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Recently Diagnosed with 1.5; terrified of possibility of weight gain

Discussion in 'Type 1.5/LADA Diabetes' started by charman152, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. charman152

    charman152 · Newbie

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    Hi! I'm new to the whole diabetes world and have recently been diagnosed with LADA. While I haven't started insulin yet (I've been put on 500mg/2x a day of Metformin), I understand that I eventually will need insulin injections. From everything I've read, insulin is correlated with weight gain. I understand that a healthy diet and exercise can help prevent this but I am anxious that even that won't be enough. Currently I am at a healthy weight and have been working really hard to eat few carbs/sugars but I worry that it won't be enough in the future. I know that if I gain much weight through insulin it is going to greatly affect my mental health. Does anyone have any words of wisdom//assauge these fears?
    Thanks so much!
     
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    #1 charman152, Aug 8, 2019 at 5:22 AM
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  2. Goonergal

    Goonergal Type 2 · Moderator
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    Hi @charman152 and welcome

    I’m Type 2 not on insulin so can’t help you myself, but am tagging a couple of friendly people that might be able to help. @Antje77 @Japes
     
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  3. charman152

    charman152 · Newbie

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  4. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Expert

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    My understanding is that high levels of insulin due to insulin resistance can lead to weight gain.
    Whilst people with type 1 are not immune to insulin resistance, it is far from a given.

    Injecting insulin because your body does not produce it is replacing what your body should produce, is not introducing extra insulin. If it was all people with type 1 would be overweight. This is not the case.

    Some people with type 1 withhold insulin to lose weight this is incredibly dangerous. Please do not be tempted to do this because you fear weight gain.

    Look after yourself and don't be afraid of the medication your body needs.
     
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  5. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
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    Well, personally being alive is a lot more important than being size zero.

    I have no experience of weight gain from insulin long term as a medic recently informed me that my weight is within 250g of my weight 4 years ago. Insulin keeps me alive, enables me to work, exercise and be there for my family.
     
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  6. charman152

    charman152 · Newbie

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    That is good to hear! And I totally here you on a rational level about it being more important to be alive than skinny. Unfortunately, for me on an emotional well-being level, I know that being on medications in the past, such as anti-depressants associated with weight gain, made me feel really out of control of my weight and it really affected my self-esteem. I know, i know go to counseling, decide that it's more important to be alive than skinny, but since weight gain does mess with my head I'm trying to look for ways to prevent a potential future mental health issue.
     
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  7. charman152

    charman152 · Newbie

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    Thanks, this helps a lot! And ah yes, I read about that in my research and it sounds like a very scary extreme I hope to never go. Thank you for your words!
     
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  8. Japes

    Japes LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @charman152 and welcome to the LADA club!

    I did regain some weight when I first went on insulin, 18 months ago, but it's remained very steady since that first month. My understanding is that because I'd lost a massive amount of weight in the run-up to being re-diagnosed as LADA (after a couple of years as T2 on metformin and eventually gliclazide which failed to work) some of that weight gain was essential body fat replacing itself.

    I think some of that weight gain also happened more as a result of over-treating hypos until I was confident that just a small amount of carbs was going to work to raise my blood sugars back up to a safe level. Also, looking back, metformin curbed my appetite and it took a while to get used to having hunger pangs again!

    Personally, I'd rather be on insulin, alive, and a bit over-weight than where I was immediately prior to going onto insulin losing weight not because I was trying to keep to a healthy weight, but because my body couldn't process the food at all other than to get my blood sugars permanently and dangerously high. (No, none of us know why I was still on my feet when others would've been slain with DKA.) I liked the weight loss, but not at that price. My overall health matters more.
     
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  9. Japes

    Japes LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, @Goonergal done my best!
     
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  10. Swillbos

    Swillbos LADA · Member

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    I spent the last seven years thinking I was a T2 diabetic, but am now under investigation to see if I am LADA following a dramatic deterioration of blood sugar control this spring. I started insulin 3 weeks ago and have since put on around 1-2lbs in weight. I am keen to limit any weight gain as it has taken me seven years to shift five stone and get to a healthy weight, also I now only have a small size wardrobe! However, I am not really noticing any big instantaneous changes, apart from feeling so much better and a miraculous improvement in my bold sugar readings

    My behaviour has changed a bit with the new regime: no more intermittent fasting (nurse stressed need for three meals and regularity) and I haven't dared to start running again. I suspect both of these changes have contributed to my modest weight gain at least as much as the insulin. I know there are plenty of T1 and LADA people who are very sporty and think there are also some who do intermittent fasting, but I am just feeling very cautious at the moment.

    I follow a low carb diet, and walk 5+ miles a day. This sort of approach seems to be working in terms of keeping my insulin needs low and any weight gain down, it probably also contributed to my not needing insulin much earlier in my own diabetes journey. So you are already doing exactly the right things!!!

    Be kind to yourself, we are all still learning here x
     
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  11. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    Hi @charman152 , and welcome to the forum!

    I'm approaching my 3 year anniversary on insulin and if I have gained weight it's very little. On the other hand, I certainly haven't lost weight and I eat less than before. It's not that I go hungry but I'm satiated with less food, and I mostly quit moreish food like crisps.
    I could use some serious weight loss but I count myself lucky that the need for healthy blood sugar seems to have settled in my brain as top priority, whatever is needed. I'd rather gain weight than lose eyesight or limbs.

    Having high blood sugars made me very depressed too (as opposed to my usual moderately depressed state), so when I started insulin I felt much, much better. It may very well be you'll start feeling better about yourself and your body when on insulin too, reducing your anxiety just by not having high bg!

    As you can read in the above reactions, many of us haven't gained weight, I hope it will be the same for you!
    Wishing you a happy and healthy journey :)
     
  12. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I lost a huge amount of weight before diagnosis 2 years ago and although I've put that back on I haven't increased weight.

    I'm more conscious of the carbs I'm eating now and because I don't like insulin in my system at certain times of the day I've definitely cut back on the junk food!

    To be honest if you eat sensibly and don't over do the jelly babies for hypos then there's no real reason why you should gain weight. It's really annoying when you aren't hungry but have to eat to get your BG levels up, but if that happens too often then it's time to adjust insulin dosages
     
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  13. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hello!
    To be honest with you, my parents were in tears and worried that they were willing to accept anything to help me. Doctors didn't know what was wrong with and I was in the very deep end of DKA. I am thankful there was something that saved me and that was insulin. At the beginning of my diagnosis, I lost a great deal of weight and when they put me on insulin - I resumed eating and regained the weight back. But when I went to secondary school, image among girls was a big deal and thats when the bullying and nasty comments dug at my confidence which then led me onto a self destructive path - not doing my insulin, not eating, not testing and I was back into DKA again. My 11 year old said DKA was a good thing because of the weight loss, which wasn't wise because I was killing myself.
    I've lost the weight when I was 16 and managed to stay stable for the last few years. Once you learn how to adjust insulin for carbs and reduce the amount of hypos and hypers, there wouldn't be any room to gain additional weight. Once you've done a carb counting course like DAFNE, you'll have some knowledge to incooperate low carb or keto. I wouldn't have attempted low carb if I didn't know much about insulin adjustment because hypos will occur and thats when eating because you have to eat, not because you want to eat happens. (Hypos always need to be treated)
    Unless you started doing strength training and working out your muscles or gaining muscle, which will mean you'll be far much heavier. I am far much happier now despite being a little jiggly, :)
     
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    #13 MeiChanski, Aug 8, 2019 at 1:37 PM
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  14. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The insulin, when you eventually need it, will make you feel so much better, your weight won't be the main issue. I was BMI 19 at my lowest and have bounced to BMI of 22.9 since taking insulin. Even though I'm larger than I've ever been, I'm healthier with it and my main concern at present is keeping my blood sugars stable and in the normal range and having loads of energy to exercise. Before insulin, I used to find losing weight easy, but I certainly am being careful not to gain any more, the scales are not moving down with my usual intermittent fasting, LCHF and large amounts of exercise like they would have once. I've never had to count calories, but I think if I seriously wanted a BMI under 22 again, I'd have to work with a dietitian.

    I'm on a DAFNE course and they're all complaining that insulin has had the side effect of putting on weight, but it also saves your life.
     
    #14 ert, Aug 13, 2019 at 8:51 PM
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 9:38 PM
  15. Daibell

    Daibell LADA · Master

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    Hi. Insulin itself does not cause weight gain although many think it does. What it does do is enable the body to metabolise the carbs you eat and weight gain can result. So, when on insulin, many of us need to be sensible with carb intake to control weight. This is no different from a non-diabetic needing to control weight thru carb control.
     
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