Insulin and weight gain

Does anyone have an easy-to-understand-explanation of why insuline can cause weight gain? I´ve been searching the topic for 2 hours already and I still haven´t run into a good explanation.

Thanks for your help sorting this out.

The insulin allows your body to use glucose again. Before a diagnosis, your body isn’t properly using the glucose generated from food or coming from your liver. Therefore, it is all being washed away in your urine and your body relies on stored glucose in fat cells for energy use. When you finally get to inject insulin,it helps move the glucose into your cells. It is up to you whether you use that glucose for fuel (exercise, day-to-day activity) or whether you allow it to accumulate in your body (becomes fat). Insulin itself does not cause weight gain. You gain weight from eating too much or not being active enough. It’s just that before diagnosis, you were able to eat whatever in ungodly proportions while still losing the pounds.

Kimberly hit it pretty much on the head. It seems very drastic too because of all of the weight loss you experience upon diagnosis and then people will quickly gain weight when they start the insulin for reasons Kimberly touched upon. Keep in mind insulin is a fat storing hormone and large amounts of insulin to cover high carb loads will tell the body to store the glucose as fat. Thus weight gain. This will happen whether you’re diabetic and inject insulin or if you are non diabetic and your pancreas produces insulin. It’s no coincidence that since they’ve been telling us that we should eat less meat and more carbs and grains and cereals that the obesity rate has gone through the roof in this country. Look at the stats, thus this type 2 diabetes epidemic. Drastically cut down your carb intake and you will lose weight… If Atkins doesn’t appeal to you try the South Beach type diet. I was diagnosed T1 in June and eat a extremely limited carb diet and haven’t gained any weight. I’m still extremely thin. Limit your carbs and be selective about the carbs you do eat. Make sure they are not easlily digestible carbs and are low glycemic. Sorry but fun foods are off limits. Some T1s think they can eat whatever they want and take industrial doses of insulin to cover them and it’s all good, I work with a guy who does this. Not only will you obtain the classic “apple shape” physique you will run the roller coaster ride with your blood sugars. This guy goes to 300 something after eating a bagel, cookies, potato chips etc. Then takes a huge dose of insulin and goes to like 48. Then he goes overboard and pounds down 3 juice boxes and 2 to 3 half and half cookes that are the circumference of a grapefruit and the roller coaster ride continues. Back to 326 and more insulin. He has the worst control of any pumper I know of but has no control of his eating habits. Dr. Bernstein’s law of small numbers. Low carb=less insulin=smaller correction factors.

Hello, well when you do let me know, Im cracking up, before type 1 diabetes I could eat anything and not gain an inch, now on novo rapid and lantus and i gain it so fast. I just want to lose weight normally,and not have this insulin thing hanging over my head

Insulin is a fat storing hormone. Keep carb intake low, exercise & you’ll need smaller insulin doses. Best formula I’ve found to avoid weight gain.

And if that does work crazy glue the lips.

just eat alot of lean meats and vegetables. Protein will avoid you from going too low and causes blood sugars to rise gradually and not significantly like a carb. You wouldn’t need to bolus crazy like carbs, therefor less bolusing/insulin intake = less chance of weight gain

Here is how I think you can end up at 500 lb using insulin or dead whichever comes first.

You have to start with a moderate or some “insulin resistance” and your pancreas insulin productions has to be insufficient so that you need insulin. Taking the insulin will make the insulin resistance worst read wiki 'insulin oscillations" since you are insulin resistant some of the body cells are not getting enough fuel so the body considers that it is starving. You will trow more food into the body this will raise the blood sugar and require more insulin and make you gain weight and futher increase insulin resistance; this is called a positive feedback loop technically and believe me it is disastrous. non technical name is also a vicious circle.

A hell of a swamp to be in the more you wiggle the more you sink.

Insulin is a growth hormone, that is the crux of the issue. It is well known that insulin causes weight gain. Bodybuilders often use insulin illegally. Insulin will help speed up the building of muscle, I’m not sure by what percentage, but somewhat significantly. Endos downplay this and tell you the weight gain is because your body is now using all the glucose from food eaten. I do not think they are telling you everything they know because they don’t want you to ruin your health by eating too low carb, nor do they want you omitting insulin in order to lose weight. I also do not believe that insulin from beta cells will react the exact same way as injected insulin. I do know my niece was diagnosed at 8. Children in our family have always entered puberty late, very late. Shortly after diagnosis, she needed to use antipersperant, and at 12 years of age, looks 15. I do not think (but cannot positively know) her growth pattern would have been the same if she was not diagnosed with Type 1. Endo has given me vague non-answers. Google on the Internet and you will come accross material. As an adult, if I needed to lose weight and was on insulin, I would probably try a moderately low-carb diet and exercise. You cannot reduce basal insulin; you do have some control over bolus insulin.

The spilling sugar in the urine explanation for weight gain from insulin is horsefeathers. I never ever measured sugar in my urine. If you read Wiki “insulin oscillations” you also can see clearly that there is no way injected insulin even with a pump can reproduce the natural pancreatic oscillations that may be needed to avoid becoming fat form insulin. Doctor’s do not like the idea that something they prescribe may be also killing you albeit indirectly. They like to blame the weight gain on the patient’s lack of moral fibre.

I never found that insulin helped to grow muscles but it sure helps to grow tummy grease.

Exercise and low carb diet are probably good advice.

Insulin is one of the most powerful growth hormones. It is amusing to read bodybuilding forums where they discuss the use of insulin because they focus on how dangerous it is for a non-diabetic to do so in order to build muscle (amusing to me because most people on insulin know how to manage injecting it daily without killing themselves). It has killed and continues to kill bodybuilders who don’t know what it’s all about. But they generally rave about its muscle-building qualities.

It is true that endogenous insulin works differently from injected insulin and insulin analogues. The c-peptide chain is thought to be important to the human body in many ways, for example, and is missing from injected insulin. Furthermore, it is released directly into the bloodstream which probably means far less is needed to gain the same effect and its duration of action is much shorter.

You can reduce basal insulin needs by increasing the amount of muscle tissue in your body, or by regularly engaging in high intensity interval training.


Since we’re not getting all the constituents from injected insulin that we would from our own natural insulin, how does this effect us? Wondering why the c-peptide chain isn’t included.

All I know for certain is that the c-peptide chain has been shown to have a protective effect against complications. I’m not sure why it isn’t part of manufactured insulin but I suspect it is because the insulin “works” without it and including it is either impossible with present technology or cost-prohibitive. Although, the research showing the protective effects of c-peptide is quite recent and this may mean a future analog with it included.

Thanks. Something else to hope for & wait for. I met a Type 1 recently who was on animal insulin. He claimed it was superior. Perhaps it contained what’s missing from analogs, unless these were processed out.

Can you still get animal insulin?

You can in Canada. None here in the US, except what’s sold for vet use. Don’t know if dosages are different with porcine insulin.

I may not be kosher but God would forgive if it works. Any possible reason why it could be good? Any more anacdotal evidence? Lets try to dig some up I can try it but need to say something reasonably optimistic to GP to get prescription.

Ummmm…“The stuff that you have me on now isn’t working too Good”.

The UK and a couple of small countries(possibly Venezualla(sp) and Argentina) have animal Insulins.

You can search several discussions here about porcine insulin.

Then why is it that I and some other Type 1’s have never gained weight because of Insulin? I have easily proven Kimberly’s case myself, throughout my Lifetime. High carb foods or too much food and lack of exercise definitely caused me weight-gain. I have been on many types of Insulin. That made no difference.

**This is meant to be under Jan’s post. It won’t stay up there.