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Can you lose weight while taking insulin?

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Old 07-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #1
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Default Can you lose weight while taking insulin?

Hi! I am a newbie and I was searching the forums and noticed this section on diabetes. I am very concerned about being able to lose weight while being on insulin & Actos. Can anyone help me to understand weight gain & insulin?
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:02 AM   #2
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Yes! My husband is a type 1 diabetic (30+ years) -- he takes insulin daily and is tall and thin.

The best thing I can recommend for you would be low carb eating - Primal Blueprint is excellent for diabetics --- keep the carbs around just for reactions.

Good luck!
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:58 PM   #3
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Yes.

I'm sure you know that insulin is a growth hormone, so it can be challenge but it can be done. I've lot 20 pounds before, before falling off the wagon. I would recommend meeting with your doctor first so that you can make a plan for your insulin usage.

Do you take injections or are you on the pump?

The hardest part (for me) has been the adjustments as I eat healthier (fewer refined carbs) and increase activity. I go through several days/week or two of insulin reactions. It can get discouraging b/c you HAVE to eat and you don't want to because you're trying to lose weight, but it will happen.

The good part is, the more insulin you take the hungrier you get. When you decrease it as you go along, it helps a bit with decreasing appetite.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:51 PM   #4
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Yes.

I'm sure you know that insulin is a growth hormone, so it can be challenge but it can be done. I've lot 20 pounds before, before falling off the wagon. I would recommend meeting with your doctor first so that you can make a plan for your insulin usage.

Do you take injections or are you on the pump?

The hardest part (for me) has been the adjustments as I eat healthier (fewer refined carbs) and increase activity. I go through several days/week or two of insulin reactions. It can get discouraging b/c you HAVE to eat and you don't want to because you're trying to lose weight, but it will happen.

The good part is, the more insulin you take the hungrier you get. When you decrease it as you go along, it helps a bit with decreasing appetite.
I take MDI. Most days, I take 4 Novolog injections and then one evening dose of Lantus. I take my Novolog based on my carbs so I can adjust my insulin as needed. I will decrease my Lantus as I start loosing weight. My PCP has given me the OK to adjust my insulin as needed. I have never tried to lose weight while taking insulin and I know it is going to be a struggle. But I am ready for the challenge!

Last edited by sheddy59 : 07-15-2010 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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I take MDI. Most days, I take 4 Novolog injections and then one evening dose of Lantus. I take my Novolog based on my carbs so I can adjust my insulin as needed. I will decrease my Lantus as I start loosing weight. My PCP has given me the OK to adjust my insulin as needed. I have never tried to lose weight while taking insulin and I know it is going to be a struggle. But I am ready for the challenge!
Good luck! Just make sure to have plenty of glucose tabs stocked up. It may be a little more difficult with MDI than a pump, because you can't make those immediate changes, but it's definitely doable.

To give you an example of where I'm at, I had to decrease my basals (same function as Lantus) by 65% within a few days of eating better. I think I'm at a good spot for now.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:47 PM   #6
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Good luck! Just make sure to have plenty of glucose tabs stocked up. It may be a little more difficult with MDI than a pump, because you can't make those immediate changes, but it's definitely doable.

To give you an example of where I'm at, I had to decrease my basals (same function as Lantus) by 65% within a few days of eating better. I think I'm at a good spot for now.
Wow-that certainly is great to have been able to drop your basal that much. I would love to be able to get rid of some of the insulin. Diabetes has taken its toll on me over the last year. I developed gastroparesis and I have neuropathy in my feet and hands. Now that all of that has settled down, it is time to address the weight issue. I will keep the glucose tablets handy since I have hypo unawareness, yet another diabetes problem. Thanks for the advise.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:31 PM   #7
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Of course you can. I lost 50 pounds in 6 months. You may have to go the extra mile (so to speak), but it most certainly can be done.

bac0s said some really good things.

I experienced a significant decrease in insulin requirements as I lost weight. At first, I kept getting low blood sugar reactions with intense exercise, but I figured out how to keep that at bay -- for me, eating something with protein and complex carbs + starting my workout with a blood sugar level in the 200-250 range really helped.

I also found that eating within 30 minutes of waking helped, as well as eating every 2-3 hours.

Losing weight with type 1 diabetes can be a bit difficult due to all the daily annoyances of keeping our blood sugars within a decent range. I know a bad hypo episode can throw me off plan for the entire day, and the most annoying bit about it is that I feel it's not "fair" because it's not my fault! It's easy to take too much insulin and then "feed" your insulin with extra sugar.

Here is some advice:
Make sure you test your blood sugar before working out. Eat something high in protein also, because working out will make you really, really hungry, and something high in protein or fiber will help you feel less so. Try to avoid taking more insulin than you need (which is really tough sometimes when you still want to maintain good control, I know) and of course, there is the typical common dieting knowledge of limiting your portions and not eating when you are not hungry.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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Sheddy, are you meeting with a diabetic educator and dietitian?
Books like Diabetes for Dummies, and sites like Diabetes 101 can be very helpful. OF COURSE you can lose weight, and probably should to help manage your diabetes. BUt more than ever, its important to do it slowly and with good control of your blood sugars.
keep visiting us and welcome
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:39 PM   #9
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Off topic:
fatmad - all this time, before I realized your name was actually Madeline, I figured you were just fat and mad about it
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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for me, eating something with protein and complex carbs + starting my workout with a blood sugar level in the 200-250 range really helped.
I was coming to post about this, as well. I try to be in the 180-190 range, though. I've found, for me, if I start higher than that it often drives my blood sugar HIGHER when I work out rather than lower. Starting in the 180-190 range usually makes my bs drop to about 130 after 30 minutes of walking/running intervals. That may change, though, as I lose weight and as I stretch my exercising out longer.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:26 PM   #11
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Off topic:
fatmad - all this time, before I realized your name was actually Madeline, I figured you were just fat and mad about it
that was why I chose the name, I am mad about being fat! so it fit well for me. so yes, you get my play on words.
I notice lots of us chose interesting plays on words, I quite like saef,
"better saef than sorry"
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:55 PM   #12
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Sheddy, are you meeting with a diabetic educator and dietitian?
Books like Diabetes for Dummies, and sites like Diabetes 101 can be very helpful. OF COURSE you can lose weight, and probably should to help manage your diabetes. BUt more than ever, its important to do it slowly and with good control of your blood sugars.
keep visiting us and welcome
I have met with several diabetes educators and a dietitian. I have read just about every book on diabetes, my favorite book is "Using Insulin" by John Walsh.

I didn't get obese overnight and I won't get thin overnight. I have been overweight since age 30. My high school graduation weight was 115 and stayed within 10 pounds of that range until age 30.
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Old 07-17-2010, 12:01 AM   #13
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fatmad - all this time, before I realized your name was actually Madeline, I figured you were just fat and mad about it

Me too!

Hi NightengaleShane!
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