Symlin Injections

Is anyone using this along with their pump? My dr recommends trying it. I have lots of pump failures which I'm beginning to believe are occlusions due to my tissue make-up. As a result, my A1C is getting too high. I also have been not caring what I eat and adding pounds which isn't helping control. But, I'm really not looking forward to adding a shot before meals and wondering after if it's too much insulin, not enough Symlin or vice versa. And how do you know when your site is failing if the Symlin lowers your sugar level. Juggling one more variable hardly seems worth it.

I'm neither opposed to or in favor of Symlin; I think it's an individual decision, but here are some things to know about it:

It's not a replacement for other important factors in diabetes management. You still need to watch what you eat, count carbs and accurately figure (and tweak) I:C, ISF and basal doses. It won't help site infusion problems, so I would work on getting help for that if it's impacting your blood sugar.

It definitely adds a variable. What I found when I used it is that it had a learning curve as intense as first starting insulin or starting a pump.

People use it for two different reasons: To control spikes and lower A1C, and to control weight gain/encourage weight loss. It works for some people for both factors, some for one but not the other, and some not at all.

Back to the learning curve: The twist to the Symlin learning curve is there are no experts. Yes, all D management is individual, but there are principals that we all apply. With Symlin there is very little standard and there are multiple variables just to Symlin use such as dose, time used, insulin dose reduction and change in the timing of when you take your insulin and when you test. Even the dosing info that is commonly shared: "Titrate gradually up to 60 for Type 1 and 120 for Type 2" isn't true for all. When I tried it I contacted the Symlin helpline and they admitted they couldn't help much. Doctors know less about it than they do about insulin (ok, ignore the sarcasm in that last one).

Having said all that, I would try other simpler measures first to try and manage your issues. So for frequent pump (site) failures I would talk with your doctor, on here and with your pump manufacturer to see what to do. High A1C from other factors there are lots of ways to improve it such as tweaking your doses, corrections, basals, testing more, lowering carb intake, etc.

If after doing all those things you still feel Symlin could help you then I encourage you to give it a try. Just anecdotally (sp?) it seems to help about 1/2 the people who use it. I gave it a four month try and it took at least the first month to tweak how I used it. My conclusion was that it definitely lowered my insulin needs (by about 40% I think). It made my overall blood sugar ranges a bit more stable but they weren't bad to begin with (A1C about 6.4 -6.5). It did nothing at all for weight loss which was the real reason I decided to try it. (In fairness I'm 63 and weight loss is very hard for me). So for me, it wasn't worth the trouble. Even after the learning curve, and you get used to the new timing for dosing and testing, it still is three shots a day and it isn't cheap.

I think that your doctor's recommendation isn't crazy,just maybe premature. There are other things to try first.

For me it helps the spikes, lowers the amount of insuling I have to take. Since I do not like needles in the least--i was not very happy about 3 injections a day..but I have found it well worth it.

If your Amylase is low, Simlin is a good replacement. My levels are normal, So I don't take it. Also I do not really need to lose weight.

I believe it is more for weight loss than anything else. Meaning it makes it easier manage the highs and lows, you still have to cut calories.

I have read extensivly on it and My doctor knew almost nothing. I am really still unclear how it works. This makes it tough to tweek the dosage and timing.

I suppose it is worth trying.

So there is a blood test for Amylase levels?

Did you have much difficulty adding it to your regimen?

Thanks for all the info & advice. I've been partying the last few years ; ) and I'm sure getting back to better eating and exercise will ultimately be easier & just as effective as Symlin.

Actually the "official" purpose is to lower blood sugar spikes. When I spoke with Symlin personnel they used the disclaimer that weight loss is an "off-label" use.

Yes, I understand that it is for regulating bs and any weight loss benefits are purely bonus.

These posts and replies are getting all out of order! Not sure who you are asking about the difficulty adding it to your regimen, mwags, but for me, as I mentioned above, it took me a long time to do so, a lot of trial and error.

It works GREAT for me. My bgs are much more level. Insulin usage is considerably lower. And best of all, so far, 20lbs are now gone. I must say, I do have a bit of nausea, especially if I over eat. But I look at that as being spanked for doing something bad. I find I get “full” much quicker. But, that’s just me.
I do not see what it will do for occlusions though. That seems like an infusion set issue. I hated the thought of doing shots again but I must say For, me it is worth it. I am surprised how little discussion I see in this and other forums on Symlin.

Thanks for the info. How much trouble did you have adjusting the amount of insulin to take? My doc is just trying to help any way he can with getting my bs smoothed out. The pods clogging or just quitting is killing my control. I see Doc Monday & will discuss what you all have shared about adding Symlin. Haven't called Omnipod in a long time but several years ago they said some people's tissue makeup clogs the canula more quickly than others. I had similar problems with my Minimed Paradigm sites so I think it is just me.

When you use Symlin, how do you know if your site is failing?