Pumping and weight gain

Hey there
I am a little frustrated these days. I’ve started pumping with an Omnipod (back in July) and while I love the convenience of the pump, my A1C has shot up and I have put on 8lbs. Now, let me say first off, that I am training for a 10K so I am exercising and I can honestly say that I am not eating anymore. I have always eaten well (low fat, moderate carbs, and I cook mostly so no takeout). Has it ever been proven that insulin pumping makes you gain weight on it’s own and if so, how on earth do you fight it? I’m confused and uncomfortable in my on skin. I have made appts. with a new endocrinologist, a new CDE and a nutritionist but all are on a 2 months away…I know being worried about weight gain is pure vanity but this is the heaviest I have ever been and I hate it. OK, enough whining…thoughts?

Hello BPM. I started pumping on 6/19/07 using the MM 522. I lost 8 pounds in the beginning 2 or 3 months of pumping. Since that time my weight has leveled off and I am not losing any more. I have thoroughly researched pumping and I have many friends who pump on several sites. No one has ever suggested that pumping on its own results in weight gain. Many people lose weight while pumping because they use less insulin than they did when injecting. Isulin results in weight gain so the less insulin you use then the more weight you should lose. I am using 8 fewer units than I did while injecting and I lost 8 pounds. I am sure that those two numbers being equal is just a coincidence. There are some pumpers who gain weight while pumping but it is not due to the pump itself. They find it so easy to punch the buttons to compensate for a meal of pizza, a plate of pasta, and even a big slice of chocolate cake. They know the carbs involved and they go for it. That is food that they might not have eaten when they were injecting so of course they gain weight. My friends warned me this would be a temptation and I have not changed my eating habits since I started pumping. I realize you say you are not eating more now but maybe you mean you are not eating more carbs. If you are eating more calories and/or fat then that will result in weight gain even if the carbs are stable. I suggest you increase your exercise and watch your fat content of your food. I eat only 150 carbs per day. That certainly helps. Good luck!


I can say I totally understand your frustration! I am also on the Omni Pod Insulin Pump for over one year. I had gained 8 lbs within 4 months of starting the pump. I was told that when your A1C starts to stabilize, your body starts using the insulin, as a “normal” non-D. would. Therefore there is some weight gain.
You must make sure that you are not chasing your higher BS with boluses. This is a common problem I guess. I did it for a while. Then I increased my exercise, and drastically reduced my carbs. I have another issue gastropharisis. which is part of my autonomic neuropathy . I understand what you are going through, and all I can say is be patient, exercise maybe longer than you usually do. (You can use the temp. basal rate with the Omni Pod pump).
A little change in my routine has helped me tremendously. I eat less carbs as compared to what other D. eat. My doctors are aware of my special diet. I will say it has worked for me, I have lost ALL the excess weight.
And I feel great! Good Luck!
I’m around the web site if you have any other questions I would be glad to chat with you. Linda

whats the nature of your training? it could be that your are gaining muscle especially in your legs as a result of your training and since muscle definitely weighs more than fat that could be the source of your weight gain. Which in this case would be totally healthy weight gain. It could also possibly be you may be training too hard, the optimal range for fat burning is the 70%-80% heart rate. From a board on this topic I read about a paper put out by a running organization. The author of the article was a specialist in metabolic counseling and testing. She wrote about a woman who came to her also complaining of a 10-pound weight gain while marathon training. The author tested this woman’s metabolic rate via blood and exercise tests. What she found out was that the woman’s ideal fat burning range was well below the heart rate that the woman ran/marathon trained at. Therefore, the woman was doing all of her running and exercise work in the cardio range, and not burning fat. The author encouraged the woman to add 3 weekly 1-hour walking sessions to her exercise routine, and the woman lost the weight shortly thereafter.
As such maybe try adding exercise sessions that are less intensive.
I know this didnt address the pump situation but I’ve been really looking up exercise characteristics lately and this came to mind.

Thanks for the input. I can honestly say that since the pump, I haven’t been eating things that I normally wouldn’t (ie cake, fatty dishes, etc.) I haven’t been tempted at all. My daily carbs are on average 90-120g, mostly consisting of fruit, veggies and whole grains. I am going to start adding in walking and some strength training to see what that does.

Thanks for understanding. I just don’t get it. I have never had a weight problem before. In fact before my diagnosis (3 yrs. ago), I was 115-118 for at least 10 years. Now that I’m giving myself insulin I have consistently put on the lbs even with running and things like kickboxing. Can you explain the whole “chasing your BS with boluses”? Does that mean by correcting so much I’m actually making myself gain weight??? Also, do you have set number and type of carbs that you stick to? Is the Omnipod your first pump? Sorry for all the questions…

HA! I wish I could say that I’ve gained muscle but my New Years resolution of weight training isn’t working out very well. I do mostly running right now. Old habits die hard I guess. That is intersting about being in the cardio range and not burning fat. That actually makes sense. I will try to add the walking sessions and see if that helps. It would be good for me and the dog!
Thanks for tips!

If using a pump results in significantly better control than you had with injections, you will need to eat less, primarily less carbohydrates. Your using the food you eat more efficiently.
I was eating 150 grams of carbohydrate/day when I started pumping 11 months ago. Over a period of a few months. I reduced that to 75 grams of carbohydrate per day. My glucose numbers got better and better! My standard deviation got better and better, my lipids got better and better, and I have lost 37 lbs. My A1c dropped from 6.9 to 5.7 to 5.5 to 5.3.

I lost weight when i went on the pump…

I’m a pretty bad “diabulimic” myself…I know i need to actually keep up with my shots (I’m supposed to be on 4 a day…i take 2), but the pressure to be thin especially during the warmer seasons is intense. I don’t ever want to be as heavy as I used to be, and I’m content with the way I look now. I really want to try the Omnipod, but I’m a little skeptical about it, because of the weight gain.

Can anyone give me some insight on it? Like…how it effects your daily life, any kind of weight gain/loss etc… I’m sorry for the questions, I just want to better myself before I hurt myself even more then has already been done.

I totally gained weight after pumping - but I started pumping 3 months after diagnosis and I had lost a lot of weight pre-diagnosis. I’m realizing now that my ability to eat anything I wanted and not worry about exercise for the 2-3 years before my diagnosis was completely attributable (is that a word?) to the creeping blood sugars. I still ate the same amount of food after diagnosis, but apparently that is too much food for me. So I’m currently getting serious about calorie-counting and fat-burning exercise to drop the dread insulin gut (and insulin thighs and insulin hips and insulin love handles). I check out your page and see that your A1C is pretty high (compared to normal) - maybe you had lots of high numbers on MDI that kept you from absorbing all of the food you were eating? It would be interesting to see what your next A1C is. I think if it’s lower, then your weight gain is probably from ironing out high blood sugars. Simply put - the weight gain could mean you’re in better control. Isn’t that lovely?

It is mine understanding that insulin itself causes a bit of weight gain. I also gained weight once I was on the pump. I am sure I don’t eat as well as you and I don’t even come close to running a 10k, but once I was on the pump the control was much tighter which meant my insulin intake was on a regular basis. No more forgetting to take a shot. ( Iknow, I know)

Any way this is what I found on the Mayo Clinic website, I hope it helps.


What’s the connection between insulin and weight gain?
Weight gain is a common side effect for people who take insulin. The more insulin you use to control your blood sugar level, the more glucose that gets into your cells and the less glucose that’s wasted in your urine. Glucose that your cells don’t use accumulates as fat. If you continue to eat as you did before, you’ll likely gain weight when you start taking insulin.

Think about it this way: Before you start taking insulin, you may be able to eat more food than you need without gaining weight because your body doesn’t use the food properly. But when you start taking insulin, all bets are off. When your body uses food properly, you may need less food than you think.

And the concern about insulin and weight gain goes beyond what you see in the mirror. Excess weight can make your body resistant to the action of insulin — which means that you may need to take even more insulin to get sugar into your cells.

Hello! I am a minimed 722 pumper. And let me say I have never felt better . In fact I am now carbo counting and using less insulin. a1c is 5.6. And the weight is falling off its AMAZING! I hope it continues to fall off of me. Take care diabeticidol94

I reduced my carbs per day from 150 to 80 when I started pumping 16 months ago, and have lost 37 lbs.