The Skinny On Weight Gain and Diabetes

January 25, 2008 by  
Filed under DIABETES

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Losing Weight Is A Struggle

If you are a diabetic, you know how hard it is to lose even a pound. According to a doctor I spoke with several years ago at Moorehead Hospital in Eden, North Carolina, “Losing weight while taking insulin is a losing battle.” I wish I could remember his name, but he was the doctor evaluating my mother in the Emergency Room. Those words are not exactly his, but close enough. I wish I could find him again, this man set me on a path to regulating my mother’s diet the best I can in hopes of countering this disease.

This doctor told me that he believed diabetes could be cured by losing weight. That is how we came to the subject of how hard it is to lose weight while using insulin to control diabetes. This conversation came back to the forefront of my thoughts as I scanned recent news and found several articles speaking of women who had stopped using insulin altogether or skipped doses in an effort to lose weight.

A Dangerous Combination.

While we all know that not taking your insulin can be dangerous by allowing your blood glucose levels to rise to ‘stroke country’ levels; it is equally dangerous to not take your insulin and stop eating. In this case, the glucose levels in your blood will plummet putting you at risk for coma, hypothermia, and death.

I have personally viewed these sort of reactions. In one instance, my mother had not eaten before going to bed. Her habits had been very erratic eating, taking her insulin when she ‘felt like it’. Before morning, she needed to be rushed to the Emergency Room with a blood glucose level of 29. The doctor on call asked how long she had been outside, but we could not figure out why. It turned out she was suffering from hypothermia!

Drastic Measures

Not only are women skipping insulin, but they have also turned to drastic surgery to get rid of the extra weight. Stomach stapling, gastric bypass, and the new band that restricts the valve to the stomach. Some doctors have stated that the surgeries have helped some patients, in fact a few went into remission of their diabetic symptoms. Obviously, weight and diabetes are linked so strongly that a drastic reduction in weight can (according to some studies) reverse symptoms of diabetes.

Does this mean that you should have surgery to lose weight? I think that surgery should be the last option when all else has failed. Your decision should be come after a discussion with your doctor and weighing all options.

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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