Help! Rapid Weight Gain

Help! I was diagnosed A LADA diabetic in July. Upon diagnosis I was 107 pounds. For the past five years I have steadily been between 115-120 pounds. I Understand that my elevated blood sugars were causing me to be underweight at 107 but now that I am on insulin I am up to 125 pounds. Every Dr's visit has been an incremental gain of 3-5 pounds. Now my clothes are not fitting. I have started to excercise more, 6 days a week running a total of 20 miles, 1 day of Yoga and two days on an elyptical. I eat less than 1500 calories a day yet the pounds keep rapidly coming on. I am so frustrated. It is bad enough to find out that you have diabetes but to have to gain weight too? My Endo put me on Symlin to help suppress my appetite and it seems to be helping a little. Did any of you experience this? If so, any suggestions on how I can help to control it?

What is important isn't calories, but carbs. How many carbs do you eat a day? The less carbs you eat the less insulin you need and that combination: less carbs and less insulin will help you stabilize and lose. I am at a point in my life that I have a lot of trouble losing weight and gain easily. I was slowly slowly inching up. I've cut my carbs and its the first thing in many years that's allowed me to lose.

I would schedule to have your thyroid checked right away. I have hashimotos thyroid (low thyroid-which causes weight gain) along with my LADA. You need your t4, t3, and tsh checked. If all comes back normal I would def cut the insulin by what Zoe said, going low carb.

Lil Mama brings up a very good point, especially if the weight gain is rapid, that is a very important cause to rule out. Hypoactive thyroid is much more common with Type 1's.

The way insulin works is to convert excess blood sugars not needed for energy, to fat which is stored, primarily in the abdominal area. So contrary to common belief, it is not fat which makes you fat (the body is not capable of storing excess dietary fat) but sugar.
In addition to reducing the amount of carbs consumed, the Glycemic Index can be very helpful in preventing or reducing weight gain when going on insulin.

I agree with both the recommendations to look at your carb consumption and ensure that your thyroid is working properly. T1s are more susceptible to hypothyroidism due to a similar autoimmune attach on the thyroid. Hypothyroidism will cause weight gain.

What do you feel is your "ideal" weight? Keep in mind that one's idea weight changes over time, so depending on how old you are, you might just be experiencing some of that natural weight gain we women are so prone to.

I disagree. Excess fat that you eat is digested by your body to triglycerides, and these triglycerides are stored by your body just as easily as triglycerides that are produced from excess carbohydrate. Excess of any macronutrient will cause fat gain.

The point, that Shawnmarie makes below, is that calories do matter. The secret to preventing weight gain is to not eat excess food - whether carb, fat, or protein. (I'm not suggesting this is easy, but at the end of the day it is necessary no matter what foods you eat).

Dietary fat is absorbed into the bloodstream with bile acids, not as triglycerides. The liver processes these fatty acids into lipids, which include tris. While it is true that the tris will be taken up as bodyfat in the presence of insulin, a low carb diet that lowers insulin and reduces tris will really help (dietary carbs are a major source of tris).

I'm not sure what your point is. I agree with you that dietary carb can be a major source of triglycerides, but my point was that fat can also be a major source of triglycerides. It really depends on the diet that you are eating.

So just to be clear, which of our statements do you think is correct: "the body is not capable of storing excess dietary fat", or "excess of any macronutrient will cause fat gain"?

All good advice but I would add - check on liver leak, If your diet is stable and not changing, a leaky liver will throw more glucose at problem and raise the Blood Glucose level.

This leak can override diet and exercise and in fact you will need much greater levels of exercise to overcome. Been there and done that.

I am not Doctor and had to load metformin to get liver back in line. Once liver leak stalled, diet worked and weight dropped ( 330 to 240 pounds).

Just a thought and check with your medical help/experts!

Very good points Jim
I believe that one thing a person can do to reduce unwanted glucose dumps from the liver is to have regular mealtimes and importantly to not skip breakfast. The trigger for these glucose releases is often lower than normal blood glucose levels - for example if someone goes for a morning job before eating breakfast, or gets into the unhealthy but unfortunately not uncommon habit of having one big meal a day. With a steady trickle of calories throughout the day the need for the liver to replenish the supply disappears.

Thank you everyone for the information and tips. I’m going to have my thyroid checked. I’m already on a relatively low carb diet. The liver dumping is an interesting concept. I eat 3-5 small meals per day. However my fasting BG is always elevated when I wake. My endo is treating it with more lantus but could this be a result of not eating all night and the liver dumping as you are suggesting above?

I've heard of quite a few people having success in lowering their morning fasting levels after experimenting with different amounts of protein/carb snacks before bedtime. (For example multigrain crackers with peanutbutter.)

ditto this reply from Shawnmarie and Jag1. I count everything. Also do get the thyroid checked, Roberta. And you may need to revise your insulin dose and schedule.

Roberta, more Lantus = more weight gain. It's normal to gain after you get diabetes under control.
I agree with the thyroid check recommendation but also do a basal check round the clock. Your low carb diet, and knowing an exact I:C ratio should make you lean/know the least needed lantus. Absolutely what the body needs and no more. Any extra lantus, and voila! Pounds are up.

Weight gain is absolutely NORMAL after diagnosis of T1/Lada. For a long time your body had to consume his fatty deposits to survive. One big source of energy coming from the carbohydrates could not be processed because of the limited insulin production you had. Now think about it. Let us assume you are on a survival trip. Now you come to this magic place with enough food. You will eat as much as you can because you will think that tomorrow this dream will come to an end. Your body is doing the same. He has experienced that his fatty deposits were very important for survival. Thus he accumulates as much deposits as possible. After some months your body will have learned that the processing of carbohydrates is reliable again. Then he will slowly start to reduce the deposits and to rely more on a balance of carbohydrates and fat. So please relax, do sports and allow your body to demilitarize from DEFCON1 to normal. It will take 1/2 to 1 year to get there...

Excellent points and some thoughts:

Liver (working) is supposed to do a dump when BG goes sub 70. The amount of glucose dumped on system is dependent upon the insulin level in blood. Liver works off of inverse of Insulin level. Liver assumes - lower the insulin level means to liver add tons of glucose ; hgher insulin means reduce amount of glucose dumped.

The human body is an interesting sample of cost effective engineering.

As the pancreas ages and goes wonky dropping insulin level, the liver oblidges by adding more glucose. This is not an ideal form of signalling from a failsafe model.

When one is young and system working correctly, skipping meals is quite OK as liver adds correct amounts of glucose when blood glucose goes too low - sub 70.

When one gets older and things become loose and wonkey, low carb diets while desireable may cause the liver to dump sooner and more often. If liver is caught overadding glucose, one may have to add a few more carbs to diet to reduce amount of liver dumps that occur. That is why vancouver sailor quite correctly mentioned the eating meals on regular schedule and no skipping meals.

The liver actually has a couple of streams of glucose namely the low level feed that is on all the time providing the necessary amounts ( slightly more) that keeps body alive, brain functioning etc. Basil pulses from pancreas chip away at the liver low level glucose output to regulate BG to 100 - typical.

The liver also has a high level dump mode for when glucose level of blood system goes sub-70. The only time I ever saw the blood system glucose level jump fast was when the liver was doing the liver dump mode from its resivoirs.

The other flow is when the intestines are cranking out glucose from digested food being passed to liver and is used to fill back up the liver resivoir and also sent to external blood system. This mode was always slow , smooth and cgms followed easily.

The problem one has is that when analyzing the troubles and problems of the body, assumptions are made that the complex system is mostly working and all issues and problems rotate around insulin and the pancreas and the complex powerfull actions of the liver and its glucose buffering actions and role quickly get overlooked.

Yes, it is the insulin. This is why some teenage girls stop using insulin so they can loose weight (they are dying too). One of the functions of insulin is to store fat. Have you checked your thyroid? This might be the problem. Also, age and gender influence how we respond to insulin. Women are more prone to weight gain.

Take care.


Keep in mind that many people who go on low calorie diets (1600 or less per day) gain weight because the body goes into 'starvation' mode and becomes super efficient at storing any surplus energy as fat. Generally, a 1800 calorie a day diet, supplemented with exercise, will work well for most adults.
Also, it is common to gain weight after starting to inject insulin as that's one of the primary functions of insulin: to store excess blood sugars as body fat. The only two ways of avoiding that is to lower the intake of carbohydrates, and/or to increase the amount of daily energy burning activity.

First of all, you have been given a lot of good ideas but what is your height. I would consult with your doctor and see how many pounds you should weigh for your height and build. Another thing to consider is allergy. I am allergic to corn and corn is on everything. Once I stopped ingesting corn in any form I started losing weight. Yes it has been hard to avoid corn but it has been worth it. It is just another thing to consider in possibilities