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Diabetic Losing Weight No Reason

Question & Answer

Question & Answer

Is sudden weight loss a sign of diabetes? If so, why? Answer: Kimberly Buss, M.D., M.P.H. Weight loss can occur for many reasons, and involuntary weight loss can be a sign of serious underlying illness. Involuntary weight loss can happen even with an increased appetite or thirst. Some causes of this situation can include intestinal disorders that cause lack of absorption of food (like chronic diarrhea), endocrine disorders that cause the body to burn more energy (like hyperthyroidism), and uncontrolled diabetes, which causes the body to lose excess calories by spilling sugar into the urine. Diabetes is a disorder of elevated blood sugars. Sometimes sugars are just mildly elevated at diagnosis. But sometimes blood sugar can become quite elevated before the diagnosis is made. As the blood sugar level goes up, the body cannot reabsorb all of the sugar that is naturally filtered through the kidneys, and the sugar is spilled in the urine. This causes people who have very high sugars to be very thirsty, and to have to urinate very frequently. Patients will often have sudden significant weight loss associated with these symptoms. These same patients will be so thirsty they will often drink sugary drinks (such as sodas, juices or sweetened coffee drinks) which causes the sugars to be even higher, and the weight loss to be more severe. It can become a sudden dangerous cycle. If you suddenly develop significant involuntary weight loss, especially associated with significant thirst or an increased need to urinate, it is critical to see a health care provider as soon as possible. Read more: Type 2 Diabetes: Can You Cure It? Steps for Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes Diabetes: Preventing High Blood Sugar Emergencies Continue reading >>

Is Weight Loss Caused By Diabetes Dangerous?

Is Weight Loss Caused By Diabetes Dangerous?

Ask the experts I have a friend that is 35 and has diabetes. For the past eight years, his weight has always been in check and if anything he may have been a little overweight. Just recently, he has lost a lot of weight and he told me that he weighs less than he did in high school. I think he looks too thin and I am concerned about his health with him being a diabetic. Should there be a concern and what kind of advice can you give me to pass on to him. Doctor's response We often assume weight loss is good and healthy. A slow steady intentional weight loss using nutritional change and exercise is associated with beneficial effects on the heart, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. In addition, weight loss can reduce "insulin resistance" and make muscles and fat tissues more sensitive to circulating insulin levels in the blood. What type of diabetes causes weight loss? A reduction in insulin resistance is problematic because insulin is needed to help glucose enter these tissues to be metabolized. If these tissues are resistant to insulin, higher than normal levels are needed for this process to occur. This is often the case in Type 2 diabetes. As a result, a vicious cycle occurs, the higher the insulin levels are, the harder it is to lose weight (insulin is anabolic, and is a hormone that likes to store fat). On the 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. What causes unintentional weight loss in diabetes? While intentional weight loss in people with diabetes is usually a good thing, unintentional weight loss is not. If blood sugars are very high, patients with diabetes tend to urinate a lot, and this results in dehydration as a possible cause of weight loss. Also, mus Continue reading >>

Unexplained Weight Loss In Cats And Dogs

Unexplained Weight Loss In Cats And Dogs

When a pet loses a dramatic amount of weight for no apparent reason, you need to go to your vet as it can be a sign of disease. There may be an underlying condition that needs treatment. Overview In today’s world in which more than 50 percent of dogs and cats are considered overweight or obese, weight loss is often a desirable outcome for our sedentary, overfed pets. But when pets lose weight despite little effort on their owners’ parts to effect this change, it’s often an unwelcome symptom of disease. This is especially true in cases where weight loss is rapid or pronounced (more than 10 percent of body weight). Causes Pets can occasionally lose weight for a variety of relatively benign reasons: A change in diet can sometimes cause weight loss either because the pet finds the food less appealing or because it has fewer calories. A move to a new home, a change in schedule, or greater access to the outdoors can lead to weight loss if a pet becomes more active as a result. Geriatric pets can sometimes lose small amounts of weight as part of the normal aging process. Persistent, rapid, or dramatic weight loss (greater than 10 percent of a pet’s body weight), however, can be the sign of a serious condition, such as: Periodontal disease in dogs and cats Thyroid disease in cats Cancer Chronic gastrointestinal obstruction (as when foreign bodies are ingested) Orthopedic or neuromuscular disease that leads to loss of muscle mass What To Do at Home If you notice weight loss in your pet, ask yourself a few simple questions: Is the pet otherwise feeling well or is she suffering from lethargy, poor appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other obvious symptoms? Has the pet’s home life or schedule changed? Has the pet’s diet changed? Has the pet’s appetite or activity lev Continue reading >>

About Diabetes

About Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic (long-lasting) disease that affects how your body turns food into energy. Most of the food you eat is broken down into sugar (also called glucose) and released into your bloodstream. Your pancreas makes a hormone called insulin, which acts like a key to let the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy. If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it makes as well as it should. When there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in your bloodstream, which over time can cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. There isn’t a cure yet for diabetes, but healthy lifestyle habits, taking medicine as needed, getting diabetes self-management education, and keeping appointments with your health care team can greatly reduce its impact on your life. 30.3 million US adults have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the US. Diabetes is the No. 1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations, and adult-onset blindness. In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese. Types of Diabetes There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant). Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction (the body attacks itself by mistake) that stops your body from making insulin. About 5% of the people who have diabetes have type 1. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually diagnosed in children, teens, and young adults. If you have type 1 diabetes, you’ll need t Continue reading >>

The Dilemma Of Weight Loss In Diabetes

The Dilemma Of Weight Loss In Diabetes

People with diabetes receive mixed messages about weight loss from magazines, newspapers, friends, family, and, yes, even health professionals. Few subjects have accumulated as much misleading and potentially dangerous folklore as the subject of obesity. A common message is that losing weight is just a matter of willpower, and if you have been losing weight and reach a plateau, it's because you've lost your willpower and are no longer following your diet. Furthermore, for people with type 2 diabetes, the message often is that weight loss is the answer to improving glucose control: “If you just lose 20 lb, you won't need insulin.” What does research tell us about these issues, and what should our messages as health professionals be to people with diabetes? Obesity is a serious worldwide problem and is associated with the risk of developing diabetes. Today, more than 1.1 billion adults worldwide are overweight, and 312 million of them are obese.1 In the past 20 years, the rates of obesity have tripled in developing countries that have adopted a Western lifestyle, with the Middle East, Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, India, and China facing the greatest increase. Consequently, the number of people with diabetes in these countries is expected to increase from 84 million in 2000 to 228 million by 2030. Thus, preventing obesity is a high priority for the prevention of diabetes and other chronic diseases. According to some obesity researchers, it may not be possible to decrease the current numbers of overweight and obese people in the United States, but we need to try to slow or prevent the increase that has been occurring at an alarming rate.2 The hope is that slowing the rising prevalence of obesity will also slow the diabetes epidemic. Can this be accomplished? Thus fa Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes: How To Lose Weight

Type 2 Diabetes: How To Lose Weight

Weight loss is a common recommendation for treatment for type 2 diabetes. Many people are overweight when they’re first diagnosed, and that extra fat actually increases their insulin resistance (when their bodies can’t properly use the hormone insulin). By losing weight, people with type 2 diabetes can become less insulin resistant, and they’re able to use insulin better. (To learn more about how the hormone insulin works, read our article on how insulin regulates blood glucose levels.) If you’ve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and you're overweight, you should get started as soon as possible on a weight loss plan. It is important to work with a registered dietitian to help you figure out a plan that will work for you—a healthy meal plan, physical activity, and realistic goals will help you reach a healthy weight. There are many advantages to losing weight (and not just diabetes-related ones): Boost your energy level Lower your cholesterol levels (especially important for people with type 2 diabetes) Protect your heart (also important for people with diabetes, since heart-related complications are very common) Make it easier to control your blood glucose level As you may already know, losing weight can be a challenge, but don’t let that stop you. Do whatever you need to in order to stay motivated. It is the amount of calories we eat that contributes to weight gain. Make small changes. Learn portion sizes and reduce the amount of snacks in your day to reduce the total amount of calories you consume each day. Find cookbooks with healthier recipes using low-fat options. For a little fun, take our carb counting quiz to see how well you know the carb content of certain foods; this can help you make healthier choices. Work with a registered dietitian Continue reading >>

10 Reasons Unexpected Weight Loss Could Be A Serious Problem

10 Reasons Unexpected Weight Loss Could Be A Serious Problem

iStock/silviajansen When most people hear the word "malnutrition," they tend to think of starving children in developing countries. However, malnutrition, or the lack of getting proper nutrients in the right amounts, exists in every part of the world and can affect people of all ages. In fact, a whopping 50 percent of patients in hospitals worldwide aren't adequately nourished or are at risk of malnutrition. "Hospitalization can lead to malnutrition because, while in hospital care, patients may not get the right nutrients to live a healthful life," says Abby Sauer, a registered dietitian specializing in adult nutrition for Abbott. If malnutrition happens long enough, it can have a significant impact on a person's health—including unexplained weight loss. While older adults are at risk because of medications or natural appetite loss, a nutritionally imbalanced diet can contribute to malnutrition in younger, presumably healthy people. (Here are signs you could have a nutrient deficiency.) The best way to treat malnutrition is to prevent it before it becomes serious. "Make sure you're eating balanced meals that include the right mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates," says Sauer. If you become hospitalized, keep nutrition top of mind and talk with hospital professionals to ensure you're well nourished during and after your stay. (Don't miss these 50 secrets hospitals won't tell you.) Muscle loss (sarcopenia) iStock/tetmc Research shows that ignoring muscle health is one reason why about 45 percent of older U.S. adults experience muscle loss as they age. "The technical term for this muscle atrophy is sarcopenia, which can begin as early as your 40s and cause unexplained weight loss and reduced strength, energy, and mobility," Sauer says. While hormonal changes can contri Continue reading >>

Unexplained Weight Loss? Why You Need To See A Doctor

Unexplained Weight Loss? Why You Need To See A Doctor

All of us can gain or lose a pound or two; we indulge a little too much, and then we put in a few extra workouts. But if you haven’t tightened the belt on your diet or ramped up your exercise routine and your weight is still dropping, talk to your doctor. While weight loss of just a pound or two isn’t a reason for concern, unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may mean something is wrong. It could be an early sign of diabetes. This weight loss can occur relatively quickly — over a few weeks to a couple of months. Why can diabetes cause weight loss? Insulin is a hormone that allows your body to use glucose (sugar) for energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t use insulin effectively, and can’t transport the glucose to the cells. Instead, it builds up in the blood. When the glucose doesn’t arrive in your cells, your body thinks it’s starving and finds a way to compensate. It creates energy by burning fat and muscle at a rapid pace. This causes unexplained weight loss. Your kidneys also begin working overtime to eliminate the excess sugars in the blood. This uses additional energy and can cause damage to the kidneys. Type 1 diabetes has a similar pattern, but instead of being unable to use insulin, your body stops producing it altogether. Unexplained weight loss can occur in people who have type 2 diabetes, but it’s more commonly found in people with type 1. Parents are often the first to notice the unusual weight loss in a child with type 1 diabetes. What other symptoms should you watch for? Weight loss from diabetes is not usually a standalone symptom. It is typically accompanied by other signs and symptoms including: Excessive thirst or hunger Itchy skin Dark skin around the neck and armpits Slow healing of cuts and bruises Yeast infe Continue reading >>

Unexplained Weight Loss

Unexplained Weight Loss

Weight loss is affected by several factors including how many calories you consume, your activity level, health conditions, your age, and even your economic status. However, when you have unexplained weight loss this should be cause for attention, as this could mean that you have a health condition that could be damaging your body. Why Am I Losing Weight Suddenly? There are differing opinions on when sudden weight loss becomes an issue to worry about. However, for this point, most doctors state that weight loss is cause for concern when the person loses 5% of their weight in a time frame of 6 months to a year. This is especially true for those who are older. This means that if a person was to weigh 160 pounds (72 kilograms) and lost 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) within 6 months to a year, this is considered losing weight suddenly. There are times in which unexplained weight loss is due to non-serious conditions. For example, those who switch jobs, go through a life changing event such as a divorce or a death in the family, or are slightly depressed often lose weight. However, in this type of event, once life returns to normal, most people gain the weight back to what they were beforehand. Having an eating disorder can also cause weight loss in a person, however, it is classified as non-serious since it is so simple to get help for this. If you do feel as though an eating disorder is present, then talk to someone that you know or to your doctor about this and get counseling to help overcome this. If you have not tried to lose weight and there is nothing in your everyday life that could be causing the sudden weight loss, then you may have an underlying health condition that could be serious. This means that you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Serious Causes of Unex Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance

Insulin Resistance

Many overweight adults can't seem to lose weight no matter what they try. The problem may not lie in their calorie counts but their very cells: Increasing numbers of Americans, leading nutritionists say, are insulin-resistant. That is, their bodies no longer properly use the hormone insulin to process the food that's eaten. Net result: The body hangs on tight to the fat that's already there. A stubborn inability to lose weight because of insulin resistance is a complicated but common problem, says integrative nutritionist Beth Reardon, director of nutrition for Duke Integrative Medicine, part of the Duke University Health System. If you're fighting the scale, she adds, you may be among the 79 million American adults who have or are heading toward prediabetes, a syndrome of insulin-related challenges that usually leads to diabetes unless health changes are made. In 2010, 1.9 million new cases of full-blown diabetes were diagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Indeed, diabetes and obesity are so related that some health experts have coined the descriptor diabesity. Why You May Not Be Losing Weight When we eat, the food is broken down into glucose (blood sugar), the body's main energy source. As blood flows through the pancreas, this organ detects the high levels of glucose and knows to release insulin, a hormone that it produces in order to allow the cells throughout the body to use the glucose. The cells have insulin receptors that allow glucose to enter. Then the cell either uses the glucose to make energy right away or stores it as a future energy source. For some people, though, this system has gone haywire. The cells' insulin receptors have pretty much stopped acknowledging the insulin, which means the cells don't get the glucose. Instead, the glucos Continue reading >>

One Man's Weight Loss Was A Sign Of Type 2 Diabetes

One Man's Weight Loss Was A Sign Of Type 2 Diabetes

Kim Palmaffy was diagnosed with diabetes at age 51. (KIM PALMAFFY) If you have type 2 diabetes, you may feel abnormally thirsty and have a need to urinate frequently. One other possibility? You may lose weight without even trying. If it sounds like a weight-loss dream come true, it's actually more of a nightmare. Because your body doesn't have enough insulin or is losing sensitivity to insulin, you can't shuttle blood sugar into muscle cells. Blood sugar rises to toxic levels and you begin to excrete that excess sugar into the urine. At this point some people may shed pounds without dieting. Kim Palmaffy, 61, a contractor in Maplewood, N.J., was close to 300 pounds when he began to show signs of type 2 diabetes ten years ago. At 5'10", he knew he needed to lose weight. And then it started happening all on its own. The pounds started flying off, sometimes up to three pounds a week. "I got down to like 250 pounds over a period of weeks." You may feel exhausted His clothes began to fit better, but Palmaffy was feeling terrible. "I couldn't sleep, I started to urinate all the time, and I was always thirsty." It began to interfere with his work. "I had to get off the roof and take a leak all the time, as dumb as it sounds," he says. A visit to his doctors showed that Palmaffy's blood glucose, the type of sugar the body uses for energy, was a whopping 450 mg/dL, four times what's considered normal on a fasting blood glucose test110 mg/dL. ​​"He started me on a whole battery of medications; I found that the medications were very positive," he said. "We finally settled on Glucotrol (glipizide), five milligrams twice a day." He also takes a cholesterol-lowering drug. Palmaffy had to make some dietary changes to cope with the diagnosis. He found it wasn't that difficult. His Continue reading >>

> Weight And Diabetes

> Weight And Diabetes

A balanced diet and an active lifestyle can help all kids maintain a healthy weight. For kids with diabetes, diet and exercise are even more important because weight can affect diabetes and diabetes can affect weight. This is true for kids and teens with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. In diabetes, the body doesn't use glucose properly. Glucose, a sugar, is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose levels are controlled by a hormone called insulin, 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 to the muscles. When glucose levels become high, the kidneys work to get rid of it through urine. This causes weight loss due to dehydration 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. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still makes insulin, but the insulin doesn't work in the body like it should and blood sugar levels get too high. Most kids and teens are overweight when they're diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Also, weight gain in people with type 2 diabetes makes blood sugar levels even harder to control. People with type 2 diabetes have a condition called ins Continue reading >>

Degu Diabetes

Degu Diabetes

Cats and dogs often get diabetes, but did you know that degus (Octodon degus) are actually very susceptible to this insulin issue, too? What is Diabetes? There are two main kinds of diabetes but degus (and most other animals who are susceptible to getting it) are diagnosed with diabetes mellitus. Diabetes mellitus occurs when the cells in the pancreas stop using the insulin the body produces or stop producing insulin altogether. This lack of insulin coming into the cells causes the blood sugar (glucose) to rise (which makes your degu hyperglycemic). A normal degu's body would naturally produce and absorb the insulin when his glucose levels rise but in a diabetic degu, his body does not. No insulin gets absorbed so the glucose levels rise and cause a degu with diabetes to become hyperglycemic. Degus, as well as dogs, cats, and people, can die from diabetes. It is not a disease to be taken lightly and all the steps to help shield your degu from this disease should be taken. What are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Degus? Just like in other pets, a diabetic degu will become polyuric (urinate a lot), and polydipsic (drink a lot of water). Cataracts usually develop within a few weeks of your degu getting diabetes and the longer he has diabetes the worse he will do. Diabetic degus will lose weight (after initially being very overweight), urinate a lot, drink a lot of water, won't be able to see from cataracts, and are more susceptible to infections if they get a little cut. How Can I Prevent Diabetes in My Degu? First, and most importantly, feed a lot of hay. Food (fruits and treats) that has any kind of sugar in it (molasses, honey, etc.) is terrible to give to degus, even if they like it. Even many degu pellets will have molasses in them, rendering them very unsafe for a pet de Continue reading >>

8 Common Causes Of Sudden Weight Loss In Cats

8 Common Causes Of Sudden Weight Loss In Cats

Many people want to lose weight and many pets should lose weight. But what can cause your cat to lose weight when you haven’t changed what or how much you feed them? Should you be concerned? Only the vet can determine the reason for your cat’s unexpected weight loss, but here are 8 common causes of weight loss in cats. #1 – Cancer This is potentially the scariest thing on the list, so let’s get it out of the way first. Not all cat weight loss is caused by cancer, but it is a fairly common diagnosis. Other symptoms tend to include loss of appetite, lethargy, and hiding. #2 – Toothache On the other end of the “scary spectrum,” sore teeth may cause a cat to stop eating, resulting in weight loss. Other signs of tooth problems include drooling and pawing at the mouth. A tooth extraction may be all that’s needed to get your kitty back to their old self. #3 – Hyperthyroidism If your cat is eating more than usual but still losing weight, hyperthyroidism is a likely culprit. It’s the result of a benign hormone-producing tumor on the thyroid gland, which elevates levels of the thyroid hormone. Other symptoms include increased drinking and urination, increased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle wasting. #4 – Anxiety, stress, or depression Stress affects everybody differently. In cats, stress can cause them to stop eating. A few things that can upset cats include excessive noise, other animals near their feeding area, dirty food dishes, or having the food dish too close to the litter box. Or, if something tragic has happened – like a death in the household – they may become depressed. #5 – Diabetes Weight loss is a common symptom of diabetes, which may be caused by either a failure to produce insulin or a reduced ability to respond to it. Other sym Continue reading >>

7 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

7 Warning Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes

1 / 8 What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes? More than 100 million American adults are living with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, according to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the number of people who know they have the diseases — which can lead to life-threatening complications, like blindness and heart disease — is far lower. Data from the CDC suggests that of the estimated 30.3 million Americans with type 2 diabetes, 7.2 million, or 1 in 4 adults living with the disease, are not aware of it. And among those people living with prediabetes, only 11.6 percent are aware that they have the disease. Prediabetes is marked by higher than normal blood sugar levels — though not high enough to qualify as diabetes. The CDC notes that this condition often leads to full-blown type 2 diabetes within five years if it's left untreated through diet and lifestyle modifications. Type 2 diabetes, which is often diagnosed when a person has an A1C of at least 7 on two separate occasions, can lead to potentially serious issues, like neuropathy, or nerve damage; vision problems; an increased risk of heart disease; and other diabetes complications. A person’s A1C is the two- to three-month average of his or her blood sugar levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors may use other tests to diagnose diabetes. For example, they may conduct a fasting blood glucose test, which is a blood glucose test done after a night of fasting. While a fasting blood sugar level of less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is normal, one that is between 100 to 125 mg/dL signals prediabetes, and a reading that reaches 126 mg/dL on two separate occasions means you have diabetes. People with full-blown type 2 diabetes are not able to use the h Continue reading >>

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