Trulicity , Type 1 and Weight Loss

Is anyone with Type 1 diabetes using Trulicity for weightloss?

I have had Type 1 diabetes for 31 years and have always struggled with weight problems. Although I sit at a desk all day, I have a fairly active lifestyle being a cyclist and mountain biker. My weight is 225. I spend anywhere from five hours to fifteen hours a week with some sort of cycling as well as 3 hours a week weight-lifting. My normal caloric intake is between 2,200 to 2,700 calories depending on activity level.

For most people, that caloric intake together with that level of activity would result in some fairly significant weight-loss.

Not me … I’m gaining weight.

My endo just prescribed me on trulicity for weightloss.

Anyone have similar experience?

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Are you sure it’s not weight due to muscle gain and not fat gain?

Mostly muscle gain. But, some fat gain as clothes are tighter.

The math, however, doesn’t make sense. At the peak activty, my daily calorie burn was close to 3,500 and my daily calorie intake was around 2,500 with a deficit of 1,000 calories a day. I should have been losing 2.0 lb/week. There is something wrong with my metabolism.

Hi Michael,

Timely post, I just started Trulicity today! First injection. I am supposedly a Type 1.5, they don’t seem to have if figured out after 18 years since gestational diabetes. I am so struggling with 25-30 lbs of weight gain since starting insulin Oct. 18, 2016. Within a month I had gained 20 pounds. I was at 125 for years, biking, walking yoga, very fit and felt great. My blood sugars crept upward last year while I was taking Invokana.

I am so hopeful this medicine will work. Did you try a sample? My endo gave me two pens to try before he will write a prescription, first to see if it works.

Lets post here about how we feel and any side effects, I am interested to see if my blood sugars come down. Also my endo said to take 2 units less of insulin to see how much the Truliciity lowers by numbers and to prevent going low.

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Michael,

Not sure how much insulin you are taking? I am taking 19 units of Tresiba but now decreasing to 17 tonight per endo. insulin is a fat storing hormone and my body swells like a balloon on insulin. All the little fat cells from when I was pregnant (4 times) are now full of fat. I am so swollen I look like 6 months pregnant. I have to find something that works. I don’t over eat, in fact, I eat very low carb, healthy and small meals. This is really ridiculous. I heard that the old animal insulin did not cause weight gain like the synthetic insulin does.

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@Michael_Birch, I am curious about how much insulin you are taking. I have a simple theory: Insulin is the fat hormone. The more I take, the more fat my body will store. I have a weight a problem too. My weight gain seems to correlate with my insulin intake. Low carb diet makes a huge difference for me.

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I agree … insulin causes fat. Although, for a T1, food requires insulin. That means, like a non-diabetic, food causes fat. My TDD is about 55 units of Humalog. Prior to taking up cycling four years ago, my TDD was about 85 units of Humalog. That’s a drop of 30 units and no drop in weight after riding about 16,000 km (10,000 miles) as a cyclist (roadie) and Mountain Biker.

Day 1 on Trulicity. I took my first shot at 8:00 am this morning. No side effects yet. Wonder how the rest of the day and the rest of the week will go ?

But for me, the amount of insulin I take also correlates to the amount of food I eat. Therefore, ultimately, the amount of food I eat is what makes me gain weight. I can never lose an ounce unless I count calories and make sure I’m consistently eating below a certain amount - every day for an extended period of time.

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My endocrinologist gave me some interesting interesting information yesterday. In my 30 years of diabetes, I have never heard this.

When your blood sugar is slightly elevated, you’re body cannot burn fat. It can burn the calories in your blood stream (i.e. blood sugar), but, it cannot unlock the cells to burn fat - no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise or how little insulin you take.

That is, apparently, why a drug like Trulicity works so effectively. It unlocks the cells and allows your body to burn fat even when your blood sugar is slightly elevated.

For a mountain biker, this is important. When I go out for a two hour ride, I slightly elevate my blood sugar before I go - theoretically meaning, I cannot burn fat. So, while my Fitbit is saying that I burned anywhere from 1,700 to 2,200 calories on that ride, it is doing absolutely no good for fat-loss.

I’m T2 and I take Trulicity. I have had zero side effects from it! I tried some other drugs in this class that made me really sick (like, daily vomiting), but Trulicity seems to do the trick for me.

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Hey Michael:

That’s an interesting hypothesis from your endo. I’d be curious to see if it works for you. I had some early success with Byetta during my honeymoon stage in activating the beta cells that I had left, and was tremendously helpful in BG control. I tried Trulicity much later and saw similar results for about the first month of using it, but that was it. One of the other benefits is that it delays gastric emptying, giving you a feeling of fulness longer, which can help with weight loss. However, in my case I never felt that it had any impact on my weight. What’s served me best in that regard is a LCHF way of eating.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Christopher

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Christopher - are you very active. I have been in situations where I am in a theoretical 1,000 to 2,000 calorie deficit for months with no change to my weight. The impact with Trulicity, as I understand, is exercise and maintaining a clean diet.

Hey Michael. I’ve always been a little skeptical around the calories in/calories burned view of weight loss, especially with respect to my own experience. This approach often assumes all calories are created equally - when 100 calories of almonds and 100 calories of potato chips will have a dramatically different effect on the body. I had my most dramatic bout of weight loss when I changed the types of food I was eating, and my weight plunged from about 210 to 170 in the span of around 3-4 months. In fact, my caloric intake increased during this time and it involved no exercise other than walking in the mornings. I moved from a typical standard American diet to LCHF. I became more active only afterwards - because it made me feel good and gave me muscle tone and a body shape I thought I could never achieve again.

Cycling and mountain biking are phenomenal forms of exercise. I enjoy the latter myself. I’m not sure what your food choices are, but there is a pervasive conventional wisdom that carbs are essential in order to properly fuel this type of activity. There’s a book that makes a compelling case that LCHF is actually more effective for endurance athletes titled “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance” by Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney.

Trulicity might be a silver bullet for you for weight loss. Or it might be as simple as modifying some of your food choices. Regardless, let us know how it goes and good luck!

Christopher

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I know our bodies each react in their own way, but calories in/calories out has always been an accurate guide for me. 100 calories of some foods, such as cheese or other high fat things, will satiate me for a longer time, which means I will likely go longer without needing to eat again and will eat less overall. I think many people are resistant to tracking their calories because they secretly know they’re probably eating far more than they tell themselves they are. Then they wonder what magic formula will help them lose weight when the reality is that for the majority of people weight loss can only be achieved by operating at a true calorie deficit. It’s not a magic formula, but it can require what feels like self-deprivation for some people.

I know there are some conditions that do change body chemistry in a way the makes it more difficult to figure out the right formula for losing weight, but I honestly think that’s true of a very small minority of people.

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Michael,
I am not using Trulicity but am using Victoria off label. I was also pushing the overweight/obese numbers. I’m 5’3" and was at a high of 163. When my endow asked what my 2 biggest frustrations with my diabetes, I said weight and post meal spikes. We talked about a couple type 2 drugs that could help and decided on Victoza. And I am happy to say I am down th a low of 120. Now don’t everyone think it’s the cure all to weight issues. And YDMV! But a couple things helped for me. First the drug helps curb my appetite tremendously. I’m just not hungry. Second, my endos and I worked hard at reducing my total insulin. I was just taking way to much and was just feeding the insulin which probably caused much of my weight problem. And third, I walk and I walk and I walk some more. I average about 30,000 steps a day. Got a puppy, walk to and from work everyday and have a goal to run a 5K race this year.
So while I have had some great success with a type 2 drug, there was other things that helped move it along. My doctors said that most see about a 5 pound loss. So I think much of mine was a combo of a few things. But I do think the less insulin was key to not having to feed to lows and the appetite suppression was very helpful. I know, no real answer but I wish you luck on your journey. Mine took about three years. Good luck on your journey!

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What is Victoria off label?

Victoza?

Good news! I have lost 2 pounds and started Trulicity 5 days ago. I feel much less hungry, had a bad headache and nausea day 1…some heartburn and indigestion…still very happy about 2 pounds lighter…hoping it continues and does not just stop as has for some posting here…where it works for a month or so and then stops…my blood sugars are lower staying more around 100 and not needing to bolus for meals at all! I decreased my Tresiba basal from 19 units per night to 13 units… Yay!!! Less insulin, less weight. I am hopeful and optimistic.

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Christopher … Sounds like you had great success … Congrats !!

I am not suggesting that Trulicity is a silver bullet. I am hoping that it is a key to unlock the cells so that I can burn fat similar to someone who isn’t diabetic.

I have looked into doing an LCHF diet before, but I always end up really hungry and with cravings for carbs. That’s one of the things that Trulicity is supposed to correct. It is supposed to act as a hunger suppressant. So, it may be time to try an LCHF diet again. Thanks for reminding me !!

Really … I’m not scared of exercise. I really enjoy, and even look forward to a good four hour ride. For those who aren’t familiar with cycling, for a 225lb guy like me, that should burn about 3,000 calories - or, almost a pound of fat less the carbs eaten to fuel the ride.

If this does unlock the cells as my endo claims, I should start seeing rapid weight loss.

Time will tell.

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