New Member
Total Posts: 11
Registered on: ‎05-27-2010

Symlin and weight loss

I am back on the symlin, and while it has curbed my hunger, my weight has actually gone up. I have been keeping track of my food- and eating between 100-130 grams of carb per day, and mild exercise, walking/jogging with my dog for 45 minutes the past week. Has anyone else had this happen? I thought Symlin was supposed to help you lose weight, not pack it on!
Valued Contributor
Total Posts: 906
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Symlin and weight loss

I'm not sure what to say. Yes, reportedly, Symlin is supposed to assist in weight loss. Perhaps something else has also changed? One thing you might want to do is to compare what you were eating before the Symlin to what you are eating now. Perhaps you've added food with a great deal more sodium and you are retaining fluids that you weren't before. You might also have increased the percentage of fat you consume on a daily basis (e.g. extra oilve oil on your salad, or an extra helping of cream cheese on your bagel at breakfast), which has increased your daily caloric intake while you've reduced the actual physical amount of food you're eating. Remember, gram for gram, fat has twice the number of calories (beween 9-10 calories/gram) than either protein or carbohydrate (around 4 calories/gram for each). If you've inadvertantly added more fat to the mix but have not increased the amount of activity to compensate for it (given nothing else has changed).....well, just like anyone else, diabetic or not, you're going to put on the pounds.

I encourage you to make a daily diet sheet and write down what you've eaten. BE HONEST. Don't exclude the bag of popcorn from the movie theater because, hey, it was a treat and I don't really want anyone to know about it because I don't want to deal with the scolding (shame on people for scolding an adult anyhow! ). Weigh and measure everything (and I do mean everything), use the labels on packages as a guide to how many calories and carbs you're eating, and if you're eating something without a label, use a service like CALORIE KING to determine calories, carbs, fats, protein, etc. Don't forget to add in your exercise regimen and try to be as accurate as you can with that, too. Write it down, add it up, then look at what's really going in to your body. You might be surprised. I know I was when I did this (thought I was eating around 1800 calories/day, but turned out it was closer to 1200-1300 -- big difference).

If that doesn't help you figure out what's going on, then I'd talk to your doctor. FWIW, I checked out the health care provider section of the symlin website to see whether there were any reports of edema (fluid retention) associated with symlin (there aren't). However, I did find something very interesting: Symlin does NOT lead to major weight loss (i.e. more than 10% of starting body weight). If you check out THIS PAGE, you'll see that for both type 1s and type 2s using Symlin, both groups lost only an average of just over 6 lbs. When you check out the prescribing information (pgs. 7-8), you'll see that both type 1 and type 2 patients lost only around 2% of their body weight over the course of 6 months. The people on the show The Biggest Loser do better than that in one week during their first few weeks on campus. So, if your endo prescribed Symlin to you as some sort of miracle drug that "magically" cause you to lose weight, perhaps s/he needs to read the prescribing information a little more closely and listen less to the drug rep's hype. Sadly, it's not as effective as it's been touted.

Hope this helps.

Long Lost Member
Total Posts: 40
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Symlin and weight loss

I agree - you have to write down EVERYTHING you eat to truly see what you're eating what you can change. Remember, 1lb is equal to 3500 calories. So, to lose/gain 1lb a week, you have to decrease/increase your daily caloric intake by 500 calories. Low cal, low fat, blah, blah, blah. It's purely mathmatical. Calories = energy. To lose weight you have expend more energy than you take in.

Last year, I lost 15 lbs with diet and exercise (and then diabetes took care of another 15 - haha!). I reccomend You can search and log the foods you ate, how much water you consumed and your exercise. It also tells you how many calories you burned while exercising. So, when you do have that tasty popcorn, you know how long you have to walk your dog to get rid of it!

I'm not familiar with Symlin, so I've got nothin' on that one. Sorry!

Good luck!
Long Lost Member
Total Posts: 3
Registered on: ‎11-19-2009

Symlin and weight loss

How long have you been on Symlin this time around? What dose are you currently at? If you are still in the accclimation phase where you are steadily increasing your doses than you need to give it time. If you are type 1 you should be working up to a 60mcg dose and if you are type 2 you should be working up to a 120mcg dose. Those are the #'s where you see the most benefits in weight loss, insulin sensitivity, etc.

I have been on a 60 mcg dose for about a month now and while I'm not certain I've lost any weight, I do know that it's appetite suppressant qualities are very strong. And the satieted feeling last for hours after eating. I am a type 1 and don't need to lose any weight so that could be why I haven't lost any yet. Plus it's still relatively early in the game for me.

I find it difficult to imagine anyone gaining weight while on Symlin... unless, as i mentioned earlier, you are still acclimating to your prescribed dose. Hang in there, you'll get the benefits soon.

p.s. Are you having many hypos? If so, how are you correcting for them? That could be the cause if you're taking extra carbs to correct for many lows.