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Does Insulin make you gain weight?

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

  1. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Maybe for GPs, DSNs and dieticians. But diabetes specialist doctors have no excuse for not knowing that a primary function of insulin is to deposit body fat from dietary carbs. :-(
     
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  2. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    I'm not so sure everyone would want to take metformin unless they have insulin resistance Lucy, after all its another drug.

    But getting back to the original question, if insulin makes you gain weight then all type 1 & type 2's who take insulin would be overweight........which isn't the case, looking back to when I did my DAFNE course there was 9 people on the course and only 3 had weight issues.
     
  3. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Agreed, however too much insulin, i.e. an imbalance, and it does.
     
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  4. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Absolutely right Tim its all about getting the balance right.
     
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  5. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's not true though, and it's not what's being stated. Not all people who use insulin are overweight, but (with very rare exceptions) all people who are overweight are overweight because of insulin. It is impossible to be overweight without insulin. Insulin is the only way that fat gets deposited for storage.

    But... semantics. As noted, the real culprit is an excess of both insulin and carbs. In the case of T1s it is often an excess of prescribed insulin causing the consumption of excess carbs to avoid hunger.
     
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  6. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Yes I know that Spiker and fully aware of the implications of insulin resistance with taking more and more insulin, but if you cut back on your food intake this alone will mean less insulin as we all have agreed on from the start of the thread.
     
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  7. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I for one definitely would. Metformin is a very safe drug with massive track record in terms of the quantity and longevity of users. We advocate exercise for all diabetics for the reason that it improves insulin sensitivity. Same argument applies in favour of Metformin.

    It probably makes sense in terms of health economics too, as I bet that generic Metformin is cheaper by far than the cost of the reduced insulin.
     
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  8. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    We are the lucky ones. The real problem is that many T1s are not made aware of this relationship. They are prescribed a TDD and they stick to it, because they are given no training in carb counting or any other form of dose adjustment. So they stick to their TDD, get hungry, eat to the insulin, and get fat.

    This is a serious problem because one not uncommon response to the situation is diabulemia, which as we know is extremely dangerous. The NHS needs to fix this dangerous gap in education of T1s [and other IDDs].
     
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  9. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    I find the only way that i can lose weight is to eat nothing, so that my insulin requirements are reduced so much that i only take a few for background.

    Other than that my weight either stays the same or increases alongside my insulin increasing.
     
  10. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Well if I had insulin resistance going on I'd certainly take Metformin as long as it was the SR version, but if your on low or lowish doses of insulin then I see little need tbh, although I'm aware it can have beneficial effects in preventing CVD.
     
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  11. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest


    Im glad, not that it exists, but that more and more people are becoming aware of diabullimia, alot of hard work is going into getting the right help for people.
     
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  12. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Indeed Gemma, you've probably already seen the following but I'll post it anyway:

    http://www.wearediabetes.org/diabulimia.php
     
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  13. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    Thanks, I will have a look at this as I do support work for DWED the original charity set up to support diabetics with eating disorders.

    It's now recognised in America but not officially here, although it is often discussed in political debates now.
     
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  14. Clivethedrive

    Clivethedrive Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes , it's very difficult to do the job that our natural insulin does ,you only need to be over by a little and more fat and water will bind to the extra insulin.
     
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  15. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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  16. pinewood

    pinewood Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    How is this different from non-diabetics, though? Surely this sentence could just read "Ergo, yes, eating too many carbs i.e. not balancing what you consume effectively, can cause you to gain weight". I'm not criticising just genuinely curious - does it actually make any difference that we inject our insulin rather than have it produced by our pancreas? Is there something in analog insulin that is more conducive to fat storage than naturally produced insulin? Or is it simply the case that, due to the imperfections of injecting, we are more likely to have more insulin in our body than we would do if produced naturally?
     
  17. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    Im very interested to know the answer to this too. I always think that ultimately you will be injecting more insulin than a non diabetic, that may not be true.

    But i also know that pre-diabetes i was very slim (even before losing weight due to being undiagnosed) and post diabetes gained a lot of weight despite eating little. carbs and very healthily.
     
  18. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The crude tuning of injected insulin is more likely to cause too much (or too little) insulin to be circulating, compared to the fine tuning of an actual functioning pancreas.

    Too much insulin not only increases the tendency to deposit fat, and inhibits the burning of fat, but also makes us hungry, so we consume more food, which in turn is stored.

    So, similar to the non diabetic's fat storage, just worse.
     
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  19. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    As @Spiker said. The mechanisms are the same, just that the administration method is cruder and more open loop in the insulin dependent diabetic.
     
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  20. Flowerpot

    Flowerpot Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The fact that my insulin requirements dropped by about one third when changing from MDI to a pump -whilst giving me better control -confirmed to me how much extra I was previously having than I actually needed to cover the carbs consumed. A decrease in insulin needed for the same amount of carbs would no doubt be true when comparing pumped insulin to an unbeatable, functioning pancreas with beta cells secreting insulin straight into the bloodstream without any absorption issues.
     
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