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Frequent Visitor
vickiec
Total Posts: 3
Registered on: ‎11-17-2011

lantus and weight gain

I've been on lantus for about a year now and started at a really nice low dose 15 units.  Over the last 6 weeks i have doubled my dose to 30 units, and have relized that i am gaining weight in the area of the injections stomach and thighs.  Anyone had this problem,  iwas reading some stuff on line saying that this is a common problem.

Frequent Advisor
harleydeuce
Total Posts: 206
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: lantus and weight gain

It's been said many times over and over that insulin does not make one gain weight.  Now with the injection sites if they aren't rotated on a regular basis you will build up a fatty type deposit in that are think of it like scar tissue. When you get these areas and you keep using them the absorbtion is going to end up slowing down which could throw off numbers and lead to using more insulin that would normaly be needed. As far as weight gain, typically type 1's lose weight before diagnosis. Mostly water weight but then as blood sugars return to normal and things get back on track. So if you have been using lantus for only a year this may be what is occuring.

 

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sunritef
Total Posts: 2,568
Registered on: ‎11-30-2009

Re: lantus and weight gain

I'm going to agree with Harley. Weight gain in one area only is unusal.  It is the same as when people try to spot lose.   The only thing I'd like to add is what else may have changed over the last 6 weeks.  Are you eating any different.  Seasonal changes can bring insulin changes and eating habit changes.



You go to school to learn, not for a report card.
You use your meter to learn, not for a report card

Type 1 (LADA).. Novolog/Levemir

Adult onset T1
Frequent Advisor
t1wayne
Total Posts: 1,036
Registered on: ‎10-30-2011

Re: lantus and weight gain

Weight gain IS one of the effects of insulin in Type 1's; not a "side effect", but a primary effect,  T1's suffer from an immune system failure wherein one's own immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (the "islets of Langerhans").  As a result, the body has no insulin, and cannot metabolise the food one eats.  This is why sudden and sometimes rapid weight loss is a symptom of T1 diabetes.  The introduction of insulin by injection overcomes the problem, the body can metabolise food again, and this allows the body to accomplish 2 goals: produce the energy needed to function, and store any "excess" food as fat.  You reference using Lantus for a year; is that your entire time frame as a diabetic, or were you using something else prior to Lantus?  If you are new to diabetes, you may simply be seeing the reversal of the trend started prior to diagnosis.  If you've been on another type of insulin, it may be that the Lantus is simply more effective.  In either event, doubling your dose would allow you to increase your caloric consumption, and that "extra" will be converted to, and stored as, fatty tissue.  You may want to try reducing both your caloric intake and the dose of insulin - but consult your physician first!!

 

As for scar tissue at the injection sites - this can be a real problem, but it does not appear as an overall weight gain.  It manifests as thick, insensitive patches at the injection site.  As noted by a previous poster, rotating the sites more will help if this is the issue.  You've identified four sites; I use a rotation of eight, and take 2 shots per day.  Thus, no site is used more than twice a week, some only once (and those vary by week).  I've been at it for 45 years, and have only minor injection site scar tissue - but then, I may just be lucky.

 

Good Luck to you!

w.

Wayne T1 May 1966
MDI; 46u Lantus Basal
Super Advisor
Pam01
Total Posts: 2,207
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: lantus and weight gain

Wayne -  you make a good point. I think too often I am  quick to jump on the people who are "blaming" insulin for their weight gain, without the full explanation of why this might be happening.It is not the same correlation as, say, a side effect of metformin might be gas...it means the insulin is doing it's job.  It does seem that people think of weight gain as a side effect, as if stopping insulin is an option that will eliminate the weight gain.

Pam

Diagnosed Type 1 at age 16 months, over 45 years now
Minimed pump and cgm since July '09. Metformin (insulin resistance), levothyroxine(thyroid), losartan (BP)

I have traveled cross country, and to Canada, UK, Kenya, Mexico, Jamaica, Equador/Galapagos islands, and lived in Egypt for a year.
Frequent Advisor
harleydeuce
Total Posts: 206
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: lantus and weight gain

SInce insulin makes you gain weight then I would like to know the calories or carbs or fat in insulin so I can figure this into my diet.  Again insulin alone does not cause weight gain.

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t1wayne
Total Posts: 1,036
Registered on: ‎10-30-2011

Re: lantus and weight gain

Dear Harleydeuce:  The "calories, carbs or fat in insulin" have nothing to do with insulin allowing weight gain.  Although, if ingested, insulin does provide protein, as it is a protein based substance.  But ingesting insulin doesn't provide the benefit needed; that's why it is injected.  Please re-read my original post: insulin acts to allow the body to metabolise the food one eats.  Without insulin, metabolism is incomplete, which is why Type 1's LOSE weight after they "turn" (into diabetics).  As I noted, the metabolism of food means the body is utilising it - for energy, first and foremost, or to store as fat for later use in lean times, second, and for growth.  Without insulin, weight cannot be gained; as a matter of fact, removing any of the legs of the metabolic process will cause food to go unutilised, and the body will consume its fat reserves, and ultimately muscle if the process is not righted.  The introduction of injected insulin "rights" the system in T1's, and allows for the utilisation of food for energy AND storage as fat, and growth in bones and muscle.  The "trick" is achieving the correct balance of insulin, food and activity.  In adult T1's, that balance does NOT include growth; in juvenile T1's, it DOES, and must be taken into account.  You are correct that "insulin alone does not cause weight gain", but that was NOT my statement.  As a matter of fact, insulin alone will kill you - or anyone - because without food in the system, the body will experience a blood glucose lowering below a survivable level.  The point of my original post was that with insulin, the body can again gain weight based upon caloric intake; if insulin intake is higher than needed for the energy expended, more calories will need to be consumed in order to offset the insulin, and that will result in weight gain in an adult T1.  In a juvenile T1, growth and also weight gain will occur.  I hope this clarifies my prior post.

Wayne T1 May 1966
MDI; 46u Lantus Basal
Frequent Advisor
sunritef
Total Posts: 2,568
Registered on: ‎11-30-2009

Re: lantus and weight gain

But T1s shouldn't be using their Lantus to cover their food.  T1s, like non diabetics, need to strike the correct balance.  Too much insulin from too much food,, get heavier...  A non diabetic person eats too much, creates extra insulin gets fat... The problem is eating too much... for whatever reason. 

 

If you only look at part of the equation, you can make it sound like anything... Insulin extends life, Insulin builds muscles, insulin protects your eyesight,  insulin puts on weight...  but nothing in a vacuum... 

 

Example 2... Harley eats more carbs and calories than most people, diabetic or not.  He is in good control.  Therefore, high carb, high calorie diets are good for diabtic control and staying in shape.

 

The vast majority, if not all, of the regulars that are giving advice on this board understand how insulin interacts with the body.  We give advice that is pertinent to the person requesting help.  Based on what I've read in this post, the majority of the people giving advice are reading the OPs concerns about gaining too much weight and not on wasting away for lack of nutrition.  The people asking for help will learn more details over time as they hang around.  Till then, I and many others will try and give them an understanding of what is needed to keep them healthy or get them healthier.. . That is where the posters are saying it is not the Lantus that is putting on the weight but the food.



You go to school to learn, not for a report card.
You use your meter to learn, not for a report card

Type 1 (LADA).. Novolog/Levemir

Adult onset T1
trisha01
Total Posts: 6,354
Topics: 307
High Fives: 674
Blog Posts: 62
Solutions: 72
Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: lantus and weight gain

[ Edited ]

sunritef wrote:

But T1s shouldn't be using their Lantus to cover their food.  T1s, like non diabetics, need to strike the correct balance.  Too much insulin from too much food,, get heavier...  A non diabetic person eats too much, creates extra insulin gets fat... The problem is eating too much... for whatever reason. 

 

If you only look at part of the equation, you can make it sound like anything... Insulin extends life, Insulin builds muscles, insulin protects your eyesight,  insulin puts on weight...  but nothing in a vacuum... 

 

Example 2... Harley eats more carbs and calories than most people, diabetic or not.  He is in good control.  Therefore, high carb, high calorie diets are good for diabtic control and staying in shape.

 

The vast majority, if not all, of the regulars that are giving advice on this board understand how insulin interacts with the body.  We give advice that is pertinent to the person requesting help.  Based on what I've read in this post, the majority of the people giving advice are reading the OPs concerns about gaining too much weight and not on wasting away for lack of nutrition.  The people asking for help will learn more details over time as they hang around.  Till then, I and many others will try and give them an understanding of what is needed to keep them healthy or get them healthier.. . That is where the posters are saying it is not the Lantus that is putting on the weight but the food.


 

+1. Excellent post, Sunrite!

 

 

Trisha

 




Trisha

IDDM (Type 1 Autoimmune) 30+ years ~ Currently using MDI & Minimed CGM ~
Check out my diabetes blog!

  All brittle means, is that one has great fluctuations, which is pretty much hallmark for Type 1's. Some more so than others. - me
  First light brings a new day, new hope, new wisdom, and a chance to start fresh again. - me

If everyone were dealt the same amount of cards, there would be no challenges in life. Challenges are part of life's lessons, to teach us to grow in all aspects, and to learn what we need to learn, to make it in this world. Life was not meant to be fair. -me



~ New Type 1 Info ~ Insulin, Test Strips, Lancets, and other meds ~ Kidney Damage Info ~


Frequent Advisor
t1wayne
Total Posts: 1,036
Registered on: ‎10-30-2011

Re: lantus and weight gain

Sunritef suggested, "T1s shouldn't be using their Lantus to cover their food..."  I agree, to a point.  My initial response was based upon the OP's comment that they had DOUBLED their insulin dose, and were gaining weight.  I suspect that the OP is also eating more... hence the weight gain.  And I believe the OP would benefit from a better understanding of the function of insulin in the metabolic process; the understanding of the "vast majority" of the advisors here has nothing to do with the OP's understanding; as a matter of fact, the OP's question was clearly seeking an understanding of the process of weight gain.  In any event, I apologise to all who were affronted by my response, though, I stand by my description of the science behind the metabolic process; it does not constitute "only look[ing] at part of the equation".  To the OP: take the time to learn the diabetic's triad behind the metabolic process: diet, activity, and insulin.  It is a three-legged stool, wherein the shortening or lengthening of one leg at the expense of the others will drop the person seated thereon to the floor.  It's all about balance.  Your baseline insulin dosage should be set to maintain proper weight with the activity level you engage in; this will require a consistent amount of caloric intake.  If you were to then reduce your activity level, you should reduce your caloric intake and baseline insulin dosage. OTOH, if you increase your activity level, you'll need to increase your caloric intake and insulin.   This is a delicate balance, and if you are new to diabetes, one which should be undertaken with a physician's advice.  Best of Luck!  w.

Wayne T1 May 1966
MDI; 46u Lantus Basal