One bad case of food poisoning, and I've dropped ten pounds or more.
It seems incredible that a healthy guy like myself can drop weight so quickly simply because I ate at the wrong restaurant, on the wrong day, at the wrong time, and chose the wrong menu item. But that is precisely what it's like, living with diabetes.
Why? There are a number of reasons.
First, diabetes impairs the body's ability to heal simple wounds. This is why it takes you so much longer to heal when you accidentally cut your finger or something, compared to how it was before you had diabetes. If a simple wound takes so much longer to heal, you can only imagine how long it takes to heal a big wound. This, friends, is how diabetics lose limbs. What starts out as a simple sore persists for days, then weeks, then longer. Eventually, the tissue gets gangrenous, then the gangrene spreads, then you're facing amputation. Not good.
But of course, it's not just limbs and gangrene that we have to watch out for. It's also infectious disease, because the same mechanisms are at work here. Bacteria and viruses inside the body will react similarly to bacteria and viruses infecting a flesh wound, which means you won't have to worry about gangrene, but you will have to hunker down for a long recovery phase.
Second, infection naturally pushes your blood sugar higher than it would normally be. Your body is attempting to use additional energy to combat your internal infection. Additional energy requires additional glucose. Unlike the normals, though, additional glucose does not translate into additional insulin for us diabetics. We soon find ourselves swimming in a vat of our own sugary internal soup.
Elevated blood sugar is hard on the body any time. When you're sick, you've already got a strike against you. Your rising blood sugar in the context of illness means it's strike two. Your energy levels deplete, your nutrient absorption declines, your water retention dwindles. Things start to get worse. And when you're dealing with something like food poisoning - which already greatly dehydrates the human body - this becomes a very substantial strike two. Where most people are fighting for a recovery, we diabetics are now fighting against hospitalization. Yuck.
Third, we have to eat, and yet there is nothing we can eat. Faced with something like food poisoning, a normal person can commit to drinking juice, isotonic beverages, tomato soup, and so on. As they act to keep themselves hydrated, they can do so by consuming liquids that also contain calories and nutrients that can be at least partially absorbed. Diabetics, on the other hand, can only consume calories if we also inject insulin. We can potentially do this at mealtimes, which is fair enough, but it is difficult to consume sufficient quantities of tomato soup at mealtimes to replace all the calories we're losing to the food poisoning. While others can take a few calories every hour or so, diabetics can take a few calories, three times per day, and hope for the best.
Add it all up, and you have a recipe for disaster: Decreased ability to fight infection, rabidly rising blood sugar levels leading to further physical impediments, and a near-impossible ability to replace lost calories.
Everyone feels ill when they have food poisoning, but for a diabetic, it's over-the-top. That's how I lost ten pounds in three days.