ZocdocAnswersIs weight loss associated with diabetes?

Question

Is weight loss associated with diabetes?

Does weight loss usually arise out of diabetes? I'm worried my partner is becoming diabetic, but she's still overweight. Don't diabetics start wasting away if they're not treated? But then, why is she hungry and thirsty all the time? What should I expect if she is diabetic?

Answer

Diabetes (especially the common type 2 diabetes) has many symptoms which can be quite subtle. This is why people can have diabetes for 10 years before being diagnosed. Typical symptoms of diabetes is polyuria (urinating a lot), polydipsia (drinking a lot), hyperphagia (always hungry), and weight loss. The last one is a little confusing because most type 2 diabetics are overweight, not underweight. This is not necessarily true for the type 1 diabetics. Thus, weight loss is not a good indicator of diabetes. It would be unusual for you to notice the subtle weight loss associated with uncontrolled diabetes. There are three acceptable tests for diabetes. In today's world, most primary care physicians are using the hemoglobin a1c test which allows for us to look for diabetes without having the patient be fasting before the blood draw. This is a test that should ideally be done in anyone with symptoms that could indicate diabetes and at annual checkups for everyone else. I suggest that your partner schedule an appointment with her primary care physician. She definitely warrants a test for diabetes especially if she has not been screened in a while. This is important because prompt control of blood sugars has been shown to help prevent the complications of diabetes.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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