I was diagnosed with diabetes type 1 this week. I lost a lot of weight before my diagnosis (about 15-20 lbs) I was borderline overweight before I developed diabetes, and after the weight loss caused by this I am finally at a healthy weight that I love. However, my biggest fear is re-gaining all of that weight back. Everyone is telling me different information and I'm so terrified and confused. Some people are telling me that I'm going to gain it all back, some are saying I will gain more, and others are saying it really depends on my diet. People say the insulin will make you gain weight. Is this true? I need an honest answer. I'm committed to being healthy in order to maintain my current weight. I'm in my early 20s and a college student. Is there hope of maintaining this weigh tloss while still on insulin?
Insulin use, especially as your blood glucose stablizes CAN make you put on weight, cause your body is now using food properly. Best thing I can advise, is really watch your diet, limit your carbs, and just try to get some physical activity on a daily basis.
Hi there, I'm the mother of a 5-year-old who has had T1D since he was a toddler, and I'm wearing my Mom hat when I say this (so please don't take this the wrong way):
If your biggest fear is of regaining the weight you lost before you were diagnosed, you are fearing the WRONG THINGS, girlfriend. Type 1 diabetes that isn't managed well can KILL you. The thing you should be afraid of is diabetic ketoacidosis, not a little bit of extra flab. So look at your priorities a little harder and learn what it is you need to do to get yourself stabilized and into a diabetes routine first, and make that your main focus — staying alive and learning how to keep your blood glucose in your target range are WAY more important than keeping off some pounds. A lot of stuff you'd likely have had to change in order to lose weight, you're probably going to have to change anyway in order to keep your blood glucose stable. Sure, it's okay to use this as an opportunity to focus on better eating habits — lower carb, more fresh veggies, leafy greens, and so on — and getting exercise. Do that, and you probably will not only keep the weight off but also keep the glucose stable, and that is what's really important. Look up the "DASH Diet" online — it's the dietary protocol that scored the best in people with diabetes & hypertension — and try following that. But at this point, weight is the LEAST of your concerns. Let go of that right now, and start focusing on learning how to manage your condition!
There are a lot of great books out there that you can learn from. Think Like a Pancreas is one; Pumping Insulin is another if you're on (or have been recommended for) an insulin pump; and you'll forgive me for a bit of shameless self-promotion when I suggest my own book, 100 Q&A About Your Child's Type 1 Diabetes. It's written for parents with diabetic children but I've been told it has useful tidbits for adults with T1D as well.
Best of luck to you, and welcome to the club!
I was diagnosed ten months ago and had the same fear. The nurse practitioner handed me the insulin prescription and casually said, "You'll probably gain weight." I freaked out! What I have learned is that, at least for me, his warning was wrong. My metabolism functions the same as it did before. This means I do have to count my carbs and calories, but as long as I am aware of how much I'm eating and continue to exercise, so long as calories out = calories in, my weight stays stable. I'm not having to take any basal yet (honeymooning), but I don't think that will necessarily change things for me. You definitely want to be careful and not go overboard when you experience a low. Some people find that can be what trips them up. They take it as an excuse to eat everything in sight. Glucose tabs are the most effective treatment for me to avoid eating too much when I need a BG boost.
I lost about 15 lbs before diagnosis and lost another 7 or so the following year while working at managing my blood sugar without a pump. I've been trying to regain weight for four years and only recently got above my pre-diagnosis weight.
I agree with Elizabeth that achieving a target weight shouldn't be a high priority for you right now but in my experience weight gain after modifying my diet to manage my blood sugar has been a struggle.
i was diagnosed 7 months ago and have been feeling the same as you. i have been very careful about what i eat and exercise religiously, to stay healthy and keep my weight where it is. i have not gained any weight back, even lost some more in the first couple of weeks after diagnosis since i was afraid to eat. i do indulge in cheesecake and pizza now and again, but mostly stick to low carb-ish diet (from 70-100 carbs a day). its not bad at all once i got used to it. i have never eaten healthier in my life!
i also read the horror stories of how people gained more and more weight and when i expressed my worries to my CDE she said that the people writing about it on forums are ones who HAVE gained weight and have had issues with it, that you dont see as many posts written by people who DONT have issues because they have no issues. it made sense to me.
i would really recommend chuck eichtens book, "the book of better". very funny and informative read, makes me feel better whenever i read it. sorry we have to welcome you to the club!
Everyone's body has a "set point" at which, weight wise, it is at its healthiest. Keep in mind that "weight" is sort of a weird thing, because we all have different structures, bone mass, muscle mass, etc (which have nothing to do with being "overweight").
Bottom line - You need to focus on getting healthy, NOT on what you weigh.
Now that you're on insulin, your body is getting the nutrition it needs, so you will likely gain back some body fat that you lost. You will also gain back some muscle that you probably lost as well. Your body was dying without insulin and now you're on the road to getting healthy again.
Keeping the carbs down (and eating more fats and protein) helps me maintain a healthy weight; if I eat a lot of carbs, I seem to quickly accumulate more fat. Keeping the carbs down also helps me keep my BGs in better range; if I start eating more than about 120 carbs/day, my BGs get all out of whack. I try to avoid foods like bread, pasta, and rice as much as possible. Yes, I sometimes indulge, but I generally do not eat those things. I eat lots of veggies, fish, and dairy. This has worked for ME, and you may need to experiment to find what works best for YOU.
Exercise is critical. Generally speaking, exercise will help lower you overall need for insulin and keep you healthy. If you're newly diagnosed, remember that your body is in a HUGE adjustment period, so keep the exercise light. Walking, hiking, etc. Do whatever you can do, even if it's just parking a bit further away from your destination so you have to walk further to get where you're going.
Be patient - your body has been put through a lot and you need to be patient and give it time to readjust. Accept the fact that you're going to feel not so hot for the next few months as your body adjusts to this new state. BUT, never forget that this will pass and you will very likely feel healthy again soon.
One thing - when I was in college, my eating habits really went south (and my A1C headed north...shocking). I eventually discovered that I had to make a conscious decision to be HEALTHY, and put the work in to make that happen. So, every week, I packed bags of snacks and lunches that I knew worked for me. This kept me away from all the unhealthy food on and around campus and got me back on track. I recommend you do the same.
Hey hellokitty, I know well what you're feeling. I was diagnosed at the age of 27. I lost about 20 pounds prior to diagnosis and loved being that thin. But I lost the weight because my body was in starvation mode from high blood sugar - which is not a healthy thing and could have killed me - plus I felt so bad all the time.
When I started insulin I did in fact gain weight because my body was processing food properly but I also felt much better. I've always been mindful of my weight but my endo has always said the focus should be on controlling the bg, not on the weight.
For me, eating lower carb helps me to control my bg *and* my weight so it's a win-win. With lower carb, I see flatter bg levels over time and have to take less insulin. It's also effective for weight loss.
A lot of folks lose weight prior to diagnosis. High blood glucose inhibits your ability to process food, so you basically (excuse the term) pee it all out without absorbtion. You lose weight in a terrible, harmful way.
I hate to say it, but once your glucose level and diet are healthy,you will probably gain some. Do not make this a priority--your health and life are more important than a few pounds.
Sensible diet and exercise--you will find the mix after a while. Take a deep breath, take time to work with the diagnosis and let the fear wait awhile,
insulin enables glucose to be transferred into cells such that your body can use it for energy, that's it. You lost weight because of the havoc that diabetes was causing in your body, and that is an unnatural state
I think if you do a low carb diet you won't gain as much fat back and exercise will help rebuild your muscles-with a low carb diet, you hopefully won't need as much insulin which is better for you overall. I think you need to not be overweight as that may lead to more complications too.
I lost about the same amount as you but I was not overweight, I have gained a bit back, about 3-4 pounds since I got out of the hospital- a lot of what I lost the last weekend before I was hospitalized was from water loss. When I gain more back and I'm able to exercise again I hope to build up my muscles more so this will cause weight gain I'm sure. I went on a low carb diet about 3 weeks after my release to stop the higher bg spikes I was still having.
No one has said anything to me about weight gain with insulin so far so I was surprised when I read about this. I do feel hungry all the time with insulin though and I have been thinking of trying amelin to slow down digestion. One of the hardest things for me is eating smaller meals when I feel so hungry- if I eat even a little more, even when compensating correctly, my blood sugar goes up more.