Diabetes can cause you to lose weight. Drastic changes in insulin levels can cause a person to lose weight without knowing why.
While intentional weight loss is usually a good thing, unintentional weight loss is not. Many people with diabetes see a doctor for the first time due to unexplained weight loss.
If you’ve lost weight and suspect you may have diabetes, read on to find out what to do.
Why does diabetes lose weight?
In people with diabetes, a lack of insulin prevents the body from bringing glucose from the blood to the cells to be used for energy.
When this happens, the body begins to burn fat and muscle for energy, causing a reduction in body weight.
Unexpected weight loss usually occurs in people who do not know they have type 1 diabetes, but it can also affect people with type 2 diabetes.
If you have involuntarily lost more than 5% of your average body weight, or more than 4.5 Kg in less than six months, you should consult your doctor. They will be able to determine what is causing it (for example, undiagnosed diabetes) and how to treat the problem.
Weight and type 1 diabetes
In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas cannot make insulin, the hormone that makes it possible to use sugar in the blood.
If there is no insulin and blood sugar levels rise, the kidneys try to eliminate it through the urine.
This causes weight loss due to increased dehydration and loss of calories from sugar that was not used for energy.
So undiagnosed or treated type 1 diabetes can cause a person to lose weight. In fact, in the early stages, type 1 diabetics tend to lose weight even though they have a standard or increased appetite.
Once they are diagnosed and treated, the weight generally returns to normal.
While type 1 diabetes is not associated with being overweight or obese, maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Too much fat can make it difficult for insulin to work correctly, making it difficult to control blood sugar.
Weight and type 2 diabetes
Also, people with type 2 diabetes have a condition called insulin resistance. They can produce insulin, but their bodies cannot use it properly.
Insulin resistance improves with weight loss and exercise. That is why most people with type 2 diabetes are advised to control their body weight with healthy habits.
When people with type 2 diabetes reach a healthy weight, they feel better, and their diabetes symptoms lessen. They may also be less likely to develop complications like heart disease.
To determine if a person’s weight is healthy, nutritionists use the body mass index or BMI. If the values escape from the healthy ones, it is necessary to follow an adequate diet plan and complement it with exercise.
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause you to lose muscle.
When blood sugar levels are very high, they can cause muscle breakdown. Losing muscles is unhealthy weight loss.
While there is still more to be investigated on the subject, studies suggest that this is due to changes in two proteins: WWP1 and KLF15. (1)
High blood sugar levels contribute to a reduction in WWP1 and an increase in KLF15, leading to decreased muscle mass induced by diabetes.
While this is not to say that diabetes doesn’t allow you to build muscle, it could make the process difficult. In any case, both types of diabetics must take certain precautions before exercising.
Diabetes can make a person lose weight. It usually occurs in people with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes.
Any unexplained weight loss in patients with or without known diabetes can signify high blood sugar or another severe illness.
In case of losing weight and not knowing the reason, it is necessary to consult a doctor for a complete evaluation.