wondering about diabetic's appearance

  1. This might sound a bit confusing but here goes. There is a lady I know in late thirties and she apparently has diabetes. She has not been well of late. From what I understand she has played squash regularly and walks daily and is diet controlled. Over the last five to six years her appearance for ages has resembled the african disease kwashiorkor due to a distended stomach and her legs are quite tiny. Has anyone seen this type of symptom in diabetes as most of the diabetics I have come into contact with seem to be overweight but carry the weight in proportion, not just confined to any one spot. No one seems to know what is wrong with her and it is such a shame. I know allnurses aren't supposed to give certain diagnoses but I am surprised the problem has taken so long to pick up.
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    About greatshakes

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 278; Likes: 29
    Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in aged -adolescent


  3. by   classicdame
    Type II's are often overweight. Both Type I and II can have a cachectic appearance due to improper CHO metabolism. In short, if there is not enough glucose on board the body will seek secondary energy sources, which can be protein from muscle. This results in thin bodies with poor muscle mass. Of course she could have other things going on but I HOPE her MD is aware of her situation and the patient is compliant.
  4. by   dansingrn
    It is very common for people with type 2 diabetes to have "truncal obesity" or a disproportionate weight distribution. This is sometimes referred to as an "apple shape" body type: heavy midsection with thinner extremities. Abdominal fat can be related to insulin resistance. Of course, she could always have something else going on that is unrelated to her diabetes, so a visit to the physician (or NP!) is in order.