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Does Insulin make you gain weight?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Rochelle1990, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. Rochelle1990

    Rochelle1990 Type 1 · Newbie

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    I've been a Type 1 diabetic for 7 months. I've noticed recently that I'm putting on weight around my tummy. Prior to being a diabetic I was always very slim with a flat stomach but now my clothes are all clinging around a tummy that I've never had before my diabetes. I eat healthily and rotate my injection sites. Just wondered if anyone else has experienced the same thing since becoming type 1.
     
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  2. Ali H

    Ali H Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I believe it can if you eat high carbs with it and inject fair amounts of insulin.

    Ali
     
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  3. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Its not the insulin as such its what you eat that causes weight gain, look at your diet and try and cut back on your calorie intake, I found by not snacking between meals and sticking to 3 meals a day has kept my weight stable over the last 5 years,
     
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  4. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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    normally it's the first couple of months that it is noticeable, the body putting back on the needed flesh that is lost prior to diagnosis.
    but Ali is spot on, you adjust your weight by the amount of carb you eat, less carb replaced by more healthy fats/oils for energy. or you can get cold and lethargic
     
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  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    It's surprising how many calories you can consume if your having regular hypo's, have you done a carb counting course such as DAFNE, if not have a look at the following, its an on-line course similar to DAFNE and by all accounts its very good, any questions do come back and ask:

    http://www.bdec-e-learning.com/
     
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  6. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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    it may well be that you are getting healthy ..you are supposed to have a belly...girls are skinny, women are supposed to be rounded..marilyn monroe was a size 16
     
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  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    That's good news, hopefully they'll be DAFNE trained and will help you reduce your food intake and advise you on adjusting your insulin, let us know how you get on :)
     
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  8. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Well it won't help if your munching on sweet things to get your bg back up as it all adds to the daily calorie intake, to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume.
     
  9. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes it's very common. Particularly in people diagnosed recently. You probably were underweight at diagnosis and your insulin dose has given you a healthy weight gain. Now you probably need to reduce your dose slightly, but of course that means eating slightly fewer carbs.
     
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  10. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    In my view yes insulin causes weight gain, it acts like a steroid.

    Typically because diabetics develop some level of insulin resistance more insulin is required than what would be in a non diabetic even for the same meal.
     
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  11. JRW

    JRW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    It has for me, after gaining back the weight I'd lost whilst being undiagnosed I've gone on to be the heaviest I've ever been in my life, despite no negative change in diet or lifestyle. Up until age 36 max weight was 14st, got T1, diagnosed aged 38 11.5st, now aged 40 15st. Still hitting the gym, and I eat less carbs than pre diabetes.
     
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  12. Sarah69

    Sarah69 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes it certainly causes weight gain! Being on insulin is a viscous circle because it also makes you hungry so the you have to eat! I put a lot of weight on when I was on insulin!
     
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  13. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Will you tell us how much carb you were eating?
     
  14. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    These are useful pages to explain the role of insulin in the Lipid metabolism:

    http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/pancreas/insulin_phys.html
    http://www.metaboliceffect.com/science-insulin/

    Essentially, aside from its role in the carbohydrate metabolism, insulin also has a prominent role in the lipid metabolism, causing fat storage and inhibiting fat burning. If you are insulin resistant and therefore producing too much insulin, two things happen. You store more fat and use it less as an energy source. You also generate more glucose from the liver due to the insulin resistance, and guess what, you store it as fat as your muscles don't use it as fuel fully.

    If you are injecting insulin, you are doing the same thing. The insulin stimulates the storage of fat. Insulin allows glucose into the muscles and triggers the liver to store glycogen and as soon as your glycogen stores are full and you don't need the glucose as fuel, you store it as fat.

    Ergo, yes, taking too much insulin and eating too many carbs, i.e. not balancing what you consume effectively, can cause you to gain weight as fat as a type 1 diabetic.

    If you are eating a lower carb diet and taking your energy resources more from non-carb sources, less insulin is required and there is therefore less conversion of glucose to fat, less signalling to fat cells to create fats and less inhibition of the ability to use fat as an energy source.

    They don't teach you that on DAFNE.:banghead:
     
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  15. Heathenlass

    Heathenlass Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say it was typical - there are a lot of long term Type 1's who are insulin sensitive. However, the more and higher doses of insulin you need to cover your carbs, the higher the chances of developing insulin resistance become.

    Signy
     
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  16. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is a huge educational failure by the NHS for T1s and a very common problem.

    The solution is very simple. Reduce the total daily dose (TDD), *gradually*, and reduce food / carb consumption in line with the reduced insulin.

    What happens time and time again is newly diagnosed T1s are put on a rehabilitation dose that corrects very high blood sugar [and transient high insulin resistance], corrects underweight due to pre diagnosis ketoacidosis, and works with completely suppressed beta cell function. But they never tell us to reduce the TDD when all of these problems are corrected 3-6 months after diagnosis. The TDD is then *too high*. The high TDD causes constant hunger unless the person "eats to the insulin" and thus gains weight constantly.

    And HCPs are surprised to see overweight T1s. Overweight T1s are iatrogenic - caused by (inappropriate) medication. :-(
     
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    #16 Spiker, Apr 17, 2015 at 11:23 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2015
  17. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes - which is why we ought to be offered Metformin, if we like it. As much ex as poss, and moderate/low carbs.

    Eat what you want and bolus for it is SO WRONG, in my 'umble opinion.
     
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  18. LucySW

    LucySW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Not just the NHS, O Spikey One. All medical establishments everywhere, I think. The Danes are the same. It's just Orthodoxy, that terrible thing.

    Loose
     
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  19. Lamont D

    Lamont D Reactive hypoglycemia · Master

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    I flush insulin, especially when eating low to high carbs and sugars.
    Until I got control and went very low carb, my weight increased because of the excess insulin being stored as fat. Now I stay away from carbs as much as possible and for the first few months the weight dropped off me, it is steadily dropping now as I try to get near my target weight.
    We need it to reduce glucose and glucagon levels in your blood but too much is so bad for you.
     
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  20. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    I think the issue is that even amongst the medical profession, lipid metabolism and the effects of insulin on it are probably less well known and understood than the effects on the carbohydrate metabolism.
     
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