Weight gain

hello everyone. im a fairly new pump user -started back in November after being on shots for 14 years. Im 26 years old, i was just wondering if anyone else has experienced weight gain when first going on the pump? i’ve gained about 8 lbs in the last 3 months or so and im wondering if its common among pump users.

Hi Dallas. I’m interested in hearing what responses you get to this question. I started the pump 2 1/2 months ago and I have gained 4 pounds with no change in my habits. I know 4 pounds isn’t a lot, but I liked the weight I was at, and am at an age where weight is very hard to lose. I didn’t think think there was any reason it would be the pump, unless you had been very high before and got your BG normalized on the pump. For me, that wasn’t the case. My numbers were decent before and actually are just settling back into a good range after the adjustment time to the pump when they were all over the map while I tweaked settings.

Were you high and then normalized on the pump? The other thing I have heard is that people get more free with what they eat and bolus for on the pump and gain weight for that reason. (I haven’t changed my eating habits) I really can’t think of anything about the pump itself that would account for it. If anything I take significantly less insulin than I did on MDI.

Yes - it happened to me too! I was 10 pounds or so under weight at diagnosis a year and a half ago and now I am 15 to 20 pounds over my ideal weight! Its crazy…I have never gained 30 pounds in just over a year…but then again…this is my first experience with insulin, pump, and everything diabetic. I’ve been trying to figure it out too…does anyone know if the insulin we have to use encourages weight gain? It sure feels that way! Thanks for asking the question…I would like to hear others experiences too.

If you gained weight since diagnosis, Sneeetch, that’s different. I’m assuming you mean you started the pump right away. I think what the OP is saying is that she didn’t gain weight after diagnosis but only after starting the pump. No, insulin itself does not cause weight gain. But many of us are in pretty bad shape at diagnosis and have been running high for a long time. When we stabilize on insulin then are body can better use the food we give it so we gain weight if we keep eating the same way we did before. Also (not saying this is you) some people feel being on insulin or on the pump means they can eat whatever they want and bolus for it and they take more insulin, eat more carbs, gain more weight, take more insulin, etc. You can also develop Insulin resistance like that. So gaining some weight after diagnosis is normal.

But I’m still interested in hearing people who, like the OP, did not gain weight just after diagnosis and starting insulin, but specifically after getting on the pump.

I’ve stayed pretty steady with my weight since starting the pump in January. I did put on weight immediately after starting insulin (sept dx). It might have something to do with rapid-acting all of the time vs combo rapid and long? Rapid might make you hungrier, etc. I hear its common to gain weight once starting the pump because your sugar levels are in better control…

Insulin is a fat-storing hormone. If you have studied the glycemic index diets, you’ll understand how this works. You eat foods that require more insulin. The left over insulin is stored as fat. I have been chubby ever since I went on the pump, too. But I can lose it if I follow the GI diets. Nothing white and no starches. These are the biggest offenders. Insulin will cause you to gain weight, but it does depend on what you are dosing for…

I have gained about 10 lbs since I had to start increasing my basal insulin four months ago.

So far no change for me yet .But I have only been insulin for about 3 weeks now. i am interested in hearing from others as well

Absolutely! I was very slim for the first 25 years with BiG D (on insulin injections.) then after pumping for the last 3 years, I gained wait in the first year. Im pretty sure it’s because I was metabolising food better with the better control. I have since lost some of the 15 pounds and realized that the best way to be a Type 1 is to exercise every day and reduce the total insulin requirement. Not that this is easy by any means, but I try…

thanks for your reply! i had a similar situation, but i wasn’t sure if it was common with other people. Im exercising everyday and working hard to lose the weight i gained, but as a benefit i am in tighter control so im learning to take the good with the bad.

I actually lost tons of weight as my insulin needs dropped so did my weight.

Rock on! You are so fortunate Sandy. :slight_smile: Hope we follow your lead.

That’s what I want to hear…lol. I really didn’t see any reason why using a pump should make people gain weight, unless they were formerly having poor control, and the pump improves their control. The means of delivery just shouldn’t affect weight gain.

My Endo at the time of me starting the pump told all of us that your wt should drop unless you are already at your lowest insulin intake. The more insulin you use the more likely you are to gain and vs versa. If my needs build up what I typically do is fast for a few days and do basal testing and over a period of a week or so I can see how my levels drop again… It’s amazing how much food will alter actual basal needs. Just my exp though :slight_smile:

Good subject - here’s what I’ve learned

  • Insulin can and does put weight on you
  • This is particularly true if you are insulin resistant. I am (some are lucky enough to be insulin sensitive).
  • Those who have genetic factors (many people in their family tree with T1 or T2) tend to be the insulin resistant type.
  • It's not about the pump - weight gain can happen even on MDI.
  • It can be a vicious cycle for insulin resistant folks - as weight goes up, so does insulin needs...so weight goes up...and on and on.
  • I have found only one solution for weight gain - reduce insulin needs (you will lose right away).
  • I have found only 2 ways to reduce insulin needs for insulin resistant types (and I use both) - exercise (esp. resistance training), which can significantly reduce basal needs, and Symlin, which reduces bolus needs by half. Some take Symlin for different reasons, but I use it to reduce meal time insulin.


Which is exaclt what I was saying…insulin is a fat-storing hormone. The less you need the better…

My guess is that you also changed what you ate as well…right?

I should also add that I use the TAG method however, with a low-er fat diet - more of a weight watchers type diet, except only carbs with extremely high fiber. For highly resistant types, extremely low carb / high fat just doesn’t work.

TAG makes for extremely smooth sailing, avoiding spikes - http://www.tudiabetes.org/group/tagers

The main way to reduce insulin needs is the foods you eat. If you eat foods that are lower on the GI, then you will use less insulin.and store less fat. Exercise is good because it does use up insulin instead of storing it, but whenever I have lost weight, I have not exercised at all…it was all about the foods I ate. Good carbs and less carbs.

That is true, Sue - I assumed from Dallas’ question that she didn’t change what she was eating because weight gain seemed to follow going on the pump.

To me, it is a given that if you don’t limit your carbs to the high fiber / lower GI type, you will need more insulin. I have seen people, however, go on the pump thinking that it meant they could eat anything they wanted and just “shoot up” for it. That will certainly put weight on you - but insulin itself can add weight to some through no fault of their own.