What insulin causes most weight gain?

Does anyone know which insulin causes more/easier weight gain? Would it be the long acting aka Lantis, and NPH/ intermediate acting, or something like nova log the fast acting?

Insulin has never made me gain weight and I have taken all of those.

Tina - Welcome to the forum.

I think you will find that Long Acting (Basal) insulin will cause you more weight gain. It is not the insulin, that is actually causing the gain but before taking insulin you were most likely not processing food properly and once you start on insulin your Blood Glucose starts coming under control and your body processes the food you eat better causing you to gain weight. This can all be managed for your particular case.

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The key is finding the combination of insulin and timing of injection, that matches your eating, activity and sleeping schedule. Also may be impacted by other T2 meds you take.

Sometimes even more challenging with T2 based on how insulin resistant you are, and when.

Have you discussed this with your doctor?

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I don’t think basal would cause weight gain, It would be the carbs and bolus.
If you find you are putting on weight, cut the carbs and that will reduce the bolus insulin. Insulin is a fat storing hormone.


Tina - as has already been mentioned it is not really the insulin per say but how your body is now processing the glucose. However there tends to be more snacking by some to prevent lows which adds to weight gain. Its also worth mentioning most “insulins” are analogs and not human insulin. The molecules are different and may react a little different person to person.

Whats more important is as a “T2” your pancreas is still producing some amount of insulin. Its when you eat you should be taking a rapid acting insulin to reduce the post meal spike asap. This will allow you to get back into a fasting BG range, reduce the heavy load on the pancreas and then your pancreas may be able to handle the fasting insulin requirements.

The best insulin for T2 meal time use is afrezza which is actually human insulin. It mimics pancreatic meal time insulin release. Because of its profile, the liver also gets back in sync turning off and on sugar release and as a result the chance of a hypo is very small especially when not taking other meds like metformin. Its available for $4 a day without insurance. http://www.insulinsavings.com

However, before even starting on any insulin or an antiglycemic for that matter you really should know what you 24/7 blood profile is and how certain foods impact your BG. For less than $200 you can get an Abbott Libre starter kit from Walmart. Most T2s after 3 month have a really good understanding of food BG impacts while using afrezza and really don’t need it longer than that. Two sensor which last almost a month run about $80.

Here is an article I saw yesterday on CGM use and BG profiling.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/31/blood-sugar-tracking-useful-for-more-than-diabetes-commentary.html - Its where things are going with the ADA Standard of Care but why wait? The tools are here today and for $4 a day and $40 a CGM sensor there is no reason to wait. It may take them 5 years to update the standard of care.

i take lantus and novo rapid
im not sure which one caused the weight gain
when i began them
i have to nearly starve to stop from
still gaining weight
its not a nice existence

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@foodhead I don’t believe what insulin actually matters. But are you a type 1 or a type 2?

Edit to add
@Cj114 I should have been clearer, there could be a difference between using long acting and fast acting. But I meant between brands in regards to weight gain.

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For me Lantus/Levemir caused huge problems both in terms of weight gain and night time lows so I gave up all long acting insulin and just dose with Humalog and now no longer have a problem with either weight gain or night time lows. For me the night time lows caused me to snack during sleep time to deal with them and then sleep so virtual lack of activity caused the weight gain. We are all different but for me long acting insulin was the invention of the devil.


Type 2

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@foodhead. I’m sure some others can offer some advice towards losing weight as a type 2 better as I am a type 1.

The only things that I can maybe help a little is since you are taking insulin, make sure you are not eating anything extra to equal up for the insulin you take. Any extra insulin will not help you with losing weight. Also exercise. It really helps as it forces the cells to take up glucose. Many use walking after they eat to help.

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There is plenty of apparently-good research on Pubmed, but the studies are generally comparisons between two specific brands or types, so you would need specific names, generic or proprietary. In the meantime,

Foodhead, have you tried a medicine like Victoza or Ozemic, the GLP-1 agonists? I feel the same as you and have the same weight gain problem. Victoza really helped me lose weight even though I was basically eating the same foods and same amounts, same exercise too. I wanted to cry when they had to take me off Victoza b/c of a pain around my pancreas/gallbladder.

But to answer the first question. I did not gain any weight on Levemir and Novolog (when I ate carbs) but I was having some allergic reaction to the Levemir and control could. have been better for my fasting, so my doc switched me to NPH. Well, in 10 days, I gained 4 pounds. I didn’t get better control either and it only lasted 8 hours, not 12. I went back to Levemir, I’ll put up with the little red itchy spots. My Endo and most literature says that Levemir has the best reputation for not causing weight gain but we are all different.

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