My husband is losing so much weight. Is this normal?

By _amanda_ Latest Reply 2011-04-12 08:55:53 -0500
Started 2011-04-11 21:36:39 -0500

Good Evening all and thank you for reading this. My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in November after a devastating weekend in the hospital when his blood sugar level was over 600. The doctors explained how serious this was and started him on insulin immediatly. He is pretty good with taking his meds and has changed his diet dramatically. He eats about 60 carbs per meal and stays away from sweets and high carb foods. I know that with his diet change that some weight loss is to be expected but so far he has lost over 40 pounds and it seems like its not stopping. He has quit smoking and gets moderate exercise. A few people have even commented on how sick he looks at times and I think about it alot. I am so worried for him. He complains that he is always tired and has even said that he feels weak. I dont know what to do. He is 6'2" and is 204 pounds right now. I know that doesnt sound bad but I am concerned about how fast he is losing weight. I dont think its healthy. I love my husband and I worry that things are going to get worse. Did anyone else have symptoms like this? I am serious when I say that his initial symptoms came out of no where and being that neither of us have ever been through this we dont know what to do. I cry alot and worry everyday about him. God bless to you all and thank you for letting me vent.

5 replies

_amanda_ 2011-04-12 08:36:59 -0500 Report

Thank you for your replies. His blood sugar numbers range anywhere between 100 to 260. Really they are all over the place and it really doesnt make a difference what time of day that he tests because it still fluctuates. He has never done an at home test for ketones that was always done at the doctors office or in the hospital, but i will take your advice and get the test to do at home. He takes 20 units of Lantus once a day and 15 units of Humalog 2 times per day.

kdroberts 2011-04-12 08:55:53 -0500 Report

His insulin regime is probably not helping and the book i mentioned bellow will really help.

With the lantus, if it hasn't been changed then it's probably the wrong amount, it sounds like it might be wrong just by the blood sugar numbers you are posting. It takes a while to get the right dose of lantus and it does need to be changed every few days or so until you hit the right amount. It's designed to be a basal insulin which means it just sticks around in the background all the time keeping your blood sugar stable. Ideally when you take lantus you should consistently stay at pretty much have the same blood sugar when waking up in the morning as you do when you go to bed, I think the general feeling is as long as your blood sugar isn't more than 20-30 points lower when waking than it was when you went to bed the dose is about right.

Humalog is best used to cover carb in meals and shouldn't be used as a flat x times a day dose. For instance I inject it every time I eat anything with carbs and the amount changes depending on how much carb I eat and to some extent, the time of day. The key to this is finding out insulin to carb ratio and your "correcting" number. The insulin to carb ratio ( often written as I:C) is the grams of carb that 1 unit of insulin will cover. The correcting number is the amount your blood sugar will go down when you take 1 unit of insulin and are not eating. When you know those two you can get a pretty good handle on how much insulin to use each time you eat. You count the number of carbs in the meal and then work out how many units of insulin you need to cover it. Then you take your blood sugar and work out if you need to add some extra to correct high blood sugar.

So, lets say your I:C is 1:10, your correction number is 25, you are eating 60g of carb, your blood sugar is 200 and you want to end up at 100. 60g of carb with an I:C of 1:10 would need 6 units of humalog to cover. Since in a perfect word that would land you up at the same blood sugar after eating you need to take some more because you want to be at 100 not 200. Since you need to drop an extra 100 points and your correction number is 25 (1 unit for a 25 point drop) you need to take an initial 4 units of insulin. Add them together and you get10 total units. That's a basic example once you have everything know, it will rarely work out like that but pretty much everything with diabetes and insulin is trial and error and will not work exactly the same way twice. You have to be ready to improvise.

kdroberts 2011-04-12 07:58:35 -0500 Report

It's common to lose weight at the beginning when diagnosed with type 1. However, high blood sugars can lead to losing weight. Weight loss can also be a symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis which is bad, get some ketostix from the pharmacy and periodically test with them, especially if blood sugar is over 240. If they are more than trace, call the doctor. If they are more than medium and blood sugar is high, see a doctor urgently either at the ER or urgent care. What sort of blood sugar readings is your husband getting? Fasting, before and after meals? How much of what type of insulin is he taking?

I'm 6'2" and was down to 165lbs a few months after diagnosis. Once I got things figured out I gained a few lbs back and once I had insulin sorted I gained a few more back. You both should read "Think like a pancreas" by Gary Scheiner, it will help you understand insulin and how to use it correctly. Once you understand it you can talk to the doctor about adjusting treatment to fit your husband personally.

Harlen 2011-04-11 21:54:15 -0500 Report

talk to your Doc if hes doing the right things he may just be dropping off the extra lbs ??? I would call the Doc but thats just me
Best wishes

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