In answer to the question “Does diabetes cause weight gain?” – well, yes, it does. Unfortunately, this is a question that is asked often enough, yet few are truly interested in knowing the facts. Whether it’s a simple question or one that requires digging, the simple fact is that weight gain is often times directly correlated (or at least partially) to the disease process.
So what are the symptoms associated with this? While weight or body fat loss may certainly be the ultimate goal, poorly-managed or improperly controlled type diabetes will often lead to rapid, sometimes extreme, weight loss, often even to an unhealthy level. Bottom line: Does diabetes cause excessive weight loss? Absolutely; excess weight fluctuations are part of the disease, which requires close monitoring and, occasionally, medical assistance. However, weight loss should occur in correlation with other symptoms, especially when the underlying type diabetes is also present.
As with most medical conditions, the answer to the question posed in the title lies somewhere in between, as it’s not simply a matter of what you eat or don’t eat, but what you do with what you already have. Let’s be clear – there is a simple carbohydrate to diabetes question, and that is whether or not a change in your diet and lifestyle can help regulate and control your blood glucose levels and, subsequently, your weight. The bottom line is that most people who suffer from the disease don’t necessarily need to make drastic changes to their current eating and exercise routines, even if they are having some issues. As long as they are watching their carbs and sugars, and they exercise regularly, they are in pretty good shape.
However, as the disease progresses and the pancreas has been under stress for a prolonged period of time, the food that’s sat in their stomachs is slowly converted into fat. This doesn’t mean that all you have to do is simply stop eating carbohydrates (and the carbohydrates should still be healthy, organic, and low-glycemic). You need to eat a balanced diet in order to balance your blood sugar levels and help to maintain normal insulin sensitivity. It’s not enough to say “I’m going to cut out carbohydrates”, because carbohydrates can still have a place in a balanced diet. As with anything, there is a fine line drawn between junk food and healthy food. In this case, it’s a fine line that leads to obesity and chronic illness.
When you go to your doctor and ask him or her if there are any symptoms that you are experiencing that may point to diabetes, be sure to be as detailed as possible. Include your family medical history, and explain how the disease has affected your life. For example, have you lost or gained weight, have you suffered from liver problems, peripheral neuropathy, elevated blood sugar levels, joint problems, short attention spans, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating? If the answers to these questions are yes, then your condition is probably being caused by insulin resistance.
Once you get confirmation that your diabetes is insulin resistant, then your next question should be whether or not you need to cut out carbohydrates. This type diabetes usually means that you don’t need to cut out carbs; in fact, you just need to make some changes to your diet. If you happen to be someone who suffers from hyperinsulinism, you will need to start by reducing the amount of sweet carbohydrates that you eat (abetics who have type diabetes may sometimes even eat sugary foods, which can lead to a surge in insulin, which can cause serious damage to the rest of the body and can contribute to gaining too much weight). Instead, you should focus on eating complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains, at a far more frequent basis. Try to eat breakfast every morning, and snack on nuts, seeds, and lean meats throughout the day.
If your blood sugar becomes too high, it causes a surge in insulin production and energy, which can quickly lead to bouts of hungriness, thirst, and overeating. As you can see, many of the common symptoms of diabetes include hunger, thirst, and overeating. But did you know that these symptoms are also signs of an underlying problem? The reason that many people experience weight loss when they have diabetes is because their bodies are unable to process sugars properly. If you continue to eat glucose at a high level despite eating less than you should, you can permanently damage your kidneys, create high acid levels in your stomach, put an undue strain on your joints, and even put you at risk for organ failure.
In addition to having lost weight, many diabetics find that they also have a number of other symptoms as well. For example, if you also have heart disease, kidney disease, and Cushing’s syndrome, you run the risk of developing some of the complications associated with these diseases. If you are experiencing these issues, you may want to talk with your doctor about long-term treatments that may help you cope with diabetes. Medications can be used to reduce your blood sugar, but they cannot resolve the long-term issues that you have with your body.