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unexpected weightloss?

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by monita87, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. monita87

    monita87 · Newbie

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    Hi everyone! :D

    I hope that you don't mind me posting on here, I am currently studying Diabetes Care and I need some advice/information.

    Prior to your diagnosis of T2 did any of you experience weight loss and if so what would cause this weight loss to happen? I thought that losing weight is a way of controlling T2 and not a symptom!? I am feeling slightly confused!?

    Hoping someone can help me! Thank you in advance.

    Kind Regards

    Monita
     
  2. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Monita

    It's all to do with insulin. As far as I understand it, too much insulin in the blood can lead to insulin resistance by the muscle cells, so much of the blood glucose produced by eating gets stored as fat. That results in obesity which increases insulin resistance which results in more insulin being produced which leads to more fat being stored - a vicious circle. Weight loss then decreases insulin resistance and blood glucose levels come down - "controlling" the diabetes. It is thought, now, that it may be the diabetes (ie, the insulin resistance) which could cause the obesity, rather than the other way round, in some people.

    In some Type 2s the pancreas doesn't keep pouring out insulin, rather it starts to get sluggish, doesn't work properly, produces less insulin, the muscles don't get their required fuel from blood glucose, so body fat is metabolised as fuel. This causes weight loss.

    In Type 1s the pancreas stops producing insulin, so the blood glucose can't be transported to the cells as fuel at all. This causes weight loss and very high blood glucose levels, causing complications and ultimately leading to death if not treated.

    At least I think this is about what happens. I am one of the first type of Type 2, so I don't know as much as I should about the other types. My explanation is rather simplistic, but might point you in the right direction. I'm sure there'll be someone along soon who knows more than I do.

    Viv 8)
     
  3. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    I did, and cynically I'm sure because of my age that I would have been diagnosed as T2 in the UK.

    Significant weight loss is relatively uncommon as a 'symptom' of T2. If someone has significant weight loss at diagnosis, it might call into question whether the person has in fact T2. Around 10% of people who are diagnosed with T2 actually have LADA and can, if diagnosed rather late in the process have very small amounts of beta cell function left. There are also other forms of diabetes for example ketosis prone T2 also categorised as T1b ( a genetic diabetes known in certain ethnic groups which presents like t1 but then goes into 'remission'.)

    It is possible that someone with T2 and has been asymptomatic or perhaps ignored things for a long time could eventually get to the point of having very high glucose levels. These cause glucotoxicity which in turn may cause a greater loss of beta cell function and insulin resistance.
    One of the ways the body attempts to get rid of this excess glucose is through urination, causing the frequent urination, a symptom of diabetes of either type.The threshold varies from person to person but it is at about 10mmol/l that glucose 'spills' into the urine. A person who is very hyperglycaemic can become extremely dehydrated and this can account for some loss of bodyweight .
    Normally though someone with T2 would have enough insulin present to stop the significant breakdown of fats for fuel. (lipolysis). [unless beta cell function has got to the point of being almost nil, does this ever happen before diagnosis,not sure]

    However, if there is another precipitating event, for example, an illnesss or infection ,this could cause the small amount of insulin present to be totally insuffcient. The illness will increase the release of glucagon and also the 'stress' hormone adrenalin , these hormones 'switch' on lipolysis. The glucagon also surpresses the already low insulin production which would normally acts as a brake on lipolysis. This is a similar scenario to T1 and causes rapid weight loss and ultimately result in DKA.
    This has a couple of case studies of T2s with DKA, they were already diagnosed but I think that it is quite possible for similar scenarios to happen before diagnosis.
    http://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/co ... 4/198.full
     
  4. faircot

    faircot · Active Member

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    In February I discovered that I had lost 10lb in two weeks - and it was this alone that took me to my GP to be diagnosed as T2. Once my BG was under control, the sudden weight loss stopped.
     
  5. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My weight dropped (gradually) by 30 pounds in the twelve months prior to diagnosis, a 10% reduction in body weight, despite me not changing my diet or exercise at all.

    At the time this seemed welcome, but it also contributed to the "diabetic crisis" that got me diagnosed (BG levels @25 and feeling very poorly). Because, for the first time ever, my weight was dropping, I started dieting less, and eating more sugary foods, which pushed me over the edge.

    Luckily I have "Withings" scales that store my weight online every time I weigh myself, so it was easy to spot the trend and see almost exactly where the T2 started to kick in.

    My weight has continued to drop at a similar rate post diagnosis, but this is because I know "low-carb" and exercise frequently.
     
  6. huggybear

    huggybear · Member

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    I have had diabetes for a month now and have lost one stone, but before being diagnosed I had lost four stone, going down from twenty stone to fourteen stone is a miracle in my books. But all is due too having diabetes without knowing it, doctors said don't worry about it because you have a big framed body, being six foot seven you can handle it. Also being in hospital with complication to my foot didn't help me, lost half a foot and four toes of right foot due too diabetes, may lose more. I know this story may not help you, but we can understand what your going through, can be a help or a nightmare. change of diet and sugar intake makes you lose weight quickly..
     
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