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Why Do Diabetics Lose Weight Without Trying

How Weight Loss Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

How Weight Loss Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

TIME Health For more, visit TIME Health. An analysis published in The BMJ aims to let doctors and the public in on a little-known secret: Type 2 diabetes, in many cases, is curable. People can reverse their diabetes by losing about 33 pounds, say the authors of the new paper, despite popular belief that the diagnosis is always a permanent one. If more people were striving for this goal, and if more doctors were documenting instances of diabetes remission, complication rates and health-care costs could both be reduced dramatically, the authors say. The analysis is based on evidence from recent clinical trials. In one from 2011, people who were recently diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes returned their blood sugar levels to normal when they lost weight on a calorie-restrictive diet. In a 2016 follow-up study, people who had been diabetic for up to 10 years were able to reverse their condition when they lost about 33 pounds. TIME Health Newsletter Get the latest health and science news, plus: burning questions and expert tips. View Sample Sign Up Now Mike Lean, professor of human nutrition at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, is an author of both the new analysis and of those earlier trials. He says a person’s likelihood of remission from diabetes is greatest in the first five years after being diagnosed. Type 2 diabetes, he wrote in an email, is a disease “best avoided by avoiding the weight gain that drives it.” For people who do develop it, he believes that evidence-based weight-loss programs could help them achieve lasting remission. “Not all can do it, but they should all be given the chance with good support,” Lean writes. “Taking tablets or injections for life to reduce blood sugar is a poor second rate treatment.” Current guidelines for the managemen 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 >>

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 >>

Weight Loss - Unintentional

Weight Loss - Unintentional

A loss of appetite may be due to: Feeling depressed Cancer, even when other symptoms are not present Chronic infection such as AIDS Chronic illness, such as COPD or Parkinson disease Drugs, including chemotherapy drugs, and thyroid medicines Drug abuse such as amphetamines and cocaine Stress or anxiety Chronic digestive system problems that decrease the amount of calories and nutrients your body absorbs, including: Diarrhea and other infections that last a long time, such as parasites Chronic swelling or infection in the pancreas Removal of part of the small intestine Overuse of laxatives Other causes such as: Eating disorders, anorexia nervosa that have not been diagnosed yet Diabetes that have not been diagnosed Overactive thyroid gland Continue reading >>

How To Put On Weight When You Have Diabetes

How To Put On Weight When You Have Diabetes

Not everybody with diabetes needs to lose weight. Some people have the opposite problem; the pounds just won’t stay on. Although certainly a great source of calories, filling up on hot fudge sundaes isn’t the best way to fill out your frame if you have diabetes. Before we talk about some healthful strategies for weight gain, it is important to make sure your efforts to add a few pounds are not sabotaged by out of control blood glucose numbers. If your glucose level is very high, all the extra calories in the world won’t have the desired effect. When the body perceives it is starving –that is essentially what occurs when it can’t use all the glucose building up in the blood stream– glucose (energy or calories) spills into the urine. So instead of keeping those precious calories to add muscle and some fat you will end up losing weight. If you are losing weight and your glucose levels are in good control then a visit to your health care provider is in order to look for other causes of weight loss. The old adage says; to gain a pound a week, add 500 calories a day to your current calorie level. Now new research tells us that this isn’t entirely accurate, but it is still a good place to start. You can find out about how many calories you are eating now by using any one of a hundreds of nutrition management websites on the internet: Caloriecount.com, Myfitnesspal.com and Fitday.com are three options. One of the first things to look at when you are trying to gain weight is low calorie foods to eliminate. Plain beverages such as black coffee or tea, broth soups, low calorie salads all fill you up without providing much in the way of calories. All of your food chooses should be as calorie dense as possible. If you like salads for example, keep the lettuce to a mini Continue reading >>

Six Diabetic Weight Loss Mistakes - Avoid Them And Lose Weight

Six Diabetic Weight Loss Mistakes - Avoid Them And Lose Weight

Avoid these six diabetic weight loss mistakes and you can win the frustrating battle of trying to lose weight with type 2 diabetic dieting. Diabetic weight loss mistakes can make your already difficult battle with obesity much harder. But you must not get discouraged and quit. The consequences to your health and quality of life are much too high a price to pay. Why is losing weight so hard with type 2 diabetes? In the first place insulin resistance can cause more weight gain. The result of too much free insulin is more fat deposits. Besides this, every medication you were given to control your blood sugar adds to weight gain, and that includes insulin injections. Our Western style diet of convenience food is loaded with sugar, fat, nitrates and MSG among other things. Everywhere it has gone the local people have seen an enormous rise in obesity and in type 2 diabetes. As type 2 diabetics are getting younger in countries like India, many think it is because of adopting our Western diet. So trying to lose weight while eating a convenience food diet is going to frustrate a type 2 diabetic. You are already fighting insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. Just like David facing Goliath, it's not about how strong your enemy is. It is about how well you pick your stones and your targets. Remember David and his five smooth stones? Here are six stones for you, six diabetic weight loss mistakes you can avoid. There is such a thing as a 600-calorie diet, and there are people who try it. I've done it myself. It will lead you to lose weight but it has two problems. First, you cannot get the things you need to keep you healthy at such a low level, and if you try to exercise on an extremely low calorie diet you will fail. Building muscle is impossible without calories. The second pro Continue reading >>

9 Scary Reasons Why You're Suddenly Losing Weight Without Trying

9 Scary Reasons Why You're Suddenly Losing Weight Without Trying

If you’ve set out to lose some weight and you’re watching the pounds melt off, congrats! Everything’s working the way it’s supposed to. But if you’re unintentionally losing weight, don’t start celebrating. Your weight is a marker of your overall health, and large fluctuations in your weight could mean that there's something seriously wrong. Deep breaths. We're not trying to freak you out. But, when it comes to all things health, it's always best to play it safe, right? Plus, a quick appointment with your doctor will determine if you're all good, or if there's need for further testing to pinpoint any underlying causes that warrant medical intervention. Easy peasy. “If you lose 5 to 10 percent of your body weight over the course of three to six months, you need to get checked out,” says Reshmi Srinath, M.D., assistant professor of diabetes, endocrinology, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. So, for example, if you start out at 150 and inexplicably drop to 135 in a matter of months, that's a sign that something's not quite right with your health. Meanwhile, if you long ago shunned the scale and notice your clothes becoming baggy, that's another reason to check in with your primary-care physician to figure out what's moving the scale. Before your appointment, brainstorm any changes that have occurred in your lifestyle, eating habits, or sleep schedule, as well as any symptoms that you've been shrugging off, such as fatigue or headaches. These could all be clues to help determine what's really going on. Here, nine whammies that you and your doctor will want to rule out as reasons for your unintended weight loss. Let’s just go ahead and get the “C” word out of the way. Yes, cancer can lead to rapid weight loss. “If someone Continue reading >>

Think Skinny People Don’t Get Type 2 Diabetes? Think Again.

Think Skinny People Don’t Get Type 2 Diabetes? Think Again.

In the last article we discussed the complex relationship between body weight and type 2 diabetes (T2DM). We learned that although obesity is strongly associated with T2DM, a subset of “metabolically healthy obese” (MHO) people have normal blood sugar and insulin sensitivity and don’t ever develop diabetes. In this article we’re going to talk about the mirror reflection of the MHO: the “metabolically unhealthy nonobese” (MUN). These are lean people with either full-fledged type 2 diabetes or some metabolic dysfunction, such as insulin resistance. You might even be surprised to learn that skinny people can and do get T2DM. They are rarely mentioned in the media, and there isn’t much written about them in the scientific literature. Perhaps these folks have been overlooked because type 2 diabetes has been historically viewed as a disease of gluttony and sloth, a self-inflicted outcome of eating too much and not and not exercising enough. But the very existence of the MUN phenotype proves that there’s more to T2DM than overeating and a sedentary lifestyle. Remember that one in three type 2 diabetics are undiagnosed. It’s possible that a significant number of these people that are lean. They don’t suspect they might have T2DM because they’re under the impression that it’s not a condition that affects thin people. This is one of the biggest dangers of the myth that “only fat people get diabetes”. It’s well-known that high blood sugar can precede the development of T2DM for as long as ten years. It is during this time that many of the complications associated with diabetes – nerve damage, retinal changes, and early signs of kidney deterioration – begin to develop. This is why it’s just as important for lean people to maintain healthy blood s Continue reading >>

Keeping The Pounds On: Causes Of Unexplained Weight Loss

Keeping The Pounds On: Causes Of Unexplained Weight Loss

Our society is obsessed with weight, if you haven’t noticed. More than two thirds of US adults are overweight or obese, there are more diet books published than we can count, and, of course, we have the privilege of watching shows like The Biggest Loser to help keep us in line. And according to government statistics, more than 85% of people with Type 2 diabetes are overweight. So it stands to reason that much of the focus of managing Type 2 diabetes is based on reaching and staying at a healthy weight. It’s important to note that thin people can get diabetes too, and not just Type 1 diabetes. In a 2008 study published in the journal Diabetes Care, adults age 60 to 79 years old with a body-mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 (which is considered to be underweight) were 30% more likely to get Type 2 diabetes than adults with a “normal” BMI of 18.5 to 24.9. In a society where being thin equates with beauty, youth, intelligence, and success, there is often little sympathy or patience for people who are too thin and who desperately want to gain weight. If you’ve struggled with losing weight and keeping it off, you know all too well how challenging that can be. People who want to gain weight often face the same kind of battle. And to have diabetes on top of that can make it doubly difficult. First things first: identify the cause If you have diabetes, are underweight, and would like to gain weight, it’s helpful to first have a talk with your doctor. Make sure there are no health or medical reasons for you being underweight (especially if you’ve recently lost weight without trying) such as having an overactive thyroid, a digestive disorder (such as Crohn disease), or cancer, for example. A physical exam, blood work, and other tests may be needed to rule out certai Continue reading >>

Abdominal Pain And Unintentional Weight Loss

Abdominal Pain And Unintentional Weight Loss

What are abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss? Your abdomen houses many organs, including your stomach, liver, and intestines. Just as there are many organs, there are a variety of descriptors for abdominal pain, including: sharp crampy burning stabbing Everyone’s weight may fluctuate a few pounds on a daily basis, but unintentional weight loss means losing weight without trying. If you haven’t changed your eating or exercise habits, yet you’re experiencing weight loss, it can be cause for concern. The Mayo Clinic defines unintentional weight loss as losing 10 or more pounds, or more than 5 percent of your body weight. Abdominal pain coupled with unintentional weight loss can be due to a variety of conditions including: certain bacterial infections involving either the intestines or solid organs Older adults are also often subject to abdominal pain due to medications they may be taking. The pain can lead to loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. Cancer of any of the abdominal organs can also cause abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss. Seek immediate medical attention if you’re vomiting blood or observe blood in your stool. Also, old blood in the vomitus can resemble coffee grounds. And sometimes stool may not contain red blood but may be maroon or black and tarlike. Seek immediate medical attention if your pain suddenly worsens. And make an appointment to see your doctor if: you have a fever greater than 100°F (37.7°C) your appetite doesn’t return in three to five days your stomach pain lasts longer than a week your stomach pain gets worse This information is a summary. Always seek medical attention if you’re concerned that you may be experiencing a medical emergency. Abdominal pain and unintentional weight loss treatments can vary Continue reading >>

Diabulimia: The Dangerous Way Diabetics Drop Pounds

Diabulimia: The Dangerous Way Diabetics Drop Pounds

At age 14, Erin Williams was tired of medicine. Williams was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at age 11, and after three years of enduring a never-ending regimen of insulin shots and strict diet restrictions, she was frustrated. Embarrassed by her disease, she kept it a secret from everyone but her closest family and friends. At birthday parties, she made up excuses about why she couldn't have soda or cake. When a classmate saw her drinking juice boxes in the nurses office, she endured weeks of being called the "juice box thief" rather than just tell her classmates she had low blood sugar because of diabetes. Eventually, Williams rebelled the only way she could, she decided not take her insulin. She just didn't want to adhere to the strict diet and medical regimen even though it was vital to her health. "It wasn't this dramatic moment," recalled Williams. "It was mostly like I want to be like everybody else." The next morning when Williams woke up, she felt fine. "Well, nothing bad happened to me," Williams remembered thinking. "It creeps up on you. That's how it does it." Emboldened by her experiment, she continued to restrict her insulin. Without a regimented amount of insulin in her body to process glucose, Williams' body started to burn through fat and muscle. She lost weight very quickly even as she ate all the same foods. Classmates started commenting on her weight loss and remarked that she looked great. "You hear all these things and you're like, 'This is the greatest thing in the world,'" said Williams. "It takes a hold of your life like nothing else." After living with type 1 diabetes for three years, Williams was exhibiting the first signs of a disorder often called diabulimia. The term refers to the dual diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and an eating disorder. Man Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Weight Loss | Symptom No 6 Of 6 First Signs Of Diabetes

Diabetes And Weight Loss | Symptom No 6 Of 6 First Signs Of Diabetes

Diabetes And Weight Loss – Losing Weight Without Trying First signs of diabetes and weight loss include unexpected loss of body weight. In a world that’s obsessed with being thin, losing weight without even trying sounds too good to be true. Although your normal body weight can fluctuate, losing 10 lbs. or 5 percent of your body weight without a change in your eating or exercise habits is a cause for concern, according to the Mayo Clinic. For some, one of the first signs of diabetes and weight loss is to feel unusually hungry but find yourself losing weight even as you are eating and drinking more than usual. Like the other early symptoms diabetes such as feeling tired, taking a lot of bathroom breaks, or excessive thirst, losing weight is another silent sign that often is overlooked. The extreme opposite to diabetes and weight loss is gaining weight that often happens as one of the early type 2 diabetes symptoms. It is ironic that when your blood sugar is already high, the last thing you need is more sugar (in the form of food), right? But in fact, high blood sugar does cause hunger, even though you do not need more food. This is caused largely by a miss-communication within the body’s sugar regulation system. Every cell in your body relies on sugar from the blood for food, but they need insulin to get to the sugar. It’s insulin that moves sugar from the blood to the cells. If there is not enough insulin, or if it isn’t working very well (insulin resistance), sugar piles up in the blood while at the same time, it’s not getting into the cells where it’s needed. Being in a state of high blood sugar is sort of like starving to death in the kitchen because you don’t have a can opener. The cells don’t really realize that there is an overload of sugar just Continue reading >>

Diabetes Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Testing

Diabetes Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Testing

Thanks to the way diabetes is dramatized on television and in movies, many associate it with its more dramatic symptoms. Many think of the weakness and confusion that comes with a hypoglycemic episode, or the disabilities, like vision and circulation problems, associated with uncontrolled blood sugar. Some may even associate obesity with Type II diabetes. Not everyone with diabetes knows they have it, however. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than a quarter of people with diabetes are undiagnosed. If you suspect you have diabetes, or are worried that someone in your life may have the illness, you should certainly watch out for symptoms, and if you see persistent signs of diabetes, you should seek a definitive diagnosis. The greatest threat diabetes poses is the damage that high blood sugar does to a person’s health over time, and the best treatment seeks to keep blood sugar at a healthy level. Left undiagnosed, high blood sugar will gradually degrade a person’s health. But once it’s diagnosed, a diabetic can begin to safeguard their lives against the disease. Symptoms of Diabetes How do people know if they have diabetes? Many of them don’t know, and they’re walking around with an undetected and untreated health problem. Even if you don’t have any diabetes symptoms, it’s important for you to have your blood sugar tested with your yearly checkup, just to be sure your blood sugar numbers are still in a good range. If you do see the following symptoms—in yourself, or in one of your loved ones—you should see a doctor as soon as possible. All of these symptoms can have causes besides diabetes, but no matter what, it’s important to find out what the cause is so it can be treated appropriately. Because everyone is different, 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 >>

Losing Weight With Diabetes: What Prevents It And Causes Weight Gain

Losing Weight With Diabetes: What Prevents It And Causes Weight Gain

I recently was included in a discussion on a Facebook group for athletes with diabetes about how hard it can be to lose weight through exercise. While I would never claim to have all the answers on this topic, here are some ideas about what can make you gain weight or keep you from losing weight with diabetes, based on my decades of professional and personal experience with diabetes and weight management, and what you can do about it. Insulin My former graduate student with type 1 diabetes went on an insulin pump and promptly gained about 10 pounds, even though his blood glucose control improved only marginally. Why did this happen to him (and why does it happen to so many other insulin users)? As a naturally occurring anabolic hormone, insulin promotes the uptake and storage of glucose, amino acids, and fat into insulin-sensitive cells around your body (mainly muscle and fat cells). It doesn’t matter whether it’s released naturally, injected, or pumped—all insulin and insulin analogues have these same effects. Going on intensive insulin therapy is associated with fat weight gain (1), for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Some of the weight gain comes from that if you’re using insulin to keep your blood glucose in control, you’ll be keeping and storing all of the calories that you’re eating instead of losing some glucose through urine (during hyperglycemia). Unfortunately, this realization has led some people to try skipping or limiting their insulin use to help them lose weight (2), but that is a dangerous practice that can lead to loss of excess muscle mass and life-threatening conditions like DKA. The best way to balance your insulin use and your body weight, in my opinion, is to be physically active to keep your overall insulin levels lower. I Continue reading >>

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