Myth vs. Fact: Weight Gain

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One concern patients sometimes ask about before starting insulin pump therapy is weight gain. A common myth exists that going on a pump causes one to gain weight. While it is just a myth and using an insulin pump does not cause weight gain, many people taking insulin do gain weight. The question is, why?

Potential Causes of Weight Gain Associated with Diabetes Management, Including Insulin
  • Resolution of glycosuria (glucose in the urine): Before diagnosis and those who are not in optimal glucose control, lose calories by spilling glucose in their urine. This occurs when the glucose level gets above 180-200 mg/dL. With better glucose control, this stops and all the calories eaten stay in the body where the excess are stored as fat. Since insulin pump therapy improves glucose control (which is a good thing), glucose (and therefore calories) are no longer lost in the urine and overeating leads to weight gain – just like it does in someone without diabetes.
  • Treating hypoglycemia: If you have an episode of hypoglycemia, you take glucose to correct it. If you have a lot of hypoglycemia, or take more glucose than is actually needed, you can end up ingesting an excess of calories that can cause weight gain. Insulin pump therapy should actually help this.
  • “Defensive eating” because of the fear of hypoglycemia: Some people are so concerned about hypoglycemia that they eat a “little extra” as a preventive measure. This can add extra calories that will add extra pounds.
Avoiding Weight Gain While on Insulin

Controlling weight gain when on insulin likely requires some lifestyle changes. Here are a few Dos and Don’ts to help you stay on track.

  • Do be sure you understand your nutrition plan. Meet with a Dietitian. Remember you need a team to succeed made up of your health care provider, your diabetes educator, your Dietitian, and your family and friends.
  • Do follow your nutrition plan. Be sure you understand what to eat and how much to eat for your meals and snacks.
  • Do exercise regularly.
  • Don’t skip meals, particularly breakfast.
  • Don’t over-treat for hypos or overeat in an attempt to avoid lows.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems

- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.

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