Diabetes is a common metabolic condition that affects how your body uses sugar from the foods you eat. It can cause numerous health problems, from nerve damage to changes in vision if left untreated. In people with diabetes, an insufficient amount of insulin prevents the body from carrying glucose from the blood to cells in the body to use as energy. As a result, the body begins to burn fat and muscle for energy, leading to a reduction in total body weight.
Unexplained weight loss could be a sign of diabetes. You don't need to lose so much to make a difference in your health. One study found that people with type 2 diabetes improved blood sugar control when they lost as little as 2% of their body weight. And research shows that losing 5% of the extra weight will make you less likely to get heart disease by improving your blood pressure, blood sugar, and HDL (the good) cholesterol. Involuntary weight loss isn't a good thing either. If blood sugar levels are too high, patients with diabetes tend to urinate a lot, resulting in dehydration as a possible cause of weight loss.
In addition, muscle breakdown can occur if the sugars are too high, leading to unhealthy weight loss. In fact, many patients with diabetes come to their doctor's office for the first time because of unexplained weight loss. Usually, once someone is treated for diabetes and their blood sugar level normalizes, their weight loss will stabilize. Health care providers are concerned when there is a loss of 10 pounds or more, or 5% of body weight, over a period of six to 12 months. In some cases, weight loss may even restore blood sugar to a normal level and eliminate the need to take medications for type 2 diabetes. A supervised attempt to lose weight in people who can exercise safely is often beneficial.
If you're experiencing weight loss and aren't sure how to get it back, talk to your doctor. The CDCES is a health professional who can help you achieve your weight goals while maintaining a balanced diet. On the other hand, weight loss is an important part of the treatment program for people with type 2 diabetes and people with type 1 diabetes and overweight. Unexplained weight loss occurs when you lose significant weight without a change in diet or exercise, or without making other lifestyle changes. It will help you learn more about other symptoms to watch for and how to manage weight loss with diabetes.