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Does Insulin make you gain weight?

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

  1. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    I'm not too sure of the answer if there is a difference in analogues, human & animal insulin when it comes to weight gain, but what's important to remember is we are only injecting something that our bodies would naturally produce had it not been for our diagnosis, provided you find the right balance between insulin and food insulin should never be feared.
     
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  2. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have not read as much as some on this topic, but i would say that simply having to inject insulin will not make you gain weight. Insulin itself and the fact that its inject can cause an increase in fat cells, but i don't think to the extent that you are experiencing or that some people usually talk about.

    I am saying this based on a mix of readings and my own experience. Typically before someone is diagnosed they go through a period of un-natural weight loss, while being able to eat pretty much anything they want (i lost 30lbs+ in a couple months and ate more then ever). This is due to your body burning fat for energy rather then your food intake, so nothing is stored. When you are diagnosed and put on insulin a lot of people expect to be able to continue their eating habits, and put on weight.

    Typically the same thing is common when people go on the pump, they blame the pump for causing weight gain, when in reality its because they were likely in mild ketosis and their body burned fat from constant high sugars.

    I think the most common (which i did experience) is having to snack to correct low sugars when starting out. I used to never snack, but all of sudden i found myself going low between meals, or having to eat extra because I over bolused. All of this extra food (even like 50 cals a day) starts to add up to a few lbs a month if one is not careful. Its really just poor insulin dosing, or poor carb counting that gets us into this situation.

    The insulin itself, is not to blame for lbs of weight gain and fat. That is all based on our eating and exercise habits.
     
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  3. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I read a paper on this once that mentioned that the real cause of 'fat cell creation' (they never called it weight gain, i should point out) was they way the insulin interacts with our bodies because it was injected and had to move through into the blood. Thats why we are told to inject into fat, not muscle. The insulin interacts with existing fat cells before reaching our blood, which i believe has something to do with things.

    You have to be careful with that last sentence. How did your age change between pre and post ? or other factors like family situation, stress, ect. and also, you may have been running with high sugars spiking into the teens for years before diagnosis and not have known about it.
     
  4. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    Oh I know that, I've said in previous posts that I didn't account for my age and that I would've been changing by going into adulthood.
     
  5. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The fact that injected insulin goes through the skin and subcutaneous fat explains hyperlipotrophy but it does not have anything to do with how injected insulin affects the deposition of fat in general.

    If you think about it, insulin always travels everywhere via the blood, whether it's injected or natural.
     
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  6. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Spiker - Of course. I wouldn't think that it would have any effect on overall fat deposition as its designed to mimic natural insulin. But i will probably have to search some journal articles and see if I can find clues.

    All said and done when i was diagnosed i put back on about 10lbs, and I have maintained that weight fairly constantly over the last year, its still lighter then i was at this time in 2010-2013 though, so i know diabetes has nothing to do with my weight lol well, shouldn't say that since i can no longer eat an entire large pizza by myself anymore.. so maybe thats why i am lighter lol
     
  7. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest


    Exactly, I think that last sentence has to be taken into account. Those who have maintained their weight are probably eating very differently so there must be a connection somewhere.
     
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  8. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @gemma6549 - Well, when i was in university I ate like a student and weighed 190lbs, now that I am an adult I eat like an adult (however i eat out EVERY single day for lunch) and maintain a weight of 165lbs..

    Its not a conscious change, I didn't say 'I need to be healthy now that i have diabetes' - its just what happens as we grow up... But if anything diabetes has made me loose weight, due to avoiding things like pasta and pizza. I don't miss it at all, and am much happier with my body now, then ever before.
     
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  9. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest


    I eat very healthily, I always have but I eat a lot less now and avoid carbs, my weight however is still effected.

    Therefore I guess it's different for everyone. And none of us know the real answer anyway.
     
  10. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @gemma6549 - I agree totally with that. Everyone is different and with T1D many people develop it before we have gotten older so there is no way to know if our metabolisms have changed with diabetes, or because we've aged, or maybe the stress of being old and having diabetes lol
     
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  11. Flowerpot

    Flowerpot Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'd say that I definitely eat differently in order to keep at a happy weight.

    Having lived through years of anorexia and bulimia before it was called diabulimia ,I eat a small amount of food to maintain my ideal weight, anything extra and I would put weight on. Knowing that I now have a healthy low carb diet I'm certain if I ate what I eat as a non diabetic I would be a few pounds lighter, this makes me point my finger at having to inject insulin and the inefficient way my body deals with it.
     
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  12. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    I would love to be able to see what I would be like now weight wise had I not developed diabetes.
     
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  13. JRW

    JRW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not for me, eat less carbs than pre diabetes and weigh a stone more. I know what I say is anecdotal, and will be ignored, but it's true.
     
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  14. gemma6549

    gemma6549 · Guest

    I'm the same
     
  15. JRW

    JRW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I went to see a sports nutritionist who specialises in diabetes, and I got by far the best help since being diagnosed, I've not seen my consultant in 1.5yrs, but that's a different story. I explained to her about being probably a stone or so over my ideal weight (well what feels right for me), and she wasn't surprised, and said it's something she hears a lot from T1's who are into sport.
     
  16. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Over the last few years I put on 2 stone. Going low carb and doing a load of exercise, I lost it. I'm of the opinion that I was simply eating more than I needed.
     
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  17. Ilya83

    Ilya83 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No! I've tryed many times to gain weight. But it's no use. I'm only 65kg :banghead:
     
  18. Diamattic

    Diamattic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I have been looking through the internet trying to figure out WHY so many T1Ds gain weight and have only found the same reason

    "Also, once you start taking insulin injections and start getting your blood glucose under control, you now have enough insulin circulating in your blood to help the glucose get into the body's cells where it can be used as energy. So the glucose produced by the food you eat is no longer spending time in your bloodstream and being excreted out as urine. You gain weight."

    This is from The Joslin Society, one of the leading diabetes research centres in the USA.. I would think they are very reputable source.

    So with this information i can understand that new diabetics see weight gain for this reason, and everyone else - well i honestly believe its just because we are getting older. As we age our metabolism slows and we put on weight, even with the same amount of diet or exercise, its fairly common for many people. But T1D tend to blame everything on diabetes first lol

    Source : http://www.joslin.org/info/why_did_i_gain_weight_when_i_started_taking_insulin.html
     
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  19. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Older or maybe just more experienced. :)
     
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  20. KazV1

    KazV1 · Active Member

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    Insulin is a very anabolic hormone, so excessive carbs equals excessive insulin equals weight gain, no question about it, you cannot lose fat when there are elevated insulin levels in the body.
     
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