Type 2 Diabetes causing excessive weight loss

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Hi Everyone.

My son was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 2-3 years ago. He is now 29. He has gone from just over 16 stone to looking unhealthily thin and gaunt. I`d say he is around 10 stone at most. I`ll have him weigh himself tmw.
He can`t seem to gain any weight.
He sleeps way too long as well, sometimes 14 hours.
Has anyone any idea why he has lost so much weight and can`t gain any back?
 

Lizzzie

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hello! There are lots of possibilities for signs like this …. hypothetically speaking.....and some are actually serious..... 1) The patient could have type one diabetes after all? I was diagnosed at 28 and the Dr said if I'd looked at all overweight he'd have just assumed I was Type 2, put me on a diet and never thought about Type 1 (Type 1s need insulin). Other signs may include being sluggish, weight loss and drinking a lot of water. Has he tested his BSs lately? - might be worth doing as a matter of urgency (pharmacies can do it) and run it by NHS direct / get help if needed 2) You and he might have different expectations of what he was aiming for with his weight-loss and this be driven by diet i.e. not eating enough 3) Completely different illness - eg hyperthyroid? In any case, it sounds potentially urgent to me. If you make an appointment with the Drs and he has to wait, tell them the symptoms and maybe check in with a pharmacyst. All the best / keep us posted?
 
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grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello! There are lots of possibilities for signs like this …. hypothetically speaking.....and some are actually serious..... 1) The patient could have type one diabetes after all? I was diagnosed at 28 and the Dr said if I'd looked at all overweight he'd have just assumed I was Type 2, put me on a diet and never thought about Type 1 (Type 1s need insulin). Other signs may include being sluggish, weight loss and drinking a lot of water. Has he tested his BSs lately? - might be worth doing as a matter of urgency (pharmacies can do it) and run it by NHS direct / get help if needed 2) You and he might have different expectations of what he was aiming for with his weight-loss and this be driven by diet i.e. not eating enough 3) Completely different illness - eg hyperthyroid? In any case, it sounds potentially urgent to me. If you make an appointment with the Drs and he has to wait, tell them the symptoms and maybe check in with a pharmacyst. All the best / keep us posted?
I agree.
 

Ditto

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Hello, welcome to the forum. :) That doesn't sound good about your son, needs investigating.
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Thanks for the replies.
He has just told me the diabetic clinic he attends doesn`t know which type he has. They say they think it is hereditary. His mother has type one, (separated) She has had a few hospital stays and has had 2 toes cut off because of it. She has always had diabetes.
My son did not intentionally lose weight, he eats normally. He just can`t gain any. His muscles in his arms look non existent.
He takes Novorapid by injection 3 x daily and Levemir at bedtime.
He says the clinic check his blood sugar every 3 months and it`s normal.
It is roughly 3 years since finding out he had it, his last visit before lockdown, 4 months ago, the nurse said a doctor will see him on his next visit to possibly change his insulin. He is still waiting for the appointment
 

grovesy

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Thanks for the replies.
He has just told me the diabetic clinic he attends doesn`t know which type he has. They say they think it is hereditary. His mother has type one, (separated) She has had a few hospital stays and has had 2 toes cut off because of it. She has always had diabetes.
My son did not intentionally lose weight, he eats normally. He just can`t gain any. His muscles in his arms look non existent.
He takes Novorapid by injection 3 x daily and Levemir at bedtime.
He says the clinic check his blood sugar every 3 months and it`s normal.
It is roughly 3 years since finding out he had it, his last visit before lockdown, 4 months ago, the nurse said a doctor will see him on his next visit to possibly change his insulin. He is still waiting for the appointment
Well his treatment with Insulin suggests they are treating him as a Type 1.
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
I can only by what he tells me.
Originally they put him on tablets.
Then they put him on tablets and insulin.
Now he is on the above regime i posted.
If it is type one, what could have caused this rapid weight loss and why can`t he gain any weight back?
 

KARNAK

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Hello @bigmac welcome to the forum.
So sorry your son is having grief and you too, he needs to go back to the Dr asap.
That amount of weight loss is a tell tale sign of T1, if the Dr wont respond as you
wish go to A&E with him another sign is drinking and weeing a lot. Really do not
leave it because if he goes into Ketoacidosis (DKA) as Diabetics can do he will be
in hospital if he`s lucky, please keep us informed we will be here for you.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
What are his blood sugars like @bigmac ?

He’s on a ‘Type 1 like’ insulin regime but if his sugars aren’t controlled that would cause weight loss. Could this be the case?
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
If he is on insulin, he will have a blood glucose monitor to use every day (many times every day) - he will absolutely NOT only have it checked every 3 months by the hospital. He will also be advised to check his insulin before and after meals and absolutely before each time he drives anywhere and every 2 hrs during long drives to comply with Driving Laws both here and abroad.

Ask him to tell you what level of 3 monthly hospital blood test result they consider 'normal' then ?
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Hello @bigmac welcome to the forum.
So sorry your son is having grief and you too, he needs to go back to the Dr asap.
That amount of weight loss is a tell tale sign of T1, if the Dr wont respond as you
wish go to A&E with him another sign is drinking and weeing a lot. Really do not
leave it because if he goes into Ketoacidosis (DKA) as Diabetics can do he will be
in hospital if he`s lucky, please keep us informed we will be here for you.
He doesn`t drink any more than usual or go to the toilet lots. He is at my house for 12 days until he goes back home.
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
What are his blood sugars like @bigmac ?

He’s on a ‘Type 1 like’ insulin regime but if his sugars aren’t controlled that would cause weight loss. Could this be the case?
He says every time his blood has been tested his levels are normal.
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
If he is on insulin, he will have a blood glucose monitor to use every day (many times every day) - he will absolutely NOT only have it checked every 3 months by the hospital. He will also be advised to check his insulin before and after meals and absolutely before each time he drives anywhere and every 2 hrs during long drives to comply with Driving Laws both here and abroad.

Ask him to tell you what level of 3 monthly hospital blood test result they consider 'normal' then ?
He says he has been using the glucose monitor but his last prescription the chemist had no strips in stock so he never got them and now he is here. Would we be able to get them via another way without his original prescription?
He says his habc 1 or something is normal. He thinks it is 50 or 60 something. When he found out he was diabetic his levels were 120 or something and his new doctor blamed the old doctor saying his organs could have shut down. His old doctor never told him he was diabetic. The old doctor sold the practice to the new one.

He does not drive.
 

trophywench

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
There you go - Normal HbA1c is under 42! ie non diabetic.

Normal for him will most likely be higher cos it's very difficult for Type 1 to achieve HbA1c that flippin low (although some do, but it requires dedication) There is summat not right with him though from his symptoms. If he approaches eg your own GP and requests an emergency prescription he should be able to get one, or if not, if he has his machine with him and goes into a pharmacy and asks to buy some over the counter the pharmacist will ask him what the circumstances are and then sell him some - I've had to do that because No Way Ever could I manage 2 days in a row without testing. Mine were around £25 for 50. His might be cheaper but still £15 ish.
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
He did not bring his machine so I will call my GP to see what they say.
What should his HbA1c levels be at?
Yes, there is definitely something wrong.
Hopefully, we can get to the bottom of it.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
He needs his blood glucose meter as he’s on insulin. And if the chemist didn’t have his strips could they have ordered them in for him? He really does need to watch his blood sugars on insulin if only because of the risk of hypos.

Regarding his weight loss, the HbA1C might look ok but actually he could be swinging between low and high. That could potentially cause weight loss. How’s his diet? Is he being ‘too healthy’ and has lost weight because of that, if that makes sense?

If everything diabetic is as it should be, he ought to look at getting other causes ruled out eg coeliac disease, thyroid, etc, etc
 

bigmac

Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
He eats anything really except salad. He never attempted to lose weight, it just fell off.
I`ll have him chase his doctor for a thyroid test and Coeliac. I`d have thought the diabetic clinic or his doctor would have advised things like this.
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Barring other medical issues, the most obvious possibility is high sugars. If he’s not taking the right amount of insulin and his blood sugar is going high then he’ll lose weight no matter how much he eats.

Is he counting the carbs and adjusting his meal-time insulin accordingly? Is he remembering to inject when he eats? How often is he testing his blood sugar?
 

Inka

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
These are the target blood sugars:

If you’re an adult with Type 1 diabetes
  • when you wake up and before meals: 5 to 7mmol/l
  • before meals at other times of the day: 4 to 7mmol/l
If you have Type 2 diabetes
  • before meals: 4 to 7mmol/l
  • two hours after meals: less than 8.5mmol/l

It sounds like he’s maybe not testing as often as he should. Perhaps he might like to join this forum and get some suggestions? Diabetes is a hard slog and it’s nice to have others to share the burden with.
 

everydayupsanddowns

Administrator
Staff member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Sorry to hear about your son’s troubles @bigmac

Undiagnosed T1 can cause rapid weight loss (the body cannot get energy from food without insulin, so it breaks down fat reserves, and then muscles)

But from what you’ve said, your son’s accounts of his levels don’t seem to reflect the sorts of very elevated BGs that would usually be the case (hence member’s cautions over A&E as high BG and no insulin can lead to DKA which is an emergency situation).

Has he mentioned the unintended weight loss to his GP - it certainly sounds like it needs investigating!
 
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