Insulin & Weight Gain


This is actually a really interesting post for me right now. I recently went on a 2 week or so pump break. I switched to Lantus than I had on hand. My BGs stayed about the same and I ate the things I normally ate. Nothing changed but my insulin. I put on about 5lbs during the two week time period. I know that causation does not always equal correlation, so I really don’t know why I gained the weight, but I’m suspicious. I need to take about 25% more Lantus than Humalog for my basal needs. I’m wondering if it’s possible that this increase has caused my weight gain (and caused most of clothes to be a little snug!)


If your BG levels were quite high prior to starting insulin, then you were losing alot of glucose through your urine. With insulin, that glucose ends up in fat cells, and may be part of the weight gain.

I agree with the others regarding sliding scale. This was common in the 80’s and 90’s with the older insulins and the Exchanges for managing food portions. Carb-counting and insulin dosage based on carbs gives more options, maybe lower BGs and weight loss.

Do you take other meds for BG ?

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I HATE the sliding scale! It makes no sense. When i suggest the I:C Ratio approach to my endo he won’t entertain the idea. AND, I’ve learned that he’s very good at changing the subject because I don’t realize until I’ve walked out of his office that he never explained to me why he thinks the sliding scale works better…or even works. I’m changing dr’s.

The scale I’m on is as follows: test before eating and, if below 150 - give 5 units. If between 150-200 give 7 units. If between 200 - 250 give 9 units. And, so on, increasing dosage by two units for every 50 above 150. It is a bad method. For example: before lunch today I tested at 112 so I gave myself 5 units. I ate my salad and went on my happy way. Not too long after the low hit. Another example: Saturday I tested before dinner at 148 so gave myself 5 units. Ate a slice and a 1/2 of pizza and a few chicken wings (this is our Saturday treat) and went on my way. Not too long after I feel the high come on and end up in the high 200’s. I’m going to start trying to figure out my carb ratio on my own.

I eat a healthy diet (low cal, low carb) but I think where I might be picking up extra carbs is the fruit I eat. I’m so sick of eggs and chicken I could throat punch someone. I take 14 units of Lantus and that seems like a lot to me. I’m could def exercise more. I’m 5’4’. (just answering some questions here from throughout the thread).

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I tried Jardiance (same mechanism) for 1 month in desperation (and at the advice of my doctor), and did not lose a single ounce. However, since stopping that drug I have gained 4 kg! Am despairing. My diet has not appreciably changed, in fact i am trying even more to reduce carbs… I shall have to try harder on the exercise front and eat even less and am thinking of increasing my thyroid meds (better test levels first though… I want to be mid to upper 1/3 of range, not above it)! Of course the other option would be to cut off my head, that would give a big weight loss, but may be rather terminal!

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I suggest you check out the books Using Insulin (John Walsh) and/or Think Like A Pancreas (Gary Scheiner).
Both will help you understand carb counting and insulin dosage and how to learn what works for you through trial and error. Gary Scheiner also authored Ultimate Guide to Carb Counting.

Using a sliding scale without a constant meal plan (eg Exchanges), makes no sense, and perfectly predictable that you went low after a salad and high after pizza.

You may want to consider finding a new Endo or CDE that is consistent with your goals.


I feel so utterly bummed out and defeated by my daughter’s D and the fact that I had a meltdown over the phone with our new pharmacist when for the (literally) 29th straight effing month in a row I ran into yet another set of insurance-caused issues when ALL I WANT TO DO IS PICK UP MY DAUGHTER’S EFFING INSULIN SO I CAN KEEP HER ALIVE. And my daughter’s “nanny” who I let move into our house rent and board free because her mother died when she was 10 and her father is a raging alcoholic charged over $1K on my VISA without permission and has no money to pay me back. And one of my cats is sick and I keep getting cramps in my feet that won’t go away and I’m sleep deprived and my job pretty much always sucks these days because of health insurance and I can’t afford all my copay bills from my stupid surgeries and hospitalizations and ambulance rides for my stupid Guiness Book sized kidney stone, and my daughter acts like she hates me because puberty hormones yank her effing BG around like a yo-yo and this makes her so irritable and I just got a bad haircut and my husband walked out on us a year ago because apparently I nagged at him once too often to get another job because I’m sick of working so many hours and my divorce attorney uncovered the fact that he’s had a secret bank account where he hid $200 K which is now down to $50 K because he began secretly withdrawing $5 K a month in 2014 and tonight I feel like I just cannot keep juggling all this and I feel sorry for myself because I keep trying so hard to be a good mother and doctor and person and my life so thoroughly sucks right now. And the fact that all you great people on this Forum have to continue struggling with damned, damned diabetes is making me cry tonight.


We really do need a hugs button! :hugging: .

Sometimes things just gang up on us and everything just feels bad. There really isn’t an answer to those times – just have to take on one issue at a time and trudge on. On top of it all, this time of year is especially prone to problems cropping up and getting us down. The frustration will pass, and eventually all these issues will be resolved.

I’ve had several such issues rise up at me - some just annoyances, such as, after a month of numerous copays, finding out that my insurance actually was charged LESS than my copay on some prescriptions, and others promising to become bigger issues, like my daughter’s miscalculation in applying for school loans. Diabetes hasn’t been cooperative or friendly this month, either, and my next endo appointment with some potentially “challenging” labs is fast approaching. By the way, I got a badf haircut last month, so I “made up for it” by going to the same place this month – and getting ANOTHER bad haircut. I think, though, that it’s growing on me! :laughing:

You are a good mother, doctor and person, and yes, sometimes life sucks. Tomorrow’s another day.


I feel for you! Don’t envy anyone doctoring these days.

Try magnesium oil for the muscle cramps. Topical and rubbed in. ( I get those darned foot cramps too and darned if I know what to do about them.

Shave the head. No more hair! Really I am tempted to do that when my hair looks like something the cat dragged in… haven’t done it yet. Pretty bandana to cover it all…

Can’t solve your problems, nor mine for that matter, that’s for another day and shoulder to cry on. But thinking of you and hoping it gets better… or at least you continue… and have cheerful moments…

You are a good person, a good mother, and a good dr… that is part of why things are hard.


(((((Hugs)))))) This too will pass.


Hey RG:

We can all empathize - life can be challenging enough. Add diabetes to the mix and it can be overwhelming sometimes. I feel for you. Vent all you need. We’re here to support you. I’d also recommend a good glass of wine (or two, or three…) shared with with a good friend who understands. That’s always good therapy, I find. :slight_smile:



Giant economy sized hug

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Your experience is very common and has a simple explanation. The purpose of insulin is to remove excess blood sugars from your blood stream. Primarily it does that by converting them to a form that can be used as energy by your muscles. If you are inactive and there is no need for more energy for your muscles, the secondary thing insulin resorts to is to convert blood sugar to fat cells that can be stored for ‘future use’, e.g. on your abdomen. That’s better than the sugars constantly floating around and creating high blood sugar readings and damage to your nerve cells. Ideally, being active immediately after eating, e.g. by going for a brisk half hour walk, is the perfect way to deal with this issue, if you are up to it.

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Since the role of insulin is to prevent high blood sugar levels it has two tools at its disposal. It can convert the bgs to energy if you are active. If not, it can convert the bgs to fat and store them on your tummy. End of story unless you either eat less carbs or exercise more…



you are a caring mom and deserve a lot of credit…I respect the caregiver in you…We ALL have our days…I’m sending vibes of support your way…

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Thanks for that line, I just snorted milk out of my nose.


sometimes it’s best to have a good cry and get it out of your system, I don’t know about the US family courts, but the aussie ones can roll back shonky deals, you would get half of that 200k even if it takes a while with added interest.