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sevenfourteen's avatar

My mom was just recently considered diabetic but is confused on why she's losing weight. How do I explain this process to her?

Asked by sevenfourteen (2419points) February 10th, 2010

My mom has been overweight for a while and has had on going hypertension. Her doctors have always told her that she is a borderline diabetic but she just can’t seem to change her eating or exercise habits. Recently she has been losing weight (without trying) and now her doctor has said she’s developed diabetes. She thinks that because she’s lost weight her chances should have gone down but I’m trying to explain why losing weight unexplainably is actually a sign of diabetes. She’s very health iliterate and although I’m going to school for health science I really don’t know much about diabetes yet. How can I explain this to her in a very basic way and help her understand what she needs to do now to help herself?

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17 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

Shouldn’t the doctor explain this to her?

sevenfourteen's avatar

Yeah that would have been nice huh? Apparently it was only in the dr’s job description to diagnose and send my mom away with a perscription (I have met this doctor and trust me this is not the first time she’s done something like this)

Cruiser's avatar

You will get lot’s of good answers here but you should find a different doctor who will give her a better consultation on what she is up against. Just handing her a prescription is ludicrous.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Ketoacidosis.Her blood sugars are way too high.Get her to a new doctor.She needs to find an endocrinologist.

shilolo's avatar

The weight loss is primarily due to the body’s efforts at finding alternative energy sources than glucose. Essentially, insulin is necessary for various tissues in the body to take-up, store and utilize glucose. When there is less insulin, or the body becomes resistant to its effects, the body cannot use glucose, and starts to look for and metabolize other energy sources, namely, fat and muscle. Also, some of the weight loss may be “volume”, in that when someone has diabetes, they pee very frequently owing to a lot of glucose in the urine.

Of course, unexplained weight loss could be an indication of something else. We can’t know that. If her weight stabilizes with better control of her diabetes, then that’s it. If not, then her doctor needs to look for other causes.

Darwin's avatar

What @shilolo says. He knows what he is talking about.

zephyr826's avatar

@shilolo GA! My little brother was diagnosed with Type I in October, and I was never really clear on his massive weight-loss. He’s put most of it back on now, but for him that was a good thing.

LunaChick's avatar

It’s very important that your mother changes her diet. My father is diabetic and nothing could convince him to watch his sugars – he wouldn’t eat obvious sugars, like candy, but he would drink tons of juice, etc… and then wonder why his blood sugar was so high.

Because of his uncontrolled diabetes, he has had toes amputated and is now in renal failure (on dialysis 3x a week) I had to move in with him, because he could no longer live on his own.

I don’t want to scare you, but this is the reality of uncontrolled diabetes. Try to explain to your mother what could happen, so it can be prevented before it’s too late.

Good luck.

sevenfourteen's avatar

Thanks guys, these are all GA. I’m just worried now becasue she isn’t very good about taking care of herself (hense being overweight and having sever hypertension for this long). @lunachick – I don’t want my mom to get like that and that’s why I’m trying to tell her now to help herself. She knows what’s good for her just doesn’t follow it

galileogirl's avatar

The body also tries to rid itself of toxins not metabolized by the pancreas by excess urination which causes excess thirst. When you take in excess liquid

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I had a thought that I think is totally wacked, but it might work with your mother. Think it thru a little before you laugh at me. If your near a farm take your mother out there and have the farmer explain ketosis to your mother. It’s when dairy cows have a similar metabolic process going on and their bodies try to utilize proteins for energy. It’s so wacked it might work.If you’d like more info let me know. Otherwise, enjoy a good laugh at the idea.

galileogirl's avatar

Didn’t mean to post that. If your mother keeps a food diary noting calories, carbs and fats she has a better chance of maintaining her health. You can hold the symptoms in abeyance but it never goes away and will eventually progress. It calls for a great deal more discipline than people recognize. When you look at someone like Mary Tyler Moore who has always done the right thing with food intake, exercise and rest and realize she is losing her sight you understand it isn’t about self control. You are supposed to eat 5–6 times a day but a meal might be half an apple and 4 oz of soup. A bagel can make your sugars spike so you can only have a ½ slice of wheat toast and a boiled egg for breakfast. When you are sick, your glucose can spike even when you fast. It is hard enough to constantly be thinking about food without obsessing and the last thing you need as you fight the battle is people offering helpful hints and giving you sugar free sweets.

shilolo's avatar

@galileogirl Your comment about the pancreas simply isn’t true. The pancreas does not metabolize toxins. It is a secretory organ that has two primary functions. One, insulin (and other hormone) production and two, secretion of enzymes for digestion of food. The excess urination is due entirely to the osmotic effects of excess glucose in the blood/urine.

galileogirl's avatar

Reread—the 1st post retracted in second post

shilolo's avatar

I see, “didn’t mean to post that” (which I interpreted as “that was incomplete”), not, “that was wrong”. Whatever.

mattbrowne's avatar

There needs to be clarity about type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Some of the advice given applies to type 2 only.

For well-educated experienced type 1 diabetics with access to the best state-of-the-art medical supplies there are almost no restrictions. That was 25 years ago. But many people are still not aware of this. Anecdotes from grandma’s diabetes handling are often useless if not counterproductive.

So if you do not know the difference between type 1 and 2 please be careful when giving advice. For example exercise is not a means to improve the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Which does still mean that type 1 diabetics should exercise. But they have to know what they are doing.

@shilolo‘s answer was excellent !

GlennBFisher's avatar

You just need to tell her that it is just because of condition in which she is. She is tending towards type 2 diabetes which is reversed. A large percentage of diabetes patients are there who face this kind of problem. I suggest you to use ayurvedic medicine because it provide complete and natural treatment to the diabetes patient. It is the therapy in which your mother will get best recovery and also lessen the amount of white blood shell from the body.

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