Weight gain and insulin t2

Hi All, I need advise. I just went to dr and she said I have to get used to gaining weight as I am on Insulin. I take 10, 10 and 15 units with meals and 25 lantus at bedtime. I also take
neurotin 2 times a day which also contributes to weight gain. I am already obese from years on all kinds of meds, some of which I no longer take,some I do. I have begun a low carb lifestyle and try to increase exercise (which is hard due to fibermyalgia). Any other things I can try to do to help myself?? I am 69 so I have been fighting this fight for a lot of years but just started on Insulin. Also any tips for getting over fear of sugar tests and shots. Thanks for your help.

You’re definitely on the right track! Congratulations!

I’ve put on 12 kg since on insulin (before I was normal weight). I have Lupus and also Fibromyalgia (FM), and I know, it’s so hard to exercise!! Unfortunately, it’s a MUST, along with lower carb, which should lessen your insulin requirements. Exercise should also help your FM.

Try to find the kind of exercise that will help your metabolism the most. Start slow. Don’t try to do a massive exercise regime all at once. Build. Do you have access to a pool? Swimming is one of the best exercises when you have pain. In FM it’s also endurance that can be a problem. Build slowly, so you’re not in lots of pain.

After 50, for women, weight-bearing exercise is also a must. Buy yourself some very cheap hand-weights (not too heavy) and add some exercises with the weights. Or easier still, go to a gym.

Include fibre (USA: fiber) in your diet too.

Sugar tests and shots - ah… I was the biggest needle phobic on the planet.

Most will tell you that the tests almost always hurt worse than shots - if you do the shots right. For some, getting the needle in really fast will help with the shots. Others say doing it very slowly, and first touching the tip of the needle to several areas so see which is least sensitive helps. It’s what works for you.

Tests - find somewhere on the tip of your finger that hurts least. Strangely, for me the top of the tip of the finger, where the nail is… on the skin part, is least painful for me and I’ve been testing that way for years.

I also understand that eating more often rather than just one or two meals a day is better for metabolism - long as it can stay lower-carb.

Lots and lots of testing! If you’re on a fixed insulin regime, ask your doctor if you can carb count and adjust your insulin as needed - otherwise you’re feeding the insulin - that is, you have to eat that number of carbs at every meal. For example, even though I’m now on a pump, I still don’t take any insulin with breakfast (or only a tiny amount) because breakfast is almost always only protein. The other reason to fit the insulin to the food (not the other way around) is if you’re high between meals, you can also learn how to use some insulin to correct those highs.

I think you’re definitely on the right track!

Dear Susi, thanks for answering my question. Its so nice to fime someone who understands. As I said I have been diabetic for a loong time but had been controled with pills until just recentle so the insulin is new. Could you please explain about adjusting the insulin to the food? I am trying low carb and it has not been too bad but need some help with using the insulin with it. I am going camping tomorrow and will not have my computer but will be back in 2 weeks and will be checking back here. Thanks again and I will try to exercise more I too have fibermyagia so it is hard but I can not stand to gain more weight.

Hi Maralyn,

First I thought it was a typo, but a second time… the correct term is “fibromyalgia”.

I can teach you lots about carb counting and adjusting insulin, but I’m really not the person to ask if you can or should do it, because I’m not your doctor.

Having said that…

Carb counting is about looking at the carbohydrate content in the food you’re about to eat, and then working out an appropriate insulin dose (bolus) for that meal.

It also involves knowing what’s called your insulin to carb ratio - most often written as I:C.

I have a different I:C at different times of the day. For example, in the afternoons, my I:C is 1:11. This means I need 1 unit of insulin for every 11 grams of carbs I eat. In the evenings, my ratio is 1:8, mornings it’s 1:10.

There are courses that can teach you more, called DAFNE - Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating.

You also need to know what your Insulin Sensitivity Factor (ISF) is. This is for corrections - when your blood glucose is high and you want to bring it down. For example; 1 unit of insulin to 2.2 mmol/L (or approx 1:40 mg/dl) - that’s how much 1 unit of insulin will bring down your blood glucose. This may also differ at different times of the day.

Mostly people start off with one number for all day in both cases and after a while can figure out where the numbers need adjusting.

You then need to know what your blood glucose targets are. Your doctor will tell you. Mine, for example are 5.5 mmol/L (93.6 mg/dl) during the day, and 6 mmol/L (108 mg/dl) for bedtime.

After you learn what your particular numbers are, you can then test before you eat and work out how much insulin you need to take for a meal, which may or may not include a correction for a high glucose as well, and may also include adjustments for exercise/activity you’re about to do.

When I was on injections, I found that with both Lantus and Levemir, I had to split my dose into twice a day, and it wasn’t an equal split. This was because neither insulin lasted 24 hours for me. My basal rate (equal to the function of Lantus/Levemir) on an insulin pump is also different at different times of the day and is also adjusted according to activity.

There’s a lot to learn, but once you do, it becomes second nature! You may also find that protein and fat alter your blood glucose, as it does mine and I need to bolus for those too. But don’t worry about those for now.

There are lots of good books, eg Using Insulin by John Walsh, Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. These books are two of the best!

I’m adamant that I shouldn’t be telling you whether you can or can’t use your insulin in this way, but I’m happy to encourage you to read all you can and ask your doctor or Diabetes Educator for permission and further assistance. But go armed with knowing what the benefits are! And there are many!

Sorry about the length of this… I’ve really only touched the surface of the subject.

Hope you enjoyed the camping!

I’m a T2 and my doctor put me on insulin just last week. Believe it or not I’ve lost 3 lbs this week after being stuck for so long not losing. I asked her not to put me on Lantus because I’ve heard some people tend to gain weight with it. She put me on Levimier. Seems to be working. To date I’ve lost 30 lbs since March.

Everyone’s so different!! When I changed from Lantus to Levemir, I didn’t lose a single ounce! I was hoping I would.

Well done Kathy - that’s a lot of weight to lose!! What did you do to lose that weight?

Same here lantus or levemir equals weight gain. Crazy glue the lips?

Anthony… lol ‘crazy glue the lips’? Nice try but no cigar.

Thanks Susi for the great tips. Yes seems a lot to learn , especially at my age , but I am trying. I go again soon to my educator who I am hoping will help but until then I am learning. I enjoy reading all the posts on this site. I will keep you informed of my progress, Thanks again

Hi Marilyn… I have no idea how old you are, but I just turned 56 today, and not for one second do I think I’m too old to learn anything new! Anyway… don’t they say that the older you get, the more active you have to keep your mind? LOL

What did you say? You were going camping? No way I could do that anymore! But I guess I could, if I had to. So, you too can do the insulin thing! Actually, people were telling me for years that life is a little easier on insulin. I didn’t believe them then, but actually for me, it turned out they were right.

My endo said something to me this week… whatever pain fibromyalgia causes, exercise is not going to “damage” anything - might be painful, but it won’t cause any damage. That’s not necessarily so for arthritis, but I understand what he was saying about fibromyalgia.

Good luck!

Hi Susi, Yes I said camping but its not what you think. I have a 42ft motorhome that comes with everything so its a home away from home. I get there, get in and stay there and hubby does the socializing around the fire thing. I dont mind as I catch up on reading, exercising by getting up and marching every hour and do some crafts. We have a lot of beautiful people around that visit and I am learning about low carb diets along with my insulin levels so am content. Thanks for all the help. By the way turning 70 this dec but still young inside lol. marilyn

Hi all, Maybe I should try that crazy glue thing. lol trying to learn how to bolus my food, that might help use less insulin for meals, means less gaining wt. hopefully. I will let you all know how i make out.

On another forum the same question was asked. The main response was you don’t have to gain weight if you get your ratios right. Also instead of adjusting insulin to the food you eat. Adjust your food to the amout of insulin. Have you read Berstein, “Diabetes Solutions” He is a firm believer in the least amount of insulin possible. You do this by going low carb.

Jeannie, agree with everything you say… except… it’s still putting weight on me, and especially now that I’m on a pump. I’ve put on 14kg in total since I went on insulin a few years ago… and yes, I do low carb… and I’m using much less insulin on a pump.

Go figure!

I must admit, I haven’t been excersising to lose the weight. I have started counting my carbs and I’m eating more chicken and salads than I ever did. I also attribute some of my weight loss to the Byetta and the Levimier.

Hi Jeannie, not sure how to get my ratios right. I take 5 units humalog before bk to cover my food. I would like to take less than 10units for lunch and supper. I was going to try to use 1unit for 15 carbs. Does that sound righrt? Any help would be appreciated as it sure sounds hard right now. Thanks. Marilyn

Were you able to get an appointment with a Nutritionist as part of your treatment? When my niece was diagnosed Type 1, they calculated how many calories and grams of carbohydrate she needed per day and broke it down into meals. At age 8, she was supposed to have 180 grams of carbs per day. She is now 12 and may eat 200 to 225 grams per day but rarely more than that. We break down the carbs per meal the way that best suit her, though; we do not spread it out as we were initially taught. She has not gained weight and is quite thin. As an adult, if you weigh more than you like, the nutritionist can give you a carb/calorie count per day so you can lose weight safely. She rarely eats more than 70 or 80 grams for her heavist carb meal (dinner). Usually dinner is 65 grams. I consider her portions normal portions, such as an adult might eat.

Hi Jan, just an update on me...still have not got the carb, insulin ratio figured out right...but am on less insulin and eating less carbs..long education. The doc has started me on victoza and my sugars in am are below 150 and have lost some weight. I still have a lot of stomach pain but hope that will go to as my body gets used to all this...thanks for the help. will keep in touch. Marilyn