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Started insulin, gained weight. Help please.

Discussion in 'Type 3c (Pancreatic) Diabetes' started by Starburst02, May 21, 2017.

  1. Starburst02

    Starburst02 Type 3c · Member

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    I began taking nightly basal insulin injections in January 2017. I developed diabetes following Whipple Surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2002, but had been able to control the diabetes with diet and exercise until the past year or so. My HbA1C improved from 7.5 to 6.7 (USA measure) after first three months on insulin (I take a very small dose - 6 units), and unfortunately I have quickly gained 4.5 kilos. Since Whipple surgery in 2002, I have followed a low fat/relatively low carb diet of 1800 calories average per day. (Fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, poultry, seafood, small amount of dark chocolate after dinner. No deep fried foods, no sweet baked items, no sweet carbonated drinks. I do have wine with dinner, one to two glasses.) I must take Creon with meals. I am relatively active - walking 4 miles or more 4 to 5 days a week, on days not walking I do moderate intensity spin biking plus free weights afterwards. I enjoy gardening and have spent lots of time with that lately since spring arrived early here. Due to the weight gain, my BMI is 26.2 which is overweight. I am worried about the weight gain which happened quickly within a two three week span, and the possibility of it getting worse which could make my sugar control more difficult requiring more insulin which could result in more weight gain...?? I have tried further reducing calories, and especially from carbs, but so far no luck in reducing my weight more than a kilo which comes and goes. I have at least stopped gaining more weight so far. My PCP says eating less with more activity is the only thing he can suggest. I am 65 years old (retired), active and other than surgically induced diabetes, healthy.

    Any suggestions on losing weight with type 3C diabetes? Is the weight gain with insulin permanent? Have you been able to affect weight with diet/life style modification?
     
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  2. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I am not familiar with T3 to comment AT ALL

    but as far as wright gain/ loss I have to be very strict with my carbs. I eat 20 or less a DAY or I gain. I follow a vlc moderate protein and higher healthy fat but not tons, more average. Most of my fat comes from an avocado a day ( the bigger the better) about an ounce of nuts throughout the day as snacks, mayo on egg/ chicken/ turkey salad and whatever fat comes on my protein but I do try to buy leaner cuts. And a little olive oil when I have salads. I rarely eat dairy and keep saturated fat low as well. All grains and dairy make me gain.

    Again, this is only about wright loss for me. Please keep in mind when I did lower carbs my insulin needs lowered greatly.

    I ate this way for 20 years before diabetes. At DX they told me to eat 20 c per meal and I gained my much needed 20 pounds back but bs was all over the place so I lowered my carbs and hypod until I found my insulin dose. Bs is perfect and weight stable.

    Talk to your care team before making any drastic diet changes.
     
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  3. Starburst02

    Starburst02 Type 3c · Member

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    Thanks for your comments. I have done more research, and learned I must keep carbs to a minimum if I want to hopefully limit weight gain. My situation is complicated by the fact I must take Creon (pancreatic enzymes) with meals. Creon contains a significant amount of amylase, which helps digest and converts carbs to glucose. The speed of the conversion is accelerated when insulin is added. My blood sugar quickly spikes following meals containing even small amounts of carbs now, and that results in weight gain. It will be a challenge for me to further reduce carbs, but I will try since it appears to be the only option. Thanks again for your help.
     
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  4. azure

    azure Type 1 · Moderator
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    Tagging @Ledzeptt for you as they're Type 3c and may have some advice :)
     
  5. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I gained 12 pounds in the first week (not a typo) I started insulin injections.

    It's going to be a lot easier to lose weight when your blood sugar is out of control. Your body can't effectively use or store glucose and without insulin that excess glucose will get filtered out by your kidneys. Unfortunately, that's what eventually leads to chronic kidney failure.

    To address your concerns: it's normal to gain some weight back after starting on insulin, but that should subside.
     
  6. Kristin251

    Kristin251 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Pancreatic / digestive enzymes always worked on my carbs too fast too. Again, no idea anout t3 but I'm sure you can find a meal macro plan that's works for you. As well as insulin dose. I've never heard of carbs halting weight loss. Just keep testing testing and more testing.
     
  7. JRW

    JRW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I experienced weight gain beyond my pre diabetic weight after being diagnosed despite the same diet and lifestyle. In the T1 thread I was shouted down, including by a mod that manufactured insulin doesn't make a difference. I went to a diabetic nutritionist and she said it was a recognised phenomenon, and advised me to keep my carbs to a max of 100g a day. I'm 6'3 and 14.5 stone, so not a huge amount. Low carbing is the way I think.
     
  8. Starburst02

    Starburst02 Type 3c · Member

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. My PCP told me most people experience weight gain when starting insulin, usually around 15 pounds. He thought I could avoid the gain since my insulin dose is low. It will be a balancing act for me. I have found it I cut carbs too much, my blood sugar drops 2 to 3 hours after a meal and I have experienced mild low blood sugar episodes. I know about those because I had serious problems with severe low episodes when on oral meds when first diagnosed. I am working on getting to the right balance. Hopefully, when I find it, I can lose some of the pounds I gained. Thanks again for your help.
     
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