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Insulin= Weight Gain

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by IzB, May 27, 2020.

  1. IzB

    IzB · Newbie

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    Hi

    I’ve been a Type 1 Diabetic for almost 14 years and I’m ashamed to say only the last few months have I recently got a grip of it. Since the Uk lockdown I’ve been able to focus on good control which for me means injecting more and having more insulin but I have found my weight has gone up dramatically.
    What I eat on the daily isn’t anything special, I have cereal or toast for breakfast, salad for lunch and a normal portion of whatever my is for dinner that night (which is always a balance meal) and no snacks except maybe a pack of raisins or fruit. I go on 2-3hr uphill walks 3xweek, 2x15km bike rides a week and do at least 4 45min workouts at home yet I can’t shift any weight and it keeps going up. 2 months ago I was 52kg now I am 64kg. I know people say not to focus on weight but it’s really bugging me as it’s not muscle mass I’m putting on as I can see the fat and rolls on me.
    I don’t know what I can do more as it’s really effecting my self esteem, I’m only 19 and would like to be able to wear shorts in public without being self conscious.
     
  2. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I found using a fitbit really helpful for plotting my exercise and calories used. I know we need to count carbs but I was taking in a lot more overall than I was using up despite having an active life. I've cut right back on bread and rice and it's really helped.
     
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  3. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
    Staff Member Administrator

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    If you are eating the same as before, and until very recently your diabetes wasn't in great shape, it could be your weight was being maintained as a knock-on effect of high blood sugars. If, in managing your diabetes a bit better, you are now using more insulin for the "same food", it could be you're actually eating more than you need to maintain your weight.

    I'm unsure if I have expressed that too well. I'm not a T1, or insulin user myself, so I'm just floating a potential, based on my observations.

    Hopefully you'll get to the bottom of it soon.
     
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  4. UK T1

    UK T1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome. Wow sounds like you've been very productive during lockdown! It is easy to focus on the past, but improvement to control is always positive, no matter when or how long for. This is a difficult thing to have so you should be proud of the changes you've made.

    Some thoughts:
    Have you contacted your diabetes team? Or GP? Most are happy with even just an email in the first instance if you don't want to ring.
    How long have you been exercising for? As others have said, does your food intake match your exercise levels?
    When I was first diagnosed I kept being told to expect to put on weight. The diabetes team predicted I'd had it for at least 10+ months and said my body would 'hoard' the energy stores at first now it was getting the insulin it needed. Now I'm not saying you were having such low insulin quantities, but I wonder if a similar 'hoarding' effect is happening as you say you're having more insulin now? I don't know how long it might take for your body to stop this, if this is the case. I also don't know if anything else could be the reason of course. But if this is the case then it took me about 2 months before I stopped gaining weight (but I also wasn't exercising and hypoing lots as a newly diagnosed!) Perhaps your diabetes team can help more?
    It might help others to know what insulin you're on and what regime? Carb counting?
     
  5. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. It sounds like you need to reduce your carbs? I would avoid cereal and toast for breakfast and have perhaps eggs and bacon? You mention a balanced diet but the diet PHE ask us to follow isn't balanced for health as it has too many carbs. Make up for the reduced carbs with fats and protein plus veg and fruit.
     
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  6. kev-w

    kev-w Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought but I'd reckon most folk will have put weight on during this lockdown, calories in/calories out will have changed as in there'll be more going in than being used, and over a couple of months it does appear those calories stick.

    Maybe worth looking up what metabolic type you are https://gethealthyu.com/the-3-metabolic-body-types-explained/ as different people are different shapes for a reason and if your control wasn't brilliant your body weight would likely be down.
     
  7. Nometype1andproud

    Nometype1andproud Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I went on a pump in nov and have put on about 1st 9lbs . I eat exactly the same so can only presume it’s the extra insulin on board and the fact I am more healthy hba1c wise going from around 100 to approx 66
     
  8. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    You can eat what you want and have good control..............as long as you aren't eating too much. Commonly people gain weight when put on insulin because all of a sudden you are actually absorbing all those calories you were eating and not absorbing before. That would also be the case if you upped your insulin for better control and now you are actually eating too much.Try cutting back on food and insulin accordingly.
     
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  9. CelalDari

    CelalDari · Guest

    Weight gain = Calories in > Calories out
    Weight loss= Calories out > Calories in

    Remember! Nothing will ever just make you gain weight unless you are eating more than you should. If you are eating the daily calories you are supposed to then you shouldn’t gain any weight because your body cannot store energy it hasn’t received
     
    #9 CelalDari, May 29, 2020 at 9:59 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2020
  10. Scarlett91

    Scarlett91 Type 1 · Active Member

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    About 10 months after I was diagnosed (which was 2017) I was at my heaviest. I am unfortunately overweight and have been for as long as I remember. My dsn explained it may be likely that I would put on weight as I had lost alot of weight a few weeks prior to diagnosis and that from her experience insulin does have the tendency of weight gain. Because I was still getting to grips with it, 1) in some cases I was eating more - mainly my evening meal and 2) because I was entirely sure what I was doing I was over injecting.
    I have found as my control has got better - through reducing that evening portion and having a better understanding of my diabetes I have lost weight without trying. As you said you have been trying more recently to control your diabetes so it could be your body getting used it. If its something you are going to continue with once lockdown has finished, then hopefully you'll find what works for you and your body will start to regulate. As another reply said, maybe contact your diabetic team for extra support but don't be too hard on yourself xox
     
  11. Dianemacfaden

    Dianemacfaden Type 1 · Active Member

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    Having had type 1 for nearly 50 years and always battled with my weight all my life it was only until recently I was able to control it after having a freestyle Libre fitted. I think eating as little carbs as possible is the only way and try and have a couple of days a week when you eat only 600 calories a day. Feeding hypos can put weight on so try not to let your sugar levels dip down too much.
     
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  12. Dianemacfaden

    Dianemacfaden Type 1 · Active Member

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    Have you been on a dafne course? It will help,you understand and try and get a freestyle Libre as they are life changing if you are on insulin
     
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  13. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I also imagine that if you are slightly over eating and bringing it under control with insulin you are also forcing your body to use/store the energy from the food

    Also insulin is anabolic and often used buy body builders along with testosterone for purposes of muscle gain.. so if you are active if could also be a slight increase in muscle density
     
  14. UK T1

    UK T1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi sorry I haven't been on for a few days, also not sure if you were asking me or suggesting for others on the thread.
    If me, then yes, thanks, I have done two versions of my clinic's DAPHNE adaptation over the years and have the libre and agree it is fab! Can't imagine going back to 10+ tests a day now, but know I'm one of the lucky ones who got it on the NHS!
     
  15. Stevec189

    Stevec189 Type 1 · Member

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    Assuming you are on MDI then two obvious areas are the snacks and evening meal. Raisins and fruit are both good sources of sugar so try and find a low carb snack or not to use one. If you are snacking since you are low / hypo post exercise think about when you eat against when you exercise. Taking more insulin will add to weight gain so a good way of getting this under control is as others have suggested eat less carbs. Heavy carbs like pasta and rice are now an occasional treat for me. Finding personally more difficult to remove potatoes completely but have recently discovered baked Sweet Potato! Definitely worth having a chat with dietitian or DSN if you have one. After being a diabetic since November 1975 it is a roller coaster ride. One day you can be going great then suddenly wham! and you cant fathom out why!
     
  16. Fairygodmother

    Fairygodmother Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, for what it’s worth, it hasn’t just been carbs that lead to weight gain, and it seems that I put on weight quite easily. For me, eating less has always been accompanied by the need to eat less dried fruit, cheese, carbs, red meat and sauces. I know that it’s hard.
    However, how tall are you? 64kg isn’t a lot. I do find myself wondering if you were a little underweight before you took more control of your blood sugar results.
     
  17. Cookiekeri

    Cookiekeri · Member

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    Look we are all human !!! Don’t worry about it I feel like me and you r in the same boat ...
    It’s took me 12 years to get a grip and the past two years I’ve really got a grip!!! Am
    Glad your doing more for your diabetes now and my advice high protein medium fats and low carb!!!
    Breakfast maybe boiled eggs or turkey rashers on one piece of plain toast ... try porridge made with water weighed always weigh your portions so invest in scales !!!! Put some peanut butter in your porridge !! If your having a salad have 120g chicken or turkey with your salad try a boiled egg with it and plain Greek yogurt with berries mixed in .. avoid all your salad sauces and use a low fat balsam dressing. !!!!
    Things like that will make a big change to your weight also remember to drink two litres of water a day and no sweetners avoid them like the plague as they can mess with your diabetes a lot specially blood sugars !!! Also try get out as much as possible the lock downs hard but try get your hourly exercise in... you think your putting weight on but bcos your sugar levels have ran so high for years on end your high sugars have ate away at your muscles and fats specially ketones now your taking regular insulin the insulin is doing it’s job and converting glucose from carbs into fat which will be stored around your body !!! Don’t worry this is normal just stick to high protein diet x
     
  18. Gemma2

    Gemma2 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Insulin doesn’t put on weight. It’s what you put in your mouth. I was always under the illusion it was Insulin.
     
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  19. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Before insulin, I used to eat like a horse and never put on weight. Now I have to count my calories, meal skip and feel hungry. I guess I had it easy until now. :)
     
  20. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Having been overweight most of my life -a size 16-I now enjoy a lower weight with size 10/12 clothes. Sustained for six and a half years now. I eat more healthily, but don’t eat low, low carb. I know I eat less than I ever did. It’s not the insulin. It’s the amount and type of food I eat. Less food less insulin.
     
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