Is Diabetes An Unexplained Reason For Weight Loss?

Last updated on July 19th, 2023

Weight loss can be an unintended symptom of untreated diabetes type-1 or type-2.  If you lose a lot of body weight unintentionally, consult your doctor and get diagnosed with diabetes type-1.  It will prevent you from developing the health complications related to diabetes type-1. However, weight loss is a significant part of diabetes type-2 treatment. It helps in decreasing insulin resistance and enables your body to control blood sugar levels. People with diabetes type-2 need to set a realistic goal for weight loss through diet control, regular exercise, and prescription medicine.

Weight management is a significant aspect of healthy living. If you are overweight, you may have, or likely you are to develop several health issues. Therefore, you need to keep your body weight in control. Lots of people get involved in weight loss programs for healthy living. However, some people lose weight unintentionally. They even don’t have the reason for their weight loss. You may say it is good but, do you know that Unexplained and unintentional weight loss can be a warning sign of Diabetes Mellitus?

can diabetes cause weight loss

Interconnection Between Diabetes and Weight loss


It is not always necessary that sudden weight loss is a symptom of diabetes. However, it is one of the prevalent signs or symptoms of the onset of diabetes. It can also be a key symptom for the diagnosis of diabetes. Thus, you can say losing weight help diabetes control. Due to high blood sugar levels, people with diabetes type-2 face sudden weight loss. However, it is more common in people with diabetes type-1.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and, sudden weight loss is somehow associated with it. Sudden weight loss can be a warning sign and symptom of the onset of diabetes in many patients. Several mechanisms that interconnect diabetes and weight loss are:

  • High blood sugar levels: Both the diabetes type-1 and type-2 patients can have a dramatic weight loss on the onset of diabetes. The development of diabetes results in insulin resistance and, this can be problematic for a person. Lack of insulin due to insufficient insulin production prevents the body from utilizing glucose from the blood for energy. When the body cannot use glucose for energy, the body starts burning fat and muscles. It causes an overall reduction in body weight. is it hard for diabetics to lose weight
  • Dehydration: Frequent urination is a common symptom of diabetes. It let your body lose all the fluids. It let your body lose all the fluids. When the fluid intake does not make up for the loss of fluid from your body, your kidneys have to work harder to filter excess glucose in the body. The excess glucose present in the urine draws more fluids from the tissues. It enables your body to lose more calories during urination. Hence, your body loses weight. how to control weight loss due to diabetes
  • Breakdown of muscle: Deficiency of insulin in your body means uncontrolled blood sugar levels in your body. It decreases muscle synthesis in the body. At the same time, the breakdown of the muscles increases. Therefore, it results in the loss of a significant amount of body weight.
    how diabetes cause weight loss

Intended Weight Loss for Optimal Health

If you are overweight and have diabetes type-2, shredding off extra pounds of fats from your body can make you feel better and lowers your blood sugar levels. When you start with the weight loss program or weight management program, consult your doctor or diabetes expert to know the effect of dieting on your blood sugar, insulin, and diabetes medication. Regardless of your bone density, you will see a significant drop in your blood sugar levels in reducing your body weight.

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Losing Few Pounds to Maintain a Good Health

It is not always necessary that a person may lose lots of pounds of overall body weight. Even if you are losing 10 or 15 pounds of body weight, you may experience the following health benefits:

  • Lower blood sugar
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Improves cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the stress on hips, ankles, and feet

In addition to these, you will feel more energetic and light. You will get inner happiness on receiving appreciation from others for losing weight.

Also Read: Blood sugar level conversion chart

Benefits of Weight Loss for Diabetes


People with diabetes type-2 may experience unexplained weight loss. If the weight loss is intentional to control diabetes, it gives you a lot of health benefits. It helps in lowering your blood sugar levels. It also reduces insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, and chances of developing diabetes-related health complications.

When your body becomes resistant to insulin, the sugar gets build up in your blood. It leads to a rise in your blood sugar levels and causes diabetes type-2. Being overweight or obese put you at a higher risk of developing diabetes type-2. Some research shows that losing 5 to 7 percent of body weight reduces the chances of developing diabetes type-2 by 50 percent. The benefits of weight loss for people with diabetes are:

  • Improve insulin sensitivity: People with diabetes type-2 experience insulin resistance. However, when you lose weight, the insulin sensitivity of your body increases. It helps to reach the target blood sugar levels.
  • Reduces cholesterol levels: When the blood sugar levels are high, you may feel tired and have low energy. Your overall energy and mobility also get low that can lead to the build-up of cholesterol. Therefore, when you lose weight during diabetes, you feel more energetic to do physical activities. It improves your body movements and reduces triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
  • Reduces the development of diabetes-related complication: Diabetes type-2 pose the risk of developing diabetes-related complications in the patients. Lack of care and untreated diabetes may result in diabetic neuropathy, heart and kidney diseases. When you lose diabetes weight, your blood sugar levels also get lower. It automatically lowers the chances of developing diabetes-related complications.

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Diabetes Medications and Weight loss

Though insulin leads to weight gain, many other diabetes medications help in weight loss. When you start diabetes medications, consult with your doctor regarding the weight loss effect of the medicine. It will help you to control your weight loss so that you can maintain healthy body weight. Certain diabetes medications that also help in weight loss are:

When you lose weight, you will need the medication in low dosage to keep your blood sugar in the target levels. Otherwise, it may cause low blood sugar levels in some cases during weight loss. Thus, keep in mind the weight loss effect of the diabetes medicines that a doctor prescribes to you.

type 1 diabetic losing too much weight

Exercises for Weight Loss in Diabetes


Exercise is the best way to keep your body fit and healthy. People looking to lose weight to manage their blood sugar levels should get help from a fitness trainer for the best workout plan. It enables them to practice the most suitable exercises according to their body requirements. Ideally, low-impact exercises are for people with diabetes. Taking help from a fitness trainer also puts them into the practice of exercise regularly.

Unintentional weight loss is unhealthy whereas, intentional weight loss is good to treat diabetes. If you are looking for a healthy way to lose weight in diabetes, you should not neglect exercise. Discuss this with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. It will help you to keep your blood sugar in the expected range.

Here are some tips for people with diabetes type-2 to start an exercise program for weight loss.

  1. Begin with walking: Those who are the beginner to exercise for weight loss should start with walking. It is the best way to lose 75 lbs. Walking keeps your body in action to lose weight and helps in burning extra fat of your body. You can walk outside or on a treadmill for at least 20-30 minutes every day to lose weight.
  2. Practice Aerobic exercises: Running, swimming, dancing, hiking, and playing tennis are the aerobic exercises that people with diabetes can practice to lose weight. Aerobic exercises are low-impact exercises that do not put any constraints on your body for energy. Hence, it is easier for your body to lose weight with aerobic exercises without causing muscle pain.
  3. Avoid high-impact exercises: High-impact exercises make you feel exhausted in a short time. As a result, your body burns out more calories in a short time to meet the energy demand. It may lead to the utilization of body fat and glucose to meet the energy demand. Hence, your blood sugar can drop significantly and causes hypoglycemia.
  4. Exercise regularly: If you intend to lose healthy weight, make a habit of exercising regularly. You should exercise at least five days a week to reap the benefits of weight loss. Regular exercising keeps your body in action and prevents the accumulation of body fat. If you exercise often, you may not be able to see the results on your body. It will demotivate you from adopting a healthy workout routine.

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Switch to Low-carb Diet

Every doctor and dietician recommends their sugar patients to switch to a low-carb diet to manage their blood sugar levels. The low-carb diet not only lowers blood sugar levels but also helps in weight management. It reduces the intake of carbs and calories and the formation of glucose in the body. Hence, your blood sugar levels remain in control. Other benefits of low carb diet for people with diabetes are:

  • It helps in maintaining healthy insulin levels in the body. Thus, glucose regulation is proper in the body.
  • It improves insulin resistance.
  • A low-carb diet also reduces diabetes-related complications.
  • It promotes weight loss that overall manage the blood sugar levels.

The low-carb diets should be your diabetic diet goals. The low-carb diet includes non-starchy vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans, and whole grains.  Take help from a dietician to prepare the best low-carb meal plan for you. It will help you to manage diabetes through weight loss.

balancing blood sugar levels for weight loss

Weight Loss Tips to Reverse Your Diabetes

You can increase your chances to make weight loss success with the help of the following tips:

Be Determinant

Nobody can force you to get into the fitness regime until you are determinant. If you want to increase your life expectancy, you have to be true to yourself to follow a fitness routine. Take your health seriously and get the best fitness program for weight loss. When you start with the weight loss program, stay motivated and follow it by heart. It will help you to get regular with the weight loss program to control your diabetes.

Modify Your Diet Plan

Your diet plays a significant role in weight management. The kind of foods you eat makes a significant impact on your weight. Eating lots of carbohydrates and calorie-rich food contributes to weight gain and increases your blood sugar levels. However, low-calorie and fiber-rich food help in weight loss. Take help from a dietician or download a diet planning app to get the best diet plan that suits your weight loss goal for controlling diabetes.

Also Read: Diabetic Diet Plan Indian

Check Out Your Diabetes Medicines

Diabetes medications also affect your body weight in some manner. For instance, Glucophage may lead to weight loss, while Insulin injections can add few pounds to your body weight. Therefore, discuss with your doctor your prescription diabetes medicine will affect your body weight. If you aim at losing weight, ask your doctor to prescribe diabetes medicine that does not cause weight gain.

Bring Gradual Changes in Your Lifestyle

Weight loss and diabetes control is not a quick game. You should have enough patience to get into the weight loss and diabetes control program. When you try to adopt the changes in your habits suddenly, it will be difficult for you to stick to the changed habits for a long time. It will be a short-term goal for diabetes mellitus. Therefore, you need to make gradual changes in your habits. It will help you to stay for a longer time to the changed healthy habits.

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Do I need to visit the doctor for sudden weight loss?

Intentional weight loss is healthy. However, unexplained weight loss can be sign or symptom of some health issues. Along with diabetes, hypothyroidism, stress, cancer, eating disorder, anxiety, and onset of other health problems can be the reason for sudden weight loss. Therefore, you should not delay to consult with your doctor to diagnose the cause of weight loss.

What type of diabetes causes weight loss?

Unintentional weight loss often occurs in the case of type-2 diabetes. If the blood sugar levels are high, a person with diabetes type-2 will urinate a lot. It may result in dehydration and cause unintentional weight loss. Muscle breakdown can also occur when blood sugar levels are high. It can lead to unintentional weight loss due to high blood sugar levels.

What kind of diet should I follow for weight loss?

People with diabetes should choose their food wisely. It enables them to control their blood sugar levels and live a healthy life with diabetes. Generally, low carb and high fiber diets are suitable for people with diabetes. Such a type of diet prevents them from consuming extra calories that can lead to weight gain and high blood sugar levels. A dietician can help you better in designing the best diabetes meal plan that provides you vital nutrients. Dieticians ensure to eliminate sugar, calories, and fat from your meals.

Can weight loss help in controlling diabetes?

Weight loss makes you look attractive and can treat several health issues you have been facing for a long time. Similarly, when people with diabetes lose weight, their pancreas can work better. It helps in keeping up with your body’s requirement for insulin. Many diabetes patients have been able to restore their blood sugar to normal levels on losing weight.

What is a diabetic belly?

The diabetic belly is a manifestation of diabetic autonomic neuropathy. Potentially debilitating gastrointestinal symptoms can be due to a diabetic stomach. It contributes to a vicious cycle of delayed emptying of food or oral medications and thus, interferes with glucose regulation in your body. Therefore, it can be a severe health issue for people with diabetes.



 Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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