March 22, 2023

This video addresses the top causes of insulin associated weight gain as well as how to avoid it!

Hey everyone its milani diabetes pa i’ve gotten a lot of requests recently to talk about insulin and associated weight gain so why does it occur and how do we avoid it so it’s kind of a complicated topic but here goes so studies have shown that weight gain can occur when a person with diabetes drops from an a1c above 9% down to 7% or below so essentially going from

Really uncontrolled diabetes down to what we consider controlled blood sugar levels and so the reason for this is is really vast there’s a lot of different reasons that the weight can i gain can occur but a lot of it is a result of non-compliance whether it be non-compliance initially with the high a1c or non-compliance with dietary regimen so people with with

Eight one c’s above 9% often experience weight loss anyways because the body needs insulin in order to bring glucose from the blood into the cells so essentially this this glucose is sitting in the blood and the cells are starving the glucose in the blood is then excreted through the urine so essentially the person with that uncontrolled blood sugars is urinating

Out their excess sugar and their excess calories so you can see if the calories aren’t being absorbed why the person might lose weight so just because they’re starting insulin and they’re gaining weight it doesn’t mean that the insulin is causing the weight gain what it means is that the cells are thankfully using the glucose that’s available to them in the blood

Through the insulin that’s helping transport the glucose into the cells so the thing is once insulin is started the glucose can be taken up and fat cells particularly like sugar so the fat cells are probably going to be the first ones to kind of grab that sugar and bring it into the cells so the best way to avoid the weight gain is by cutting down carbs and sugar

When you start insulin and instead of filling up on vegetables and healthy proteins okay number two reason high blood sugar levels can cause severe dehydration so as the body’s working to clear out the sugar in the blood extra sugar in the blood it’s urinate you’re urinating a lot and you’re losing a lot of water so once you start insulin and you’re bringing

Bringing glucose into the cells the body kind of over compensates for its losses by making it look like weight is being gained when really is just water retention okay three high blood sugar levels can also cause hunger because as i just talked about the cells are starving all the glucose is sitting in the blood and the cells aren’t getting any glucose for fuel

This often leads to someone with diabetes overeating or eating larger portion sizes and they they need to so once insulin started it’s important to remember that your body might not need as much food and so decreasing the portion sizes is gonna gonna really help you okay also people who start insulin often develop something that i called defensive hunger well on

Insulin basically when someone’s used to having high blood sugar’s all the time they might feel low at normal blood sugar levels and this will change with time your body will readjust but it can cause people who start insulin to have a increase to increase in their appetite and eat more so like i said this will go away but you kind of just have to wait it out and

It’s really hard for people oftentimes and okay also when an actual low blood sugar occurs meaning less than eighty you have to eat calories and glucose to bring it up so it’s really important to be working tightly with your clinician to be adjusting your insulin so that you don’t have to have too many lows and have to eat a bunch of extra calories to keep your

Blood sugar stable okay so as i mentioned with proper coaching exercise and dietary regimen weight gain can be avoided um when using insulin i also like to really stress what’s important here and it’s not the weight gain of course no one likes to gain weight but taking an appropriate mount of insulin is essential to good health with diabetes in fact the dcct trial

Showed that even with associated weight associated weight gain type one diabetics significantly decrease their cardiovascular risk when taking their insulin appropriately so withholding insulin for weight gain purposes is a really serious eating disorder and you should be talking to your clinician if that’s something that you’re doing or thinking about doing um we

Need to stop thinking of insulin as being optional and in taking control of our health so i hope you guys learned something and i hope this helps so just let me know if you have any questions have a great day

Transcribed from video
Insulin and Weight Gain By Nalani Haviland Hunsaker MCMSc PA-C