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Can Diabetes Make You Lose Weight

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How Is Insulin Related To Weight Gain And Diabetes

How Losing Weight Can Impact Diabetes | Shirisha Avadhanula, MD

Insulin is a hella important hormone thats produced in the pancreas. It plays a major role in regulating your blood sugar . It also stimulates fat, liver, and muscle cells to absorb sugar during digestion. Insulin resistance is when these cells dont react to insulin like theyre supposed to.

If left unchecked, insulin resistance can lead to prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance also causes you to store body fat much more easily. This can make it harder to lose weight and might also make you gain weight.

Your Feelings About Food

The emotional part of trying to lose weight is important and can often be overlooked.

Do you feel guilty when you eat a treat? Do you eat more when youre upset? Do you feel dejected if you cant see progress straight away?These are really common feelings and tackling them can help you on the road to a healthier lifestyle and a healthy weight.

Connect with others and share tips in our online forum weve made a board especially for people who are looking to lose weight.

Why Is It Hard To Lose Weight With Diabetes

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categorized in Diabetes Health

Is it hard to lose weight with type 2 diabetes? It sure can be, but it is not as hard as some people think.

It is true that the master metabolic hormone, insulin, loves to store fat in your body, which can make weight loss trickier for those with diabetes.

And, yes, one very small study in 1987 found that, in a group of 12 overweight adults and their spouses, those who were diabetic had a harder time losing weight.

But dont expect medications to be an answer for weight loss.

In fact, drugs that lower sugar produced in the liver or increase the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin biguanides, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones make it even harder to lose weight.

These prescriptions are, in many ways, worse than the health problems theyre supposed to help.

Theyre actually linked to a whole boatload of serious side effects, including low blood sugar, weakness, hunger, weight gain, high cholesterol, bone fractures, and heart failure.

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More Weight Loss More Diabetes Remission

The scientists found that the more weight lost, the greater the likelihood of diabetes remission:

Among those who gained weight: 0% achieved remission of diabetes

  • For those who lost 0 to 11 pounds: 7% achieved remission
  • For those who lost 11 to 22 pounds: 34% achieved remission
  • For those who lost 22 to 33 pounds: 57% achieved remission
  • For those who lost more than 33 pounds: 86% achieved remission

Even If You Regain The Weight Keep Trying

Why Do You Lose Weight With Diabetes

Yo-yoing? Thats okay. Keep at it.

There is clear evidence that there is longer remission and better glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes who have lost weight and regained it compared to those who have never lost.

In short, it is better to have lost and regained than to have never lost at all.

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Insulin Resistance Is At The Core Of Type 2 Diabetes

With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas does create insulin, but either not enough or more than enough but, due to insulin resistance, glucose cant enter through the doors of the bodys cells they are literally locked out, unable to enter cells to be used for energy.

In fact, you may even over-produce insulin to meet the energy demands of the body. However, with type 2 diabetes, sugar cannot enter through the doors of the bodys cells they are literally locked out.

With nowhere to go, the glucose stays in your bloodstream, circulating much longer throughout the vascular system, and this is a problem.

Excess blood sugar makes our blood vessels less stretchy and causes them to narrow, blocking blood flow.

Damage to large blood vessels is called macrovascular disease, while damage to small blood vessels is called microvascular disease.

Complications from macrovascular disease include heart attack stroke and peripheral arterial disease .

Microvascular disease can lead to problems with our eyes, nervous system and kidneys.

Even if you dont feel symptoms of diabetes , damage can build up over time, little by little.

The best first option for treatment is diet.

How To Lose Weight With Insulin Resistance And Diabetes

Losing weight can be tough if you have insulin resistance, prediabetes, or diabetes. But dont worry! Here are some safe and effective ways you can reach your goals.

Psst. Make sure you talk with your doctor before making any big changes to your diet or fitness routine.

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The Connection Between Diabetes And Weight Loss

Its well established that losing weight if you have prediabetes can prevent the condition from developing into full-blown diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , losing a modest 5 to 7 percent of your body weight is the magic range. That would be 10 to 14 lbs if you are a 200-lb person.

So why does weight loss make such a difference? The key mechanism for the reversal of type 2 diabetes has to do with loss of fat from the pancreas and liver, says McCombie. She references a study published in October 2011 in the journal Diabetologia that found that losing weight by reducing caloric intake for eight weeks improved function of beta cells, which are located in the pancreas and whose function it is to store and release insulin. The researchers said that insulin resistance and problems with insulin secretion all come down to excess fat in the pancreas and liver.

One problem? Many people with type 2 diabetes arent aware how important it is to lose weight, which can have a big impact on your future health. The consequences are severe, particularly as people are developing the disease much younger, and the have time to manifest, says McCombie. Rather than solely relying on medication to manage blood sugar, weight loss has the added benefit of addressing the root cause of the disease, she notes.

How To Lose Weight With Diabetes Type 2

How To Gain Weight With Diabetes IF You are Underweight. SUGARMD

You may have tried a multitude of eating plans only to yo-yo back to your original weight, and maybe then some!

Counting calories makes us obsessed about what we supposedly cant, or shouldnt, eat, so how long can any diet last when youre always hungry?

But, as mentioned above, we know that we can support blood sugar levels by making preventive lifestyle tweaks, mainly by losing weight and increasing physical activity.

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Weight Loss Can Protect Your Health In Many Ways

It’s more important that you focus on reducing the weight around your middle since the evidence points to central adiposity as the greatest risk for heart disease and other adverse side effects of diabetes.

Loosing weight around your belly is the most important sign that you are reducing the health risks associated with type 2 diabetes.

If you have been told you have prediabetes, or you are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, by decreasing your weight by about 10%which is no more than 10-15 lbs for many peopleyou may be able to reverse your diabetes, putting it into remission, or putting off developing it at all.¹

Even more compelling, weight loss will likely protect you from developing common diabetes-related complications like eye diseases , neuropathy , kidney failure, liver damage, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

If youve recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have been advised to lose weight, you’re probably saying to yourself: “easier said then done,” or more likely, “don’t you think I’ve tried everything to do that already?!”

Understanding how to achieve lasting weight loss starts with a focused assessment of how you are currently eating so you can pinpoint habits that may be holding you back from succeeding.

For many, the best way to do this may be to work with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to help you design a plan that will work for youa , , and to set realistic goals to help you reach a healthy weight.

Why Do Some People With Diabetes Lose Weight

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to properly control blood glucose levels, aka blood sugar. One of the symptoms of diabetes is unexplained weight loss.

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Weight loss caused by diabetes may occur even if a person is eating and drinking much more than normal â which is likely, because excessive hunger and thirst are two of the other common symptoms of untreated diabetes.

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When To See A Doctor

According to the Cleveland Clinic, you should talk to a doctor if you have an unexplained weight loss of 10 or more pounds, as this may be a sign of diabetes.

If you experience other symptoms â particularly excessive urination, thirst or hunger â also be sure to inform your doctor as soon as possible.

Keep Track Of Your Goals And Progress

How To Lose Weight With Type 2 Diabetes

Writing down the details of your weight loss journey helps you set healthy targets and notice patterns. Youll be able to appreciate your progress over time, as well as notice when your diet might have gotten a bit off track.

Try jotting down all of the foods you eat, including the serving sizes, in a journal every day. Not a fan of pen and paper? Try one of the many free apps. Its a good idea to weigh yourself at least once a week, per your doctors or diabetes educators recommendation, to keep track of your progress. You might also want to write down when you exercised, what you did, and how you felt after.

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Can I Gain Back The Lost Weight

Yes, you can gain back lost weight if you have diabetes. Your weight will stabilize more if your blood sugars are stable. Work with your doctor and healthcare team if they are not quite where they need to be.

If youve lost weight due to another condition, you can gain that weight back too. Often, working with a Registered Dietician can also help you to figure out the best foods to eat without gaining too much weight back. Its also always important to eat lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetable while sticking with unsaturated fats.

Further reading:

The Dietary Approach To Stop Hypertension Plan

The DASH plan was originally developed to help treat or prevent high blood pressure, or hypertension. But it may also lower the risk of other diseases, including diabetes. It may have the additional benefit of helping you lose weight.

People following the DASH plan are encouraged to reduce portion sizes and eat foods rich in blood pressure-lowering nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

The DASH eating plan includes:

  • Lean protein: fish, poultry

Foods eaten on this diet include:

  • Protein: poultry, salmon, other fatty fish, eggs
  • Plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables like artichokes and cucumbers, beans, nuts, seeds
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, nuts such as almonds

Lean red meat may be consumed occasionally. Wine may be consumed in moderation, as it may boost heart health. Remember to never drink on an empty stomach if you are on medications that raise the level of insulin in the body.

The paleo diet centers on the belief that the processing of foods is to blame for chronic disease. Followers of the paleo diet eat only what they believe our ancient ancestors would have been able to hunt and gather.

Foods eaten on the paleo diet include:

  • Protein: meat, poultry, fish
  • Plant-based foods: nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil

The paleo diet may be a good option for people with diabetes as long as they do not have kidney disease. According to a small, short-term

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Tips To Help You Reverse Diabetes By Losing Weight

To increase your chances of weight loss success, consider the following:

1. Whats your motivation? Make sure its positive. Phrases like I can increase my life expectancy, enjoy better life as I get older, and take less medication will show you the bigger picture to help keep you on track, says McKittrick.

2. Change habits gradually. Its a lot to ask yourself to start going to the gym six days a week if you dont exercise now. A better option may be first building activity into your day, says McKittrick. Exercise is such an important component to prevent type 2 diabetes or put it into remission. It encourages muscle cells to suck in sugar for energy, which helps lower blood glucose, she explains. If you havent developed a full-blown exercise regimen, make part of your commute a walking commute, commit to taking your dog out for two short walks per day, or get out during lunch and walk.

3. Think about your diet. An eating plan that works for one person might not for another. For instance, you may thrive on a very low-carb diet, while someone else needs some healthy carbs, like quinoa, at their meals to feel satisfied, points out McKittrick. Working with a registered dietitian specializing in diabetes can help you fine tune your diet, she says.

6. Monitor yourself. Its crucial to keep your blood sugar in check. Monitoring can give you important feedback on how your actions affect your levels, McKittrick says.

What Is The Dose For Weight Loss

Insulin Resistance Symptoms (WHY YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT!)

Metformin is a diabetes medication. There are no official dose recommendations for it as a weight loss aid.

If a doctor prescribes metformin for you off label, theyll decide on a dose thats right for you and your medical circumstances. Youll likely start metformin at a low dose and gradually increase it over a few weeks. This can help minimize any side effects.

One off-label use of metformin is for antipsychotic drug-induced weight loss. Doses for immediate-release metformin can range from

reducing your appetite .

Certain thyroid medications boost your metabolism, which can cause weight loss. One symptom of an underactive thyroid is weight gain. Taking medications to treat this may cause weight loss as hormones rebalance. These drugs include levothyroxine, liothyronine, and liotrix.

Other drugs that may cause weight loss as a side effect include some attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs, such as amphetamine/dextroamphetamine and methylphenidate .

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The Benefits Of Weight Loss For Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when your body becomes resistant to insulin, causing sugar to build up in the blood. Having overweight or obesity puts you at a much higher risk for developing diabetes, and it makes blood sugar levels harder to manage.

In fact, shows that losing just 5 to 7 percent of body weight may reduce the chance of developing type 2 diabetes by over 50 percent in adults at high risk for the disease.

There are many benefits to losing weight when you have type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • , which makes it easier to reach target blood sugar levels
  • improvements in overall energy level and mood
  • levels
  • lower chance of developing complications from diabetes, like kidney or heart disease

In some cases, weight loss can even restore blood sugar to a normal level and eliminate the need to take type 2 diabetes medications.

If you have type 1 diabetes, weight gain may occur once you start taking insulin. Losing weight may require fine-tuning your calorie and carbohydrate intake and insulin dose.

People with type 1 diabetes can also develop insulin resistance, and in that situation, would benefit from weight loss to help them need less insulin.

Certain medications used to treat diabetes also help with weight loss, including:

How Is It A Symptom Of Diabetes

It can be of concern if body cells dont get enough glucose, or blood sugar, because our body cells need energy to function and carry out all the cellular processes that keep our body functioning.

If body cells dont receive enough energy, they must get it from somewhere. Generally, they will pull energy from fat and muscle, causing weight loss.

The combined affect of the three polys, polyuria, polydipsia and polyphagia, increase the chances of weight loss. Blood sugar is not getting to the cells, so the person experiencing these symptoms often feels hungry all the time .

The person who is developing diabetes will also have frequent urination, or polyuria. Sugar is lost through the urine more often, so calories are lost. With polydipsia, or frequent thirst, the body becomes dehydrated from loss of urine and thats when the thirst sets in.

All these affects combined set the recipe for rapid weight loss, especially when referring to Type 1 Diabetes. When Type 1 Diabetes first sets in, the person will experience very high blood sugars, often greater than 1,000 mg/dL.

The person is essentially in Diabetic Ketoacidosis, and the body has started to shut down insulin production. This produces ketones, which are essentially acids in the blood. When theres no insulin or insulin levels are very low, muscle and fat is used as fuel for the body causing weight loss.

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