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Sudden Weight Loss & Diabetes - How They Are Linked?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Shefali Karkhanis 93% (488 ratings)
Dip.Diab, Fellowship Diabetology (Gold Medallist), MBBS
Diabetologist, Thane west  •  19 years experience
Sudden Weight Loss & Diabetes - How They Are Linked?

Diabetes is a common term which is referred to as a group of diseases that results in a high level of the sugar in the blood. The different types of diabetes which are most common are as follows.

Types of Diabetes

  1. Type 1 Diabetes – This is a chronic condition where the pancreas produces very little or almost no insulin.
  2. Type 2 Diabetes – This chronic condition affects the way in which the body processes the sugar present in the body.
  3. Prediabetes – This is a condition where the level of sugar in the blood is high, but not high enough to be causing type 2 diabetes.
  4. Gestational Diabetes – As the name indicates, this is the condition of a high level of sugar in the blood that affects only the pregnant women.

How are diabetes and weight loss interconnected?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, and some forms of diabetes are associated with sudden loss of weight. The unexplained and sudden loss of weight is a warning sign or a symptom of the onset of diabetes. There are a number of mechanisms behind this weight loss which is as discussed below.

  1. High blood sugar: Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can involve dramatic loss of weight over a number of days at the onset of the particular disease, but the situation is more common in the case of type 1 diabetes. The insufficient amount of insulin in the body prevents the cells of the body from getting the required amount of glucose from the blood to use as energy. In this situation, the body starts burning the fats to fulfill in energy requirements which result in a sudden loss of body weight.
  2. DehydrationIn diabetes, frequent urination is a common symptom which makes the body lose all its fluid, but the intake of fluid is not enough to prevent this loss. Hence, the body is dehydrated, and kidneys tend to work harder for the filtration of the excess glucose in the body. Now this increased glucose present in the urine draws the required fluid from the tissues and thus making you lose a significant number of calories during urination. Hence the body loses weight.
  3. Breakdown of muscles: If diabetes is not controlled properly, losing weight by wasting of the muscles is extremely common. Due to the deficiency of insulin, the synthesis of muscles in the body is decreased, and at the same time, the breakdown of muscles is increased. This results in the loss of body weight to a significant amount.

Thus, it is understood that the different types of diabetes and unexplained loss of weight with no significant cause are connected with each other. Weight loss, being a prevalent symptom during the onset of the condition, is a key symptom in diagnosis for diabetes.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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