Loss of appetite dangerous for diabetics

Monday, September 14, 2015

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Q: Dear Donovan,


I enjoy your column and see where you give advice to people who want to lose weight, and some of the advice is given to people with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. However, my issue is a bit different. What if you're a diabetic who is losing too much weight and whose appetite is waning? How can this be treated?




A: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease which interferes with the body's ability to control the blood glucose level. Diabetes can cause a number of symptoms including a loss of appetite, which can last for a few days. In your specific situation I wish you had given me more information. For example, are you currently on medication for diabetes? How did your loss of appetite occur: gradually or sudden? What do you eat on a daily basis? Also, are you exercising? Furthermore, are you having any stomach pain, vomiting or feeling nauseous?


Overall, it is very important to find out the underlying cause of your lack of appetite. I would strongly suggest that you consult with your doctor. Until your appetite returns to normal you are at great risk of malnutrition and other health problems.


In diabetes mellitus, the body does not produce enough insulin or functional insulin. The cells are therefore unable to properly use glucose to produce energy. As a result, the body will break down fat for energy. This further results in the production of ketones, which can make the body acidic as well as reduce the appetite.


However, it should be noted that some diabetics do experience an increase in appetite. Therefore, it is very important that you consult with your doctor.


In a nutshell, if your appetite is low, this can lead to weight loss. Hence, in order for you to regain your weight you will have to get the appetite back up and increase your intake of calories. In addition, your intake of carbohydrates will have to be controlled in order for you to control your sugar level. However, with caution you will have to try and increase your calorie intake.


Doing a three to four-day detox programme can be helpful with your appetite. Also, you could create a set time for eating and try to eat a little more than you normally do. Also, watch your fluid intake. This could also reduce your appetite for solid foods.


High-calorie shakes can be used to increase your calories. In addition, you could find out from your doctor if he could recommend something to increase your appetite. Incorporating short periods of structured exercise can also help with increasing the appetite and controlling the blood sugar level. My suggestion is that you should monitor yourself as well as get professional monitoring.


Good luck!



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