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Does Insulin make you gain weight?

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

  1. smidge

    smidge LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I don't know whether this has any effect on weight gain, but the biggest difference between injected insulin and endogenous insulin is that endogenous insulin remains very tightly controlled in the areas of the body it is supposed to be in; injected insulin has to traverse our entire bodies to get where it is needed. This is not natural. It keeps us alive, but there are bound to be implications to having insulin in parts of the body it is not meant to be. I expect one of those implications is weight gain - although I have no evidence. The best bet is to use the minimum dose we need - and minimising insulin healthily means minimising Carbs and, to a lesser extent, protein.

    Smidge
     
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  2. Clivethedrive

    Clivethedrive Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good points entirely agree::))
     
  3. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    @smidge, that's not strictly true. Insulin is released into the blood system and traverses the entire body when endogenous. The difference is that exactly the amount required is released. Exogenous insulin is entered into the body via subcutaneous injection and needs to be transported throughout the body to allow GLUT4 receptors to function and to allow adipose cells to convert glucose to triglycerides for fat storage.

    The only real difference is that the endogenous insulin goes directly from the beta cells into the blood whereas injected insulin goes via muscle tissue or subcutaneous fat into the blood. In both cases it ends up throughout the body as it is transported in the blood, rather than the idea of being concentrated where it is supposed to be.

    That the transport of endogenous insulin reaches both fatty and muscle tissues over equal periods of time is a reasonable assumption. When injected, dependent on needle length and body composition, it may hit fatty or muscular tissue first before reaching the blood. And most of us have seen the side effects of both of these.
     
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  4. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Agree with @tim2000s, it's the fine tuning by the ultra sensitive beta cells that makes the major difference, any differences in transport round the body are marginal. We don't have any such thing as a "local control" of insulin delivery as far as I know. Unless you include insulin resistance, ie local cells resisting excess glucose that insulin is trying to push into them.
     
  5. psychicsal

    psychicsal Type 2 · Active Member

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    Im type 2 and have just started on insulin as i can not control my blood sugar, i lost just over 2 stone and was needing to loose more, i have been on insulin for a week now and have already put 1/2 st bk on, i also got told my diabetic nurse that my weight will come bk and the reason why i lost so much weight in the beginning is because my blood sugars are so high.
     
  6. LEEK

    LEEK Parent · Newbie

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    Our son has gained some weight since going onto a pump and reverting back to 'grazing' instead of FOUR evenly spaced healthy and not so fat laden meals. Unlike myself, he is very active and so we have no immediate concerns about his weight. But it has reminded us how, these days, it is so easy to be unhealthy. Food is readily available, nutritious and we drive everywhere, even to the local gym.
     
  7. alisonhe

    alisonhe Type 1 · Active Member

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    I have had Type 1 for nearly 30 years and my diet has changed a lot over the years. I have never been fat but I am short and am a little muscular/stocky due to my body shape. I dont think I noticed weight gain initially although I did gain all the weight I lost back after diagnosis.
    I am just reading Dr Bernstein's book the diabetes solution, he promotes a very strict diet with very low carb intake mainly from vegetables (some), he is in his 80's now and doing very well. He talks about the role of insulin, how it promotes fat storage etc which is good to know, I have not quite got my head around it yet, I have the book on kindle so cant flick back and forth through the pages and will buy the book to help me better understand the health impact. His diet depresses me a little in that it is just protein and limited amounts of veg - I don't eat meat so it would be very restrictive for me, he also eats processed foods using sweeteners which I don't like.
    I will read the book but at the moment I am thinking about compromising, I already limit my carb intake, my diet is high is all veg, I eat some fruit everyday and I use pineapple juice or a Nakd bar if I need to raise my glucose between meals. I ensure I have some protein with each meal if possible and use healthy fats.
    For me currently, I am focussing on health and nutrients first (from lots of veg, some fruit, limited starchy foods and good fats and protein) rather than maintaining a steady glucose level, I also drink lots of water and I decide for each meal how much insulin I think I require so it is a guessing game for me and I can be wrong. My body's needs change also and I don't know when this is going to happen, sometimes I need more insulin over a period of time, I know now that when the weather is hotter, I need less NPH insulin (night time insulin) but my fast acting insulin needs remain the same. I am as yet reluctant to follow dr. Bernsteins diet completely as you cant even have tomatoes or balsamic vinegar but I may look to reduce my starchy carb intake more.
    I dont take a lot of insulin, between 4 and 7 or 8 units per meal depending on what I am doing and eating and I take about 12 units of NPH each night currently although this can at times in warm weather go down to 8 units or go up to 14-16 units in cold weather (I used to take 20-22 units a night but ate more carb then).
    You will learn as you go as I continue to, it is hard trying to balance it all which is why Dr Bernstein's book really appeals to me because his diet seems to give a perfect level of glucose plus on that diet people don't tend to have the severe symptoms of hypoglycaemia even when very low which I have experienced a few times - those symptoms seems to come with carb intake.
    Good luck with it all, Ali
     
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  8. Clivethedrive

    Clivethedrive Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Nice post dr bernstein is the " man"
     
  9. ronialive

    ronialive Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    it is recognised that insulin can make some people put on weight especially certain types of human insulin. It is a recognised side effect- so the more insulin you take the more weight you will store.
    I have just changed back onto pig insulin and without making any other changes have started to lose weight. 3kg in 5 weeks.
    certain insulins are worse than others. There is lots of research out there- just go looking and make your own decisions.
     
  10. Binky21

    Binky21 Type 2 · Member

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    I'm a Type 2 so I cant state this with any certainty in your case but insulin undoubtedly makes me put on weight. After 10 years of type 2, with completely stable weight, I have recently had to go on overnight insulin to help with the dawn effect. I eat lowish carb and my diet varies very little. By the end of a week taking insulin, I noticed I had gained 6lbs. As each of my pregnancies were also gestational I did notice a corresponding jump at those times too.

    Our family is very predisposed to high blood glucose and if we eat carbs, we pump out insulin and gain weight very rapidly. However whilst insulin is kind of a bit of a curse (Not even finding it working well overnight and am looking for alternatives), one thing I know is true is that regular exercise (which I hate) and low carbing does keep the weight in check. For me, the more insulin, the more weight. I too would recommend the Dr Bernstein book, it is excellent. And as someone who was a very low carber for a few years, it goes a long way to keeping your diabetes well in check. However, I found I couldn't manage that level of carb restriction in the long term. Some people manage it for a lifetime but cutting out 99% of carbs made me miserable. So now I eat about 60 gms of carbs a day and allow myself the odd piece of low carb toast and most root vegetables and a few low carb fruits and I am completely happy and my diabetes is well controlled except for my overnight reading.
     
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  11. Jess13

    Jess13 Type 1 · Newbie

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    This is kind of a complicated subject that I don't believe just sways in one direction. It's dependent on a lot of mitigating factors I believe. But one thing I do know for sure is that if your body doesn't have insulin and your sugar levels remain consistently and constantly high you will lose weight, because the insulin will not be there to 'use' or access the glucose in your body and thus therefore your body will start to burn the fat in your body as a means of producing and utilizing energy for itself, because without insulin it has no choice. When I was first diagnosed I lost 30 pounds in a month before I realized what was happening. So I could see what you're asking and why.
     
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  12. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @Jess13 obviously just so everyone is clear, what you are describing is diabulimia, which is very dangerous and must be avoided.

    The bottom line is that excess insulin makes anyone gain weight and insufficient insulin is diabulimia.
     
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  13. PatsyB

    PatsyB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    when i was on insulin am and pm i put some weight on as was having to eat more so i put it down to that and as soon as I came off the pm insulin I lost it again, but maybe the tablets (Forxiga) have something to do with losing the weight
     
  14. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @PatsyB if that happens you just need to reduce the amount of insulin and the amount of food, together, gradually.
     
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  15. justCarol

    justCarol Type 2 · Newbie

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    I am Type 2 and was transferred to Insulin injections at the beginning of this year [plus Metformin], I have also put on weight, I also suffer night hypos. The weight increase [so I have been told] is because I could be injecting too high a dose of Insulin - this in turn can make you hungry and therefore want to eat more. Having said that a couple of nights I went to bed feeling fine and not hungry at all - within half an hour I was having a hypo and my reading was 2.1. I am now trying to reduce my evening dose of insulin to try to prevent night hypos but without affecting my morning readings too much. Wish you luck.
     
  16. nmr1991

    nmr1991 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Before diabetes I was 50kg, after i'm still 50kg, either its in my genes or I have a thyroid problem which hasn't yet been detected in my blood tests, 3500 calories in a week seem to have done nothing its like I have a black hole in my stomach that gravitates everything into it and nothing comes out.

    Also both my family and nutritionist told me I need to exercise but to what point? I take in the energy but my body doesn't seem to know how to use it for muscle growth. Its not the hba1c which i regret to admit is very high and off the scale. I inject alot of insulin to cater for all of what I have to eat, but I inject only once I feel that i'm high, i've never actually tested for it, last time i tested was like 2 months ago now; just a habit that I can't get out of. I now take vitamin d3 and omega-3 every day, just in the hope it might get things straight and improve my overall depression and anxiety also.
     
  17. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    @nmr1991 that is diabulimia, of a sort. Your weight is stable and your HBa1c is high for the same reason - you aren't taking enough insulin. Please start testing. Taking supplements is pointless when not testing and not injecting enough.
     
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  18. Spiker

    Spiker Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorting out your blood sugar is the best way to reduce anxiety and depression. Can be chicken and egg, I know.
     
  19. alisonhe

    alisonhe Type 1 · Active Member

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    exercise can make a huge difference - it is vital for everyone as in order for our bodies to function normally we need to be active, that alone could be the cause of your depression, it gets the circulation moving which helps distribute hormones around the body. I have just read Dr Bernsteins book the diabetes solution and am leaning more towards a low carb diet, my diet was quite lowish carb before as I have for many years filled up my dinner meals with fresh veg rather than just starchy foods and protein but I am trying different recipes now and it makes such a difference - your blood sugars will come right down. It sounds like you need to make changes with diet and lifestyle but once you do = it is hard to go back, trust me. I take supplements too, I think a diet with a variety of fresh veg, protein with each meal, lots of still water and exercise are necessary for everyone. I still eat some fruit - I have an apple with my lunch at work each day and have not found this to be a problem, I have berries with yogurt, nuts, seeds and coconut flakes for breakfast. You need to test, I now test more than ever after reading the book but before I tested 3 times a day most days, how can you help yourself otherwise and monitor your glucose levels? With going lower carb, I am using little insulin which feels good. Your weight sounds low - that could be due to high blood sugars? You can get out of any habit! 3500 calories a week is not a lot - is that a typo? A man needs on average 2500/day, a woman 2000. You can get D vits from going out in the sun. My thyroid is borderline low, I have done research and am taking adaptagens to see if that can help - Ashwagandha and rhodiola - do some research to see if you can help yourself? It can get better but be willing to learn and to make changes. Hope this helps? Ali
     
  20. RuthW

    RuthW Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Simple, you can't build muscle unless your blood sugar is in the right range. Your blood sugar is high, your insulin is low, and you are wasting away in the midst of plenty. It's not something mysterious about your body. It's quite predictable and consistent.

    And high blood sugar causes both anxiety and depression. You know you have to get to grips with it.

    Have you done the DAFNE course? You might feel a bit less helpless if you did it.
     
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