1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Insulin and weight gain?

Discussion in 'Weight Loss and Dieting' started by Rebecca.., Jul 3, 2012.

  1. JMM

    JMM Type 1 · Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Hi, At the ripe o;ld age of 74 and having bveen diabetic for 39 yars, my GP has finally decided I am a Tyoe 1 and I have been allowed to go on a Dafne Course. I could recommend it to anyone. Even I learned things I didn't know and learned how to work out my ratios, which aren't usually 1/1 but can be 2/1 or 1 1/2/1 at different times of the day. Why not try it,. It's free!
     
  2. AntLockyer

    AntLockyer · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Just to play the advocate. I've been on insulin for about 5 months and have put on no weight at all. Like you I'd lost a lot (10kg in 8 months) but it has stayed off.

    I dont low carb, I eat a fairly normal diet, not overly healthy and have a desk bound job.

    I take 17 units of Levemir for Basal once a day and about 18 units of Novorapid to cover my carbs (ratio of 12:1).
     
  3. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

    Messages:
    8,157
    Likes Received:
    340
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Rebecca
    GET hold of a copy of "Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution". this book [by a doctor who is a lifelong T1] can teach you how to use the minimum dose of Insulin. It's a sad fact that Insulin is the fat-building hormone.. so any extra you use above the amount that's necessary to cope with your actual NEEDS. will build fats.Even worse is if you continually use too much insulin and keep having to correct hypos.
    I certainly don't suggest it, but it's fairly common for young T1s to omit their insulin to get thin. At least one such kid paid with her eyesight. This means that the less you use the better for your weight. For insulin users, this is a constant sruggle.
    I'm married to a T1, who has gone from 12 stone to 18.5 stone in 40 years. Currently he's down to about 16.5 stones, having been ill and not eating. I'm hoping he doesn't just put all the weight back on.
    Hana
     
  4. Jayno

    Jayno · Member

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I'm in the same situation. I just can't lose the weight!
    I'm on a 2:1 ratio of no italic and 23u of lanctus. .
    I mainly eat the same each day
    Breakfast -1 slice of toast
    Lunch - pre packed small fruit salad or egg salad.
    Dinner - chicken or ham salad & low fat yoghurt.
    If I need to eat I usually have a weight watchers biscuit.
    I do 3 hours of Zumba each week and 2 hrs of badminton to which I adjust my ratio to 1:1
    This maintains my weight but I really can't eat any less to try and lose weight!!
    I have a friend who goes to a well known slimming club and eats far far more than me and her weight is dropping off her!! It's so upsetting and flustrating!!
     
  5. Geezer654

    Geezer654 · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    I thought this might be helpfull



    Weight gain is one of the most frustrating and seemingly unfair side effects of insulin. While many people gain weight while taking insulin, there are ways to help prevent or reduce the weight gain that often comes with insulin use.
     
    Why Does Insulin Cause Weight Gain?
    There are a few different reasons why insulin causes weight gain. Probably, the most significant reason is that insulin reduces the removal of glucose (sugar) through the urine. With uncontrolled diabetes, the body cannot use (or store) glucose properly, and glucose is lost through the urine. This means that you can consume more calories than you need, and your body cannot use it or store it as fat as well as normal. As soon as you correct the situation with insulin, all of a sudden, your body can access the glucose in the blood. Any excess glucose is not lost through the urine; it is stored as fat. In this sense, insulin is not really causing the weight gain; it is simply correcting the problem (high diabetes) that once allowed you to eat more than you needed.
     
    Secondly, insulin can cause episodes of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). Hypoglycemic episodes are very frightening. People who have experienced hypoglycemic episodes due to insulin may be more likely to overeat in order to avoid future episodes. This overeating can lead to weight gain.
     
    Thirdly, some people feel that as long as they take insulin, they can eat whatever they want. While it is true that if you know how to appropriately adjust your dosage, insulin can be used to control blood sugar no matter what (or how much) you eat, insulin does not prevent weight gain from eating too much.
     
    Lastly, it is thought that insulin itself may cause weight gain. It is not clear as to how or why this might occur.
     
  6. Paul_c

    Paul_c Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    58
    It is perfectly clear why Insulin causes weight gain... it is the hormone that tells the body to store glucose as fat in the cells and prevents the fat from being used as fuel while it is present.
     
  7. Geezer654

    Geezer654 · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21

    If that is true then it doesn't matter weather it is injected or accurs naturally in the body it is the insulin that causes weight gain. So diabetic or not it puts weight on.
     
  8. Paul_c

    Paul_c Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    432
    Likes Received:
    20
    Trophy Points:
    58
  9. lucylocket61

    lucylocket61 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,611
    Likes Received:
    2,411
    Trophy Points:
    178
    Geezer said:

    Can I have the reference for where you got this information from please?
     
  10. Geezer654

    Geezer654 · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    http://diabetes.emedtv.com/m/insulin/insulin-and-weight-gain.html
     
  11. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    5,672
    Likes Received:
    3,675
    Trophy Points:
    178
    The article quoted by 'Geezer' repeats more simply much that is written in this paper: It's a good explanation as to the why people can put on weight though the latter part is a promotion for the efficacy of levimir as a background insulin.

    http://dmh.mo.gov/docs/medicaldirector/ ... rticle.pdf

    Here's part of the the abstract: with a my comments in blue

    . Insulin-associated weight gain may result from a reduction of blood glucose to levels below the renal threshold without a compensatory reduction in calorie intake, (ie once levels are reduced below about 10 glucose is no longer spilled from the urine but people have got unconsciously used to eating more in an attempt to fuel the body so when their levels are normalised they tend to carry on doing so)
    a defensive or unconscious increase in calorie intake caused by the fear or experience of hypoglycaemia, ( The fear of hypos causes some people eat when there levels begin to fall, they may also eat far more than necessary to treat hypos )
    or the ‘unphysiological’ pharmacokinetic and metabolic profiles that follow subcutaneous administration. (normal insulin is released through the portal vein, not by absorption through the skin. Theres a world of difference between injecting some insulin when we think we need it and the finely balanced feedback loop of insulin/glucagon in a working system, the paper discusses why this aspect can lead to weight gain)

    There is, however, scope for limiting insulin-associated weight gain. Strategies include limiting dose by increasing insulin sensitivity through diet ( (bit of a catch 21 here, the author describes how weight loss through calorie reduction increases insulin sensitivity. For my self it's a matter of watching the scales and intervening by reducing calories before any weight gain becomes significant) and
    exercise (i exercise in particular improves insulin sensitivy both short term and long term, indeed the body can get glucose into the muscle cells without insulin during exercise) or by using adjunctive anorectic or insulin-sparing pharmacotherapies such as pramlintide or metformin. ( seems to help some people on insulin ; more so Met in the UK)
    Insulin replacement regimens that attempt to mimic physiological norms should also enable insulin to be dosed with
    maximum efficiency (MDI and even more so pumps try to do this but they are a long way from perfect replication, even a pump together with a continuous monitoring system is not an artificial pancreas : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_pancreas
     
  12. Riesenburg

    Riesenburg · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Greetings Rebecca,

    The key to wieght control is partially due to what we eat for which there has been quite a few good suggestions AND controling the hormonal flow in our bodies. I will give you a few tips with respect to the latter.

    Insulin is one of the main hormones we rely upon, it basically keeps us alive. It's function varies depending on whether it is becoming active during the day or the evenings (in healthy individuals). What the ideal position is, is simply to keep the insulin levels higher during the day when it's function is to carry carbs and protein into your muscles and body in order to generate fuel for producing energy. In the evenings, things change and it tends to do what in medicine is termed an increase in lipid synthesis and decreases lipolysis. What this means is that it increases the fat cells uptake of fats from the blood into fat cells for storage and it decreases the conversion of stored fat cells into free fats which flow in the blood. In effect, it will increase the amount of body fat and stop it being used later on. This is what we want to avoid, since this tends to occur mostly at night or in the evenings when we are not as active than during the day it's just a matter of adapting our meals during the evenings to require a little less insulin.

    During the day it should not be a problem since you will be active, and I hope exercising, all the insulin should be used in order to promote the intake of the sugars and proteins into the body cells which need it (about 2/3 of your total body).

    A final thing to keep an eye out for is check your thyroid hormone levels, if those are too low your metabolic rate will be low and cause an increase in weight amongst other things and unfortunately we diabetics specially type Is are prones to a lot of these problems. Estrogens if elevated can also promote unnecessary fat storage and water retention.

    Hypos and Hypers need to be kept in check, each time we either have the one or the other the body will release Cortisol Andrenaline and Growth Hormone. The cortisol if not used gets changed into Cortisone which the body also stores as fat. The only fix for this without resorting to drugs is to simply avoid as many hypos and hypers as humanly possible.

    Naturally, don't forget to keep physically active, I have 3 sessions at the gym a week and can't put on fat even when indulging in carbs! It's the key to it all, other than keeping your weight under control exercising will stabilise your HBA1C, will promote circulation, and as mentioned increase glucose uptake, and most importantly will prevent brain decay!

    For us chaps, exercise boosts testosterone production which is responsible for increasing sensitivity to insulin too :)

    Let us know how you get along :)
    Frankie
     
  13. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,618
    Likes Received:
    19,618
    Trophy Points:
    278

    Good post Phoenix :thumbup:
     
  14. DR MICHAIL

    DR MICHAIL Type 2 · Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Ask your gp if Victos injection is suitable for you ? It did help me to lose 10kg and also helped others. But after that it will keep you steady
     
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook