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Regaining Weight

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by mountaintom, Jan 14, 2018.

  1. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I was recently diagnosed with Type 1 after being taken into hospital with rapid weight loss, excessive thirst etc. I was told I was “hours away from DKA” with extremely high ketone count and BG of 23. My normal weight is 12 stone and I was just over 9 stone when I went in. This was Tuesday 9th Jan.
    Now I’m home and adjusting to my new way of life, Novorapid, Lantis, fingerpricking every hour and keeping a detailed food diary. I think I’m doing ok. I’m still quite weak and weighing 9.5 stone. Small amounts of exercise make my legs and arms burn up. Im doing little things like vacuuming. My average BG yesterday was around 10 and I’ve been advised to aim for low teens for the first week or so. So I think I’m getting it.
    I’m lucky that I have a reasonably good diet already, plenty of fresh veg and fruit and lucky I have a very supportive wife who is right behind me working out meal plans etc.
    I was hoping for some advice regarding weight gain - I would like to regain some of the weight I lost so that I can begin exercising again - I’m also slightly nervous about how exercise will affect my BG. I know eggs are a good starting point and they won’t massively affect my readings. Are there any other foods I can look at that will help me regain my strength and not give me high blood sugars?

    Thanks so much,

    T
     
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  2. DSD1810

    DSD1810 LADA · Newbie

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    Hi Mountaintom, I find cheese and nuts don't tend too cause my blood glucose to spike, although as I'm trying to lose some weight I try to limit how much of these I eat as both are high fat and calorie but that may be helpful if you are trying to gain weight. Good luck.
     
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  3. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks DSD1810, almonds and cheddar sounds good.
     
  4. Valanne

    Valanne Type 2 · Member

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    Hi I'm type two. I was not heavy when diagnosed last year and then the weight came off rapidly on a moderate carb intake mainly from salad and veg. I've put some back since I have eaten more nuts and seeds. I also eat baked goods made with ground almonds and flax seeds. Flax seed bread is easy to make in the microwave. I also make a low carb porridge. I searched around on the internet and tried things until I found what worked. Not sure how that works with Type 1/insulin but it seems to have helped me. You need to drink plenty of water if you have flax seed.
     
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  5. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hello @mountaintom Welcome to the site :)
    You’ve been through a lot recently, losing 3 stone through DKA is a huge strain on your body so it will time time to fully recover your strength, regain lost weight and get used to your insulin regime. You may feel weak for a while so take time before you dive in with exercise. It’s frustrating I know as I was too when diagnosed but it helps to understand what you have just experienced as to why your body needs time to recover and your only a week in here. You sound like you are doing the best thing in tracking and recording so keep this up as it will help with adjusting insulin doses as your needs will change over time, also get yourself a copy of ‘think like a pancreas’ which is an excellent read for the increasing your knowledge.
     
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  6. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Juicyj. I’m going to take a week or so just doing light housework, maybe short walks outside and monitor my levels closely. Appreciate your advice I’ll go seek out the book.
     
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  7. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    First everything I am about to say applies to me, it may not apply to you, other people don't report the same things. Anyway something very similar happened to me back in september, I was in okay shape to start with and didn't lose as much weight but I did lose a lot of fitness. I felt like absolute junk for at least eight weeks and I still feel like half junk now. Some of it is or was the hangover from DKA and some of it is the drugs and I am trying to work out how much of this is normal and I will just have to get used to it. I don't know what level of recovery is possible. People claim they can go running and stuff but I really can't. So if you don't recover really quickly don't beat yourself up, I feel like a complete couch potato especially as they will probably tell you to exercise and run around, if you can't that makes you feel totally useless and wretched so don't feel like that as you may not have a choice.
     
  8. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was diagnosed last Aug T1 following an A&E trip with DKA. I still haven't put all the weight back on, but it's taken me a good while to start to feel 'well'. Plus I seemed to pick up every cough and cold going.

    One of the consultants told me undiagnosed T1 is your body having a serious sugar addiction and we go cold turkey when put on insulin - so basically it's going to take some time for your metabolism to adjust.
     
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  9. helensaramay

    helensaramay Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the answer is “we are all different”.
    I did not suffer from DKA or lose much weight (about half a stone).
    I had signed up to do the Moonwalk (26 milk walk around London at night for Breast Cancer) a couple of months after my diagnosis.
    I am stubborn and was determined to do it ... and I did. I was nervous doing my practice walks but built them up each week and made it in 9 hours (including an extra couple of miles to avoid a convoluted tube route back to Paddington Station).

    Don’t overdo it (many times we say “it’s a marathon not a sprint”) but Diabetes should not be the reason to put your life on pause for long.
     
  10. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi . Wishing you a speedy recovery as it sounds as though you are doing very well.
    I am type 1 and lost a load of weight when first diagnosed as a child (it has never been that easy since).
    Once you are on insulin you will regain the weight in time as your body will want to return to its normal point of 12 stone and if your blood sugars get back to normal then this implies that you are takiing enough insulin to transport the glucose/starch that you are eating into the cells where it will be used as energy or stored as fat. Because you are below your 'fighting weight' you will be more inclined to gain weight because you will feel hungry again and your body will want to store more of that extra food as fat.
    If your appetite is poor, check that your bg levels aren't too high.
    As to what foods to eat to gain weight? A bit more starch should do the trick as long as you cover the extra bread, pasta etc. with insulin! Combine with fat as the body will preferentially burn up the startch and store the fat as fat. Its kind of the opposite to most o f the advice on this forum which is usually aimed at type 2s trying to lose weight!
     
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  11. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This has not really happened to me, I would not really expect it to as I'm not eating that much.

    I am a bit worried that I am hungry but just don't feel it as I have been so used to ignoring it!

    To some extent that is a good thing as I do not want to gain a load of fat.
     
  12. DaveTC

    DaveTC Type 1 · Active Member

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    Peanut butter is great for gaining some weight.
     
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  13. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi, @mountaintom , I think the main message at the moment is be patient.

    DKA and near-DKA experiences are major assaults on the body and take time to recover from.

    I was very active prior to my dx at age 21, was always on either my bike, skis or racing dinghy, but was so wiped out by my DKA, I seriously thought that that was an end to that. But it proved not to be the case. Sure, it took a couple of months spent slowly toddling around, building up lost weight, and being very cautious, but after a while spent learning the basic rules of how insulin worked, I eventually got back on the bike etc. and didn't look back. Have since, in the intervening 30 years, spent many days doing six hours stretches on ski slopes, 500 mile cycle tours and so on. There is no reason at all why you too will not be able to get back to your choice of exercise in due course, but just ca' canny for the next wee while.

    Treat your current state as a bit of quiet time and spend it reading useful books like "Think like a pancreas", and "Sugar Surfing".

    You'll be getting specific advice from your doc and dsn on how to treat these early days, and none of us will gainsay what they are telling you as we're not doctors, but maybe keep a bit of space in your mind for the sort of advanced techniques a lot of use, which you'll probably end up using too, like pre-bolusing (taking insulin about 20 mins ahead of a meal to allow it to get to work before food hits bloodstream), and also look into the wonders of continuous glucose monitoring through systems such as dexcom or libre/blucon/xDrip+.

    You've asked about exercise. Your dsn will have probably already told you that insulin acts as a chemical "key" to allow glucose into cells to be burned as energy to keep you going, and that x units of insulin are needed to deal with each y grams of carbohydrates in food. That is true, but it is not the full story. If you have exercise, other bits of biology come into play. Cells have things called Glut4 - glucose transporters 4 - which pop their heads up when exercising, and also continue to act for a while after exercise. They let glucose into cells on their own without insulin. So, if you have both insulin and glut4 in play, it can lead to a major double whammy of rapidly dropping blood sugar. That's why, when I'm sitting down to a meal, I'm not just thinking about how many carbs are in the meal, I'm also thinking about how much exercise I've had over the last 12 hours and how much I might have over the next 12 hours. If there has been or will be a lot, I'll likely rake the insulin amount back because I don't want to double team the insulin with glut4. How much to rake it back depends on the specifics of each and every occasion. It sounds complicated, but it becomes second nature, although it has to be said, I still don't get it right all the time even after all these years! When I spent 6 hours on ski slopes, I'd be taking practically nil insulin, because I knew glut4 would be doing the work. But even just spending an hour or two walking around shops counts as exercise, so think about things like that too.

    Re putting weight on, it's so long ago now, I can't remember the details. As best as I can remember, there was no specific diet, just ate normally and it kind of happened. You're only a week in so just give it time.

    Best of luck, T1 isn't a walk in the park, but it is manageable.
     
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  14. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think most type 1s regain their lost fat. Though I had a pump fail last week and was most likely had ketoacidosis since I was vomiting with horrible bgs (HI level). Even a few days afterwards with normal sugars my body feels shocked and I am unusually not hungry. I am phobic about gaining weight so this should be a good thing but has made me realise that high blood sugars are debilitating and for anyone who is newly diagnosed with a recent history of ketoacidosis I imagine it would take a while for the body to get back to normal fat regulation. I also recall a diabetologist telling me that I would have to learn to manage my weight like everyone else rather than 'peeing it out' as a poorly managed diabetic!
     
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  15. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Circuspony. When I look back to the month of December it was crazy how much sugar I was consuming, devouring even. It’s all a bit of a blur really.
     
  16. mountaintom

    mountaintom Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your advice.
     
  17. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    That's the last thing I want. What I really want is to regain all the lost fitness but I have started to accept that is not going to happen.
     
  18. Nidge247

    Nidge247 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I dropped from 15 stone 2lbs to 13 stone 8lbs in the two months prior to diagnosis. Since going low carb, that has been down further to 12 stone 8lbs, but have found that with an excess of fats I have it up to a comfortable 13 stone.

    Only since going low carb have I regained my energy that D took away, and can now run up a local hill again (like I used to do forty years ago!). I am not yet as 'fit' as I was pre-D; but it's not a race and I know I will get there in the end - little steps add up to big gains!
    D does make you re-evaluate your lifestyle if you want to get well again, and it's something that only you can decide whether to do.
     
  19. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Because my horses still needed feeding, riding etc I had to force myself to do the exercise that was turning my legs to jelly. I couldn't even wheel a barrow full of hay across a field in the weeks after I started on insulin, let alone ride without collapsing in a heap. I manage now by having a tiny dose of insulin with breakfast, and about an hour later a high fat, high sugar cereal bar, but I think the biggest help has been actually doing the exercise day in day out even if I felt like c*** - my body has had to adjust.

    Its still taken 6 months though - and I'm shattered every night.
     
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  20. NoKindOfSusie

    NoKindOfSusie Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I can just about make myself get out of bed and work. It's like the moment when you first wake up, and you're all groggy and sleepy for a couple of minutes... only it never goes away. I have no choice but to work, I'm sure I'm working at half capacity but anyway. Everything that is actually optional, like going out or having any sort of life, is just gone.

    I think a lot of people on this forum who have had this condition for years or decades have just forgotten what normal feels like.

    Part of it is not daring to eat carbs, I wouldn't expect to feel full of energy on the eggs and salad diet, but the more of this revolting gunk I have to put in my body the worse I feel, so it's pretty counter productive to eat carbs.
     
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