetes and how to keep body weight at a normal level.
When should you sound the alarm?
In a healthy person, weight can fluctuate as much as 5 kg. The increase may be due to holidays, vacations, or decreased physical activity. Weight loss is mainly due to emotional stress, as well as at the will of a person who intends to lose a couple of kilograms.
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However, a sharp weight loss of up to 20 kg in 1-1.5 months may indicate the development of diabetes mellitus. On the one hand, such weight loss brings significant relief to the patient, but on the other hand, it is a harbinger of the development of severe pathologies.
What else should you pay attention to? First of all, these are two symptoms – unquenchable thirst and polyuria. In the presence of such signs, along with weight loss, a person should first of all visit an endocrinologist. The doctor, having examined the patient, prescribes to undergo an analysis of the level of glucose in the blood and only then confirms or refutes the suspicion of “sweet illness”.
In addition, people with high blood sugar may complain about:
- headaches, dizziness;
- tiredness, irritability;
- a strong feeling of hunger;
- violation of concentration of attention;
- digestive disorders;
- high blood pressure;
- deterioration of vision;
- sexual problems;
- itchy skin, long wound healing;
- disturbances in the work of the kidneys.
A person who is trying to lose weight should remember that normal weight loss, which does not harm the body, should not exceed 5 kg per month. The reasons for drastic weight loss in case of “sweet illness” are as follows:
- An autoimmune process in which the production of insulin is stopped. Glucose accumulates in the blood and can also be found in urine. Typical for type 1 diabetes.
- Insulin deficiency, when cells do not properly perceive this hormone. The body lacks glucose, the main source of energy, so it uses up fat cells. This is why type 2 diabetes is losing weight.
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Since metabolic disorders occur, and the cells do not receive the necessary energy, fat cells begin to be consumed. As a result, the excess weight of diabetics “burns out” before our eyes.
In such cases, a dietitian develops a dietary regimen, after which the body weight gradually increases.
Weight loss advice
Dramatic weight loss with type 2 diabetes is very dangerous.
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Among the most serious consequences are the development of ketoacidosis, muscle atrophy of the lower extremities and depletion of the body. To normalize body weight, doctors prescribe appetite stimulants, hormone therapy and proper nutrition.
It is a balanced diet, including foods rich in vitamins, amino acids, micro- and macroelements, that will help to gradually increase weight and strengthen the body’s defenses.
The main rule of proper nutrition in diabetes is to limit the amount of carbohydrates and fatty foods. Patients only need to eat foods that have a low glycemic index.
A special diet includes the following foods:
- coarse bread;
- fermented milk products (fat-free);
- whole grain cereals (pearl barley, buckwheat);
- vegetables (beans, lentils, cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce);
- unsweetened fruits (oranges, lemons, pomelo, figs, green apples).
The daily food intake should be divided into 5-6 servings, and they should be small. In addition, if patients are severely exhausted, it is recommended to take a little honey to restore immunity. The diabetic should compose the menu in such a way that the proportion of fat in the total food volume is up to 25%, carbohydrates – 60%, and proteins – approximately 15%. Pregnant women are advised to increase the proportion of proteins in their diet to 20%.
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The carbohydrate load is distributed evenly throughout the day. The proportion of calories consumed during the main meal should range from 25 to 30%, and during snacks – from 10 to 15%.
Is it possible to cure such emaciation by adhering to only a diet? It is possible, but nutrition must be combined with exercise therapy for diabetes mellitus, this will have a faster and more effective result. Of course, when a patient is trying to gain weight, you should not exhaust yourself with excessive training. But walking up to 30 minutes a day will only be beneficial. The constant movement of the body will help strengthen muscles, improve the functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
It should be remembered that a depleted body “gets fat” for a long time. Therefore, you need to be patient and follow all the doctor’s recommendations.
Consequences of drastic weight loss
Rapid weight loss with diabetes can cause the development of other serious diseases. Firstly, all metabolic processes are disturbed, and secondly, the body begins to borrow energy, first from muscle tissue, and then from fat reserves.
A diabetic who has lost a lot of weight in the shortest possible time is at risk of severe intoxication. A large amount of toxins and metabolic products does not accumulate in the blood of a healthy person, however, with a decrease in weight, the body is not able to remove all harmful substances. Such a process poses a significant threat, since in some cases a lethal outcome is possible.
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In addition, the digestive system suffers greatly. As a result of rapid weight loss, one in two patients may complain of stomach upset, as his motility is impaired. Also, drastic weight loss can affect the pancreas and gallbladder. Therefore, pancreatitis and gastritis are not at all surprising diseases that arise against the background of weight loss.
As a result of a violation of the water-salt balance, various pathologies of the liver and kidneys occur. Irreversible consequences can be liver failure or even the development of hepatitis. As for the paired organ, it is especially dangerous to lose weight if there are stones in the kidneys or a tendency to form them.
As you can see, depletion of the body negatively affects the function of the kidneys and liver.
In addition, a diabetic who has become fat and then wants to lose weight with appetite suppressants should know the following. Taking these medicines has a negative effect on kidney function.
There are other pathologies that result from uncontrolled weight loss. For example, a disease associated with the work of the thyroid gland, hypoparathyroidism. Other complications of weight loss include:
- Decrease in blood pressure.
- Deterioration of memory and concentration.
- Tooth decay, brittle hair and nails.
- Swelling of the lower extremities.
With a sharp loss of body weight, various depressive states develop. People will be healthy only in harmony with their physical and mental state. As the body is depleted and oxygen “starvation” of the brain occurs, this causes emotional disturbances. As a result, the patient feels depressed.
Unfortunately, doctors have not found an answer to the question of how to cure type 2 diabetes forever, it cannot be cured in the same way as type 1. Therefore, it becomes necessary to comply with all the recommendations of the attending physician, in particular, proper nutrition and physical activity in order to avoid the development of renal pathologies in the body, gastrointestinal disorders, liver dysfunction and other things.