Diabetes symptomotology

Is Weight loss a symptom of Diabetes?
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Doctor Answers (1) on Diabetes symptomotology

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Ms. Swati Kapoor Bangalore | Dietitian/Nutritionist
Diabetes is a condition where the body is either not producing a hormone called insulin or the receptors present on the cells of the body are not responding to it, the former being called type 1 diabetes and is usually present since birth and the latter type 2 or insulin resistant diabetes which a person can develop during any period of his lifetime. It is important to know what exactly this hormone insulin does and how its reduction causes the symptoms of this illness. The main function of insulin is basically to sensitise the cells of the body to take up glucose from the bloodstream. Glucose is like fuel for the body. it provides energy to all the cells, mainly the brain and red blood cells. Now in diabetes, this hormone is either not being produced or the cells are not sensitive to it and hence glucose uptake by cells is impaired. That is in simpler words because your body doesn't have enough insulin or is losing sensitivity to insulin, you can't shuttle blood sugar into muscle cells or most cells in your body. As a consequence of the cells not being able to take up glucose, its main energy source is shut off . At this point you must be wondering if the body does not have glucose to provide energy then how is it going to function? It’s quite simple, when glucose is not available, your body preferentially breaks down fatty compounds known as triacylglycerols which are present in adipose or fat tissue. Because fat is a high-energy source with nine calories per gram, fat provides an efficient fuel source. Additionally, your body metabolically prefers to preserve lean body mass and, when possible, breaks down fat stores for fuel as much as possible. Only when your fat stores are extremely low or depleted does your body have to break down protein. So in short the body tries to produce energy from other sources such as fat and muscle, this fat and muscle breakdown could lead to weight loss which presents as a symptom of Diabetes. This means that although you may be working out and trying to gain muscle mass or eating a lot of food, your body will not build muscle cells and you may even notice muscle and weight loss . All the food you are consuming basically increases blood sugar levels and overly high blood sugar levels can cause rapid weight loss, say 10 to 20 pounds over two or three months and it’s important to note that this is not healthy weight loss.
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