Type 1 Diabetics using Metformin (or other Type 2 meds) for weight loss?

Hey all!

I just saw my endo today and spoke with him about my 6 month-long, 1200-1500 calories/day diet that has only yielded about a 10-15 pound weight loss. He offered that some type 1s have found it helpful for weight loss to take Metformin or Symlin (although, I gather that this injectible is ridonulously expensive and rarely covered by insurance companies because it’s so new).

Has anyone had experience taking either of these drugs (or other type 2 meds) in combination with their insulin regimen for weight loss? Are there any awful side-effects? I’m super curious about the results you have had (or not had)! I’m hesitant to put more drugs in my system as someone with a hypothyroidism (taking synthroid) and M.S. (taking yet another effing injectable), but crushing more poundage off my frame would be super awesome.

Thanks tons!


how are you sugars/ A1C? I don’t know why your doc would perscribe these meds when you are losing weight. these drugs are for managing sugars not as a diet. sorry I just don’t udnerstand your docs thinking about this

I am a type 2 but I am on metformin. Metformin does have an effect on your stomach and you may adjust. When I first started taking it I would have upset stomach all the time and felt like throwing up and threw up a few times. Also I read that it depletes vitavim b so I take vitamin b suplements. I could not tolorate the higher dosses.

I could see using Metformin if you are having some insulin resistance issues because it would allow you to take less insulin therefore lose more weight. I am LADA but when I was pregnant 5 years ago I was put on Metformin for “gestational diabetes” and I had NO appetite so thats a plus :slight_smile: Not sure if you are on an exercise regimen but I workout an hour a day and therefore am able to take less insulin at meals and basal.

Also curious to know if you have tried low carb for weight loss.

Symlin is a medication for people with type 1 diabetes. The beta cells make at least two hormones that we know of: insulin and amylin that help with glucose control. It took me a year to convince my endo to order Symlin for me. I wanted it as a “hormone replacement” but the reason he hesitated was because he was concerned that I would loose too much weight which is a side effect. Symlin decreases gastric emtying time, helps with satiety, and stops the liver from over secreting glucose when there is food in the stomack. Symlin helps decrease post meal BG spikes and people use much less bolus insulin for meals. Weight loss is a side effect of this medication. It does mean an injection before each meal but for me it has definitely been worth it. There is a forum about Symlin. Maybe that would be helpful to you also. Hope this helps.

I’ve been on symlin since September and was hoping to loose about 10lbs. but no such luck. For a little while my i:c ratio got better but now it’s right back where it used to be so I’m a little frustrated. However, my post parandials have been better and I don’t feel hungry all the time like I used to. I never even realized I was hungry all the time until I started symlin and realized what it’s like to feel full. I didn’t experience any side effects and will keep taking it, although I’m interested in the metformin option. I would love to decrease my insulin levels.

Metaformin does not make you lose weight. Diet and exercise do. There are lots of overweight Type 2’s on Metformin and never lose enough weight simply because they don’t change their diet or exercise to get it off. Please don’t go into taking Metformin with the idea that the pound are going to melt off because that isn’t what it does and you will be disappointed. Even with Met, I still have to exercise and watch my carbs to keep the numbers down. I don’t need to lose weight but going low carb when I was dx’d made some weight melt right off.

Hi, i am curious… how much insulin do you take (on average) per day? I have been on metformin for a while, its true i haven’t been consistent, taking it every single day, but i haven’t had any weight decrease…

Lindsey Guerin is a type 1 blogging on www.dlife.com/diabetes-blog/
that uses Metformin to fight insulin resistance she is up to 500mg daily
Check out her blogs

Yes I would give metformin a try if you suspect you are insulin resistance. If so it will cut your insulin needs about 20% and help with weight loss. Otherwise I think a 10 -15 lb weight loss in 6 months is great.

Yes I am Type 1 and my doctor put me on metforman probably 6 or 7 years ago. It does 2 things - it makes the insulin more effective thus reducing the amount of insulin and making the post meal peaks less pronounced. Butthe primary reason that he gave it to me was that it is supposded to protect the kidneys. Many people have stomach problems, generally diahreah but I had the opposite and was constipated. I reduced the doise until i was adjusted to it then increased the dose to 2000 mg over a period of a few months. I never noticed and weight loss in regard to this. I hear that the Extended release (ER) is much better tolerated which is what I am taking now.

My daughter takes 2000mg Metformin a day. 500 mg is a starting dose and won’t do much of anything. I wouldn’t take anything but the ER, she had no stomach issues with it at all. You have to be ready to constantly change dosages of insulin because it will cause lots of lows unless you are right on top of it. It did cause about an 8 lb weight loss for her almost immediately, it just melted off, but it all crept back on. She has PCOS and insulin resistance, and the Met reduced her dose about 30%, so pretty significant. Symlin has been suggested now by two endo’s but I don’t want her to do shots when she is on a pump. Symlin has been around for at least 5 years now I think? For her, I just don’t see the point, and she also is already taking lots of meds including Armour thyroid, and seizure meds.
The new endo also suggested preventative meds for kidneys, ace inhibitors, but never said anything about any benefit of Met for kidneys and I have never read that before either when doing research on Metformin before I asked for it for her? I told her no on the aces unless we see some protein. She said that the insurance companies are pushing them to prescribe them for both type 1 and 2.

Mary, Here is one article inferring kidney protection from Metformin. I found a better article earlier when i made the initial post on this subject I also tale lysiniprol and knock on wood all the kidney numbers look good !!,metformin good for kidneys?

Good to know Dick, thanks. I will bring this up next visit, and I am betting that this endo doesn’t even know. I don’t want her on any more meds at this point.

Hi Nicolette, I’m a type I (19 yrs) and have been taking Metformin ER for a year now and only in the past few weeks have upped my daily dose from 1000mg to 2000mg per my endo. I disagree with some here that say it won’t aid in weight loss. My endo who is also Type I put me on it b/c no matter what I could not lose 1lb even after doctor monitored weight loss programs for many months, excessive exercise, etc, and marked insulin resistance–was taking more and more, but still not gaining control of my BG. I think the idea is that if you are taking insulin but your body isn’t utilizing it properly, then you can gain weight. It hasn’t been dramatic for me with weight loss (only 15lbs in 1 year) but my insulin requirements have gone down considerably, I have tighter control, and I’m happy with that. My endo recommended that I up the dose to help with more weight loss, and well, I trust her after having the results I have experienced. I did have stomach upset when I started the meds and when I upped them, but it subsided both times in a few weeks. Hope this helps. Best of luck to you!

Thanks for replying! I haven’t tried a low carb diet yet, but I think I may give that a shot–it can’t hurt! Hopefully commuting with my bike this summer will also aid in some weight loss.

That’s so interesting that it’s one of the hormones that beta cells make! It makes me think that there is a connection between my difficulty losing weight and my barely-there, limping-along pancreas. I have always had very dramatic post-meal BG spikes no matter the carbohydrate; this could be great for me. Have you noticed negative side effects? Thanks for pointing me toward the Smylin forum and thanks for your response.

Thanks for your comment! It’d be nice not to feel that need-to-snack feeling all the time and I’m interested in improving my post parandials. I’ll be emailing my endo to ask a few more questions and I’ll let you know what more he says about the Metformin weight-loss solution.

Hi there!
My basal daily dose averages around 9u/day with i:c ratio of 1/15gc for around 8 hours and then 1/10gc for the remainder of the day. How long have you been on metformin? How often are you supposed to take it?