Diabetes and BELLY FAT...What's the connection?

Hello everyone;

I was diagnosed to have diabetes type 1 since the age of 17, now im 19 so im proudly diabetic for 2 years.
My problem is concerning belly fat. I've always been skinny and no matter what i ate I still remained skinny. Right after my diabetes I started gaining weight slowly. From 52 kgs to 60 kgs made some difference in my body. Many people told me ur still thin. But what im noticing is that most of the fat is growing around my belly which bothers me a lot. I thought maybe I need to lose some weight and exercise more. I started developing this phobia from fatty and sugary food.

Right now Im around 58 kgs my height is 1'66 cms. SO HERE IS THE QUESTION:
Does insuline make u fat?
Is it the one responsible for my belly fat?
Does it increase the ability of gaining weight?

I dont have a huge fat belly but it does fold into rolls of small fat which scares me cuz i dont want to leave it and become actually fat! Never had belly fat before so how do i get rid of it without losing too much weight cuz i dont wana go bk to being very skinny. How to get well shaped flat belly and an overall healthy body?
What exercises should I do? And what the good cardio routines i can do?
If there's any specialists that can help me to control my diabetes and control my weight ill be glad to follow what they tell me step by step.

Thank youuuu :)

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Many people will say it doesnt and many say it does. For me I noticed a increase in fat especially in my stomach area particulraly on my left side where I shoot the longer acting insulin. Until about 4 months ago I was using Lantus on that side of my body. When I brought it up to my medical team, doctors, etc they said it was not the insulin just what I am eating. I gained about 50 pounds (I dont know how to convert that for you) in the matter of months and only went up one pants size but two shirt sizes. That is not common for me, at all. I have had a struggle with weight my whole life and I have never gained weight that quickly and clearly never to a certain section of my body. So I believe weight gain including water retention is a side effect for ME despite what other people may say.....I would say this, I dont think you have anything to stress about. I am sure if you stay active and watch what you eat you will be able to have a better control of your BG numbers. Remember your getting older and your body is also going to change on its own despite diabetes...

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Insulin is a growth hormone and is known to promote fat storage, I injected into my belly for along time and have a marked increase in fatty tissue there, not much ha ;)

Long acting insulin is typically given in larger doses and will pool under the skin for longer than a small dose, further promoting fat storage. It could also beginnings of lipohypertrophy. If you are injecting large doses into your stomach stop doing it, and perhaps split these large injections into different sites.


I did something about it and lost 5 inches off my waist, unfortunately there is no easy way to do this, belly fat is always the last to go for some reason ;O)

I restricted my calorie intake to no more than 1500 calories a day, I drank 3 litres of a water a day, I ran hard four times a week and I did stomach crunches, 6 months later it had gone.

There is a wealth of information on the net. The PX90 stuff is good.

My advice is really look at your diet..


Look at joining a site like this, log everything you eat for one month, use it to work out your recommended daily calorie intake for your diet and don't go above it.

The best thing for dropping weight quickly are exercises like running, interval running is especially good. Cycling and spinning classes are also great.

If you have an iphone or a smart phone, there are many apps that will get you from the couch to 10k in a few weeks. Google is your friend!

All comes down to expending more calories than you consume and creating a deficit. Discipline and hard work also go along way.

Good luck, if you PM I can provide you with links to exercise downloads decent sites, I have have around 1,000 exercise and fitness related pdfs I can compress and email you should you want them.

Best Wishes,


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I have been injecting insulin for more than 30 years and never got fat from it. I don't know about all the science and the belly fat issue, but I don't belive it to be true that insulin makes us fat. I notice that once I hit middle age, my mid section gained some extra skin, but I keep it under control by doing core exercises and watching my diet. Even non diabetics get belly fat if they aren't burning extra calories. The first place to gain fat just happens to be the belly, then the back end, then the thighs.

People, whether diabetic or not, will gain fat if they eat more calories than they use. BUT it's genetically determined WHERE you store your fat. Some women complain about thunder thighs and big butts; others have round bellies and large upper arms. So there is no specific way to get rid of belly fat, but you CAN be careful of what you eat, and exercise. If you have a tendency to store fat in your belly, that's what will come off last -- you will lose weight in your thighs, butt and arms first.

But the other thing I wanted to tell you is that a little belly fat isn't a bad thing. If you look at art through the ages, women naturally have a little fat in their bellies. So I wonder if you're not being too hard on yourself. A young girl may not have any fat on her belly, but a mature woman usually does. It's just that it shouldn't be too big! :-)

My daughter and I have Myfitnesspal on our iPhones, I just started using it but she has lost 15 pounds, it's a great app and the food database is amazing.

Cool, how can i contact the Athletic Diabetics group?

Yup im using the my fitnesspal.com website but sometimes i get too frustrated wen i cant find some foods i eat registered on the website...But i noticed that i dont cross 1300 calories a day. sometimes even less. I just stopped exercising for about 3 months cuz of my exams and being busy in life and stuff...I really want you to send me some decent core and stregthning exercises plzzzzz.
I dont mind losing a little bit of weight but not too much cuz ill start lookin very skinny. i lose fat at my thighs arms quicker so it makes me look super skinny

I think the explanation is a lot simpler than you think--you're growing up, so your body is changing! When you're 17 you can take things like a flat stomach for granted. At 19 you are still becoming a woman. Your metabolism is changing. I am 26 now and my body is very different from when I was 17. Diet and exercise are great but you also need to work on having a healthy mind. This path of obsession over belly "fat" is not going to lead anywhere good, believe me. Try to focus on a healthy diet (especially your sodium intake to avoid bloating) and getting your numbers in control. If you are having a lot of lows and eating up to your insulin a lot then you will definitely gain weight on your problem area (and every woman has a spot they gain weight first, diabetic or non-diabetic!).

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http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/athleticdiabetics. You can "lurk" or join the group but if you join, you can post, ask questions, etc. There are some other groups (http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/diabeticswhorunmarathons and http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/cyclingdiabetics?

Insulin doesn't make you fat, but typically when you have diabetes your eating more regularily and all of that. Another thing is has there been a change in your bloodsugars? When the sugars are high, you typically lose wieght easily(but also gain just as fast) quickley, but when your sugars are within range you tend to gain weight and then its harder to lose it. Insulin doesn't make you fat, but it does store fat.

Fat around the stomach can also be an affect from not getting enough sleep/ sleep deprived.

In my case and my favorite female's case the insulin adds tummy grease and nearly only there. Not sure what to do. Possibly a very low carb diet à la Dr. R. Bernstein to minimize the amount of insulin you need.

so having too many lows make u fat? AND having too many highs makes u fat as well?? HUH? I dont get it really...
I rarely get low blood sugar levels but i tent to have high ones more but i always fix that by takin an extra 3 or 4 units...is that bad??

As I said before, it's genetic. Not because of insulin. Although it MAY be a marker of insulin resistance. When I was 17, and weighed 107 lb. at 5'3" (BMI 19) I STILL had a round belly, and no amount of situps that my PE teacher said would flatten out my belly ever did a thing, except make me distrust those who put all their faith in exercise.

I look at the women who complain about their thunder thighs and big butts, and wonder what they're complaining about. It's time for women to accept their bodies, however they're shaped, and stop listening to the scare literature about fat, and especially about the dreaded belly fat. It's an oversimplification, anyway -- the real culprit is visceral fat -- you can have a lot of belly fat, but if it's subcutaneous, it's really not a problem.

And just for clarity, my current BMI is 24.1 -- not obese, not even overweight, BUT I still have my belly!

I'm of the opinion that belly fat is genetically predetermined. Some people store fat in their bellies, others store fat in their hips and thighs. This is independent of weight; if your genes tell you to store fat in your belly, you will have some belly fat no matter how skinny you are.

To me this sounds more like a self-image issue. Virtually all women are unhappy with some aspect of their bodies. They compare themselves to the airbrushed pictures of (female) celebrities and think, oh my life would be better if I had a flat belly/voluptuous breasts/high cheekbones like that. But maybe those pictures are airbrushed. Maybe it was an expensive plastic surgeon. Maybe it's spending 12 hours a day in a gym with a one-to-one private trainer and being served special meals by a private chef - not things that normal lifestyles can accommodate.

From what you describe, you are a perfectly normal weight for your height.

And for the record, I'm not convinced insulin makes you fat. I am 32 weeks pregnant and have insane insulin requirements of 1 unit of insulin to 1 g of carb. I inject all my quick-acting insulin in my belly. Despite this I have the smallest bump ever seen in the antenatal clinic; I look at most 3 months gone if that.

First, take a deep breath and relax. We women have so many "issues" when it comes to weight and you have to keep in mind that what you NEED to do is keep your body healthy.

Second, while insulin can make some people gain a bit of weight, some of this is a function of re-gaining the weight that you LOST at the time of diagnosis. You probably lost weight before being diagnosed. This was because your body was burning fat (and producing all those bad ketones) for energy because you lacked insulin. This is VERY unhealthy. Your body needs fat to function.

Following a healthy diet is key, for anyone with or without diabetes. BUT, when you have diabetes, it's even more critical, because you're replacing a key hormone that your body no longer makes. FOR ME, I've had the easiest time maintaining my weight when I stick to a healthy and relatively low-carb diet. I eat about 100-150 g/carbs per day. I eat TONS of veggies and protein, and I eat fruit as well. I AVOID rice, pasta, and bread of all kinds. I do allow myself treats from time to time, but I keep those treats few and far between.

Many years ago, those of us with T1D followed something called the exchange diet. We were encouraged to eat very few carbs and stick to high-protein diets. Insulins were slower-acting back then, so such a diet was important. Now that we have fast-acting insulins, pumps, and I:C ratios, there is a far greater focus on T1s eating whatever they want, provided they match their insulin to their carbs. For me, this just never really worked out too well. It did lead to some weight gain and I've found that my BGs and waistline are better if I limit the carbs. That's just my experience.

Keep in mind that many young women at your age also gain a bit of weight. Metabolisms change and body fat distributes to prepare for having children. Some of what you're noticing may have NOTHING to do with your diabetes and rather just be what all young women go through (I remember going through it around your age and also remember being quite disturbed by it).

Moderate exercise is also always a good thing. Any kind of cardio exercise is going to help keep your weight stable.

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wow thats so cool. But doesnt it hurt since ur pregnant and injecting in ur belly, da same area where ur baby is growin? doesnt it get a little harder to inject once belly is pregnant?

Im not really obssesed to have a model figure or anything but its just very unordinary for me since all my life i had a flat belly and now everytime i sit i just feel awefull with the rolls of fat underneath my clothes. I am really thin if u look at me from the outside but its just without the clothes i look at myself and there goes my belly lookin weired wen i sit down. I wana get more lean and so ill exercise more and more.
About avoiding bread, pasta and carbohydrates emmm thats something that ill probably not do. I dont even eat much from them maybe a little bread in breakfast and a little in lunch. I barely eat in dinner so i guess im ok.

AH I need TO BREATHE...BELLY FAT IS STRESSING ME OUT.....I hope it dont increase

My endocrinologist told me that actually insulin DOES make you fat. It's a fat storing hormone. So he just suggested watching calories, exercising regularly, and making sure I inject in different spots. So far, I've noticed a huge difference. Just in changing my insulin sites alone. But the calories and exercising has helped also. I don't think you realize how many calories a day you use unless you pay attention. =D Good luck hun. I know how it feels to not feel like yourself. =)You have to be happy with you. =)

If any thing drives one nuts is all the bum science and misleading ideas.

Insulin's role is to signal all the insulin receptors in the skeletal muscle and adipsoe fat cells there is extra glucose in blood system to be transferred to the skeletal muscles and fat cells.

Getting fat is an issue of extra glucose not being burned off by muscles exercising and gets stored as fat. Insulin is only responsible as a signalling agent. The human body uses a distributed storage system of the glucose storage cells of the muscles and fat cells that insulin is signalling to regulate the blood glucose levels that extra glucose is in blood system for storage.

Recent work and now a paper from Dr. Roy Taylor using MRI spectography and looking at bariatric su rgery and extreme diets and his work suggests that it is fat in the pancreas and the liver that are the culprits in the type 2 fracas.
In fact his contention is that under the severe caloric input due to bariatric surgery and extreme diets that the fat in the pancreas and liver is the first to go and at that point pancreatic function returns well before any belly fat or other body fat gets removed.

I have attached his papers from University of Newcastle.

3714-Type2Diabetes_R_Taylor_u_of_newcastle.doc (463 KB) 3715-NewcastleMagneticResonanceCentre.doc (46.5 KB)