Weight gain may be seen in people taking medicines for diabetes. However, keeping your weight in check is not only possible but an important part of your diabetes care.
What Is the Effect of Diabetes Medicines on Weight?
The medicines (oral diabetes pills and insulin), that you take for your diabetes, lower blood glucose levels by ushering glucose from the blood into the cells. This is good. But if you take in more calories than you can burn, your cells will end up getting more glucose than they need. The excess glucose gets stored as fat leading to weight gain.
Insulin plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels and converting food energy into fat. It also helps break down fats and proteins.
During digestion, insulin stimulates muscle, fat, and liver cells to absorb glucose. The cells either use this glucose for energy or convert it into fat for long-term storage.
Eating more calories than the body needs will lead to excess glucose levels. If the cells do not remove glucose from the blood, the body will store it in the tissues as fat.
When a person takes insulin as a therapy for diabetes, their body may absorb too much glucose from food, resulting in weight gain.
Why Is Weight Loss Important for Diabetes?
It’s different to what many believe, you don’t have to lose a lot of weight and look thin in order to enjoy the benefits of weight loss.
As per the expert doctor’s advice and studies have shown that some amounts of weight loss in overweight and obese people with diabetes improve blood glucose control, and lower the risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
Additional benefits of ordinary weight loss include being less reliant on medicines for blood glucose control, as well as improved quality of life and physical working.
How Much Weight Should I Lose?
Ideally, lose 5% to 10% of your current body weight. It is better to set small realistic weight loss goals that you can achieve than high ones. Even if you are not trying to lose weight, making an effort to eat less and eat more healthily can have long-term beneficial health effects
Below is a list of ideas to lose weight and maintain weight loss. Take the advice from your healthcare and ask for guidance on what works best for you.
- Plan your meal to have the right mix of carbohydrates (brown rice, wholemeal bread, and noodles), fruit and vegetables, meat and others (fish, tofu, beans and nuts, milk and dairy products), and healthy fats and oils.
- Choose carbohydrates that contain plenty of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals) and raise blood glucose slowly or a little.
- Don’t skip meals to cut calories. In fact, you are more likely to make poor food choices at the next meal because you are too hungry. Furthermore, skipping meals can cause a mess to your blood glucose levels if you don’t adjust your insulin dose. Instead, drink a glass of water before a meal and chew your food slowly.
- Be physically active. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and resistance exercise two to three times per week. Most people with diabetes can perform the exercise safely as long as they take precautions. Talk with your doctor about activities and exercises that are suitable for you.
- Ask your doctor about other diabetic medicines. Check with your doctor whether there are diabetes medicines that can promote weight loss and enable you to reduce your insulin dose without affecting your diabetes treatment plan.
- Take your medicines as per the doctor’s advice. Don’t skip or reduce medicines to avoid weight gain. Although you may lose some weight, the consequences of taking fewer medications than prescribed are serious. Without enough medicines, your blood glucose level will rise, and so will your risk of diabetes complications.
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