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  • Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

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    Old 02-14-2009, 11:43 PM   #1
    catlover82
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    Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Hello,

    I'm a T1 diabetic, according to my doctors. I was diagnosed ten years ago at the age of 19. I've struggled with a weight problem all my life, with my weight primarily in my stomach area. I am currently 80 pounds overweight. For the past month and a half I've been following the weight watchers diet and I haven't been able to lose any weight. In fact, I've gained weight!!!

    I know my insulin resistance is quite high given the amount of insulin I have to take. I also exhibit almost every symptom of poly cystic ovarian syndrome, which is making me wonder if I really am type one. I was put on insulin pretty much right away, and no test was ever done to see which type I was. Given the fact that PCOS causes insulin resistance and type two diabetes and the fact that it's been pretty much impossible for me to lose weight, should I bring this up to my doctor? While my doctor is thorough in some respects, it's hard getting any course of treatment out of her. Her solution is to send me to a nutritionist, when a) I've already seen about 5 nutritionists in the past 10 years, and b) There's honestly nothing they can tell me that I don't already know. My caloric intake is well below what I'm burning in any given day and I'm gaining weight!

    On top of that, since I've been eating healthy and since my sugars have been 100% normal, I've been feeling awful, absolutely awful, and my weight seems to be going up. I thought at first it was because my blood sugar control was tighter, but it's been almost two month since I've had those under control (they've never once been out of the 4-6 range in the past 7 weeks), and I've modified my eating habits and am following a calorie restricted diet. The only time I feel half decent is when I eat the fattiest greasiest food I can find. I've "fallen off the wagon" twice in the past 6 weeks eating a pretty fatty meal and the day after each meal I felt amazing: 100% better than I have in the past two months.

    I apologize for the long, somewhat disorganized post, but I'm pretty much at the end of my rope, and wondering: has anyone else had this type of experience with weight loss? Was it related to the type of diabetes you had? Should I go see another doctor for a second opinion regarding my diabetes treatment and ask to be tested to find out if I really am type one? If I'm not, would if be possible to ditch the insulin (I've heard once you go on insulin you can't come off)? I've been reading up on metformin as a treatment for PCOS which, I truly believe will help with my insulin resistance and weight issue and help lower the amount of insulin I need to take, but I don't think my current doctor will even consider giving me a prescription. She might refer me to an endocrinologist if I push the issue, but it'll likely take months to get an appointment. And judging by the way I'm going, instead of having 80 pounds to lose, I'll have at least 100+ by the time any endocrinology appointment rolls around.

    I'd appreciate any input anyone has!!!

     
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    Old 02-15-2009, 02:07 PM   #2
    annejan
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    Re: Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Hi there. I agree very much with the information the previous member has posted. I also think it would be helpful if you shared what exactly it is that you're eating on a daily basis and what sort of exercise you might be engaging in. And what physical symptoms did you experience that led to your Type I diagnosis?

    Last edited by annejan; 02-15-2009 at 02:08 PM.

     
    Old 02-15-2009, 04:30 PM   #3
    sharon1030
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    Smile Re: Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Hi,

    If I were you, I'd want to get the tests done to see if I were really a T1 or a T2. I know one is a C-peptide that measures the amount of insulin your pancreas is producing. The names of the antibodies they can test for aren't in my brain right now, but I'm sure someone will come here soon and tell you about them.

    That's what I would do. I'd really want to know for sure, what type I am.

    There are T1s who have insulin resistance and PCOS and I've read about some who take metformin and do well on that. It's typically a T2 med, but some T1s so well with it. Maybe you can ask your doc about that, but the first thing I'd do, as I said, is to find out what type I am.

    Good luck and let us know how you do.

    Sharon

     
    Old 02-15-2009, 10:11 PM   #4
    catlover82
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    Re: Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Thanks for your responses, Uma_Anne and Sharon.

    My typical meal plan for any given day, Uma_Anne is usually:

    Breakfast:
    omelet made with egg beaters with about a table spoon of light cheese and/or
    1 cup high fibre cereal with 1/2 cup almond milk or 2 slices of low fat bread with 2 teaspoons of reduced calorie margarine
    Sometimes I'll have a small cup of motts unsweetened apple sauce
    1 cup Herbal caffeine-free tea with 2 teaspoons of splenda

    Lunch:
    Lean cuisine or salad with sliced chicken breast with italian dressing or 1 cup of tuna salad with green onion, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of fat free miracle whip (sometimes I'll add some reduced fat parmesan cheese)
    apple or a cup of berries (usually blueberries)

    Supper:
    Usually 4oz of skinless chicken breasts or pork chops or ground chicken/turkey
    1-2 cups of veggies (broccoli, onions, red or yellow peppers, green beans, etc...(I usually keep corn or peas to a 1/2 cup)
    Side dishes: small/medium potato (baked, roasted, mashed, boiled, etc...) or 1 cup sweet potato or 1/2-1 cup long grain rice. I'll usually add 2 teaspoons of reduced calorie margarine and/or some low fat sour cream.
    Sometimes I'll have a pasta dish like spaghetti made with ground chicken or turkey and a cup of high fibre pasta.

    Snacks:
    1 cup high fibre cereal with 1/2 cup almond milk
    1 cup berries
    1 banana

    SOMETIMES I'll treat myself to a nugget happy meal from mcdonalds with a side salad or a sub at subway (one of their subs under 6 grams of fat).

    That's pretty much what I will eat on any given day. I'm pretty much a creature of habit, but I've become almost obsessive with my calorie counting, so I tend to be eating the same sorts of foods, so what I've put above is pretty much all I'll ever eat these days. I have a pretty sensitive digestive system so I try to limit my dairy intake, which means I've completely cut out yoghurt and regular milk. A bit of sour cream or cheese here or there doesn't seem to bother me.

    My activity level includes a lot of walking at the moment, along with about 30 minutes of intense cardio/day and resistance training three times a week. My sugars are fantastic (they've been in the low 4 range when I wake up and between 5 and high 6 after meals). Curiously, i didn't take any rapid insulin this evening with supper (I had a cup of mashed potatos, and a piece of chicken with some green beans) and my sugar was 5.5 when I tested it about 3 hours later).

    I was pretty much diagnosed with diabetes by accident. My family doctor sent me for blood tests regarding my irregular menstrual cycles and happened to test my fasting glucose level, which was 11. I had had my blood sugars tested about a year prior and it was normal at that time, so the diabetes developed within that year. Anyway, since I was diagnosed by accident, I had no symptoms at all. When I was diagnosed I was put on diet and exercise for a month but my sugars were still a mess and weren't up to snuff the next month when I was put on metformin (500mg twice a day. My sugars at that point were staying between 8-10, which wasn't good enough for my family doc who said she wanted me 4-6 no exceptions), so I was put on insulin and immediately my sugars were under control, however, I had to take quite a lot of both my NPH and novorapid. The dosage has increased since then where I'm usually taking 30-35 units each meal and I take 30 units of NPH twice a day. The doctor who diagnosed me never said what type I was, it was only when I moved and acquired a new family doctor that I was officially told that it's LIKELY I'm type 1 and I've been referred to as T1 ever since.

    I have an appointment with one of the doctors at the university I attend tomorrow (it takes about 2+ weeks to get an appointment with my family doctor) for an ear infection so I'm going to bring up the test you suggested, Sharon. My family doctor mentioned the test a while ago but didn't really seem interested in sending me for one because she said if I needed insulin that quickly then I am indeed likely type one. I also found a good article in a medical journal regarding treating T1 diabetics with metformin to lower the amount of insulin they need to take. I'm going to bring this and get a "second opinion" on the matter because I'm suspicious that the amount of insulin I have to take is what's causing the weight gain/weight plateau.

    Again, thanks for your responses (and sorry for another long post!). I really appreciate it!

    Last edited by catlover82; 02-15-2009 at 10:12 PM. Reason: typo!

     
    Old 02-16-2009, 05:17 AM   #5
    itotito
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    Re: Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by catlover82 View Post
    I know my insulin resistance is quite high given the amount of insulin I have to take.
    I am not an expert on this, but you may want to do some research on it.

    I have read multiple times that insulin causes fat storage.

    There is a very credible link...wish I could post it ...that describes the vicious circle of fat causes insulin resistance, insulin resistance causes more insulin to be required and produced, which causes more fat storage which causes insulin resistance.....

    Your abdominal fat, known insulin resistance and large dose of insulin requirements all seem to line up with this theory


    Again, I am not an expert, but I am guessing you have to find a way to break that cycle.

    If you can time your carbs and excercise to require less insulin and let the excercise bring down the glucose levels ?

    Your calorie intake is very reasonable, especially with that cardio. You may want to look at your breakdown of carbs, protein and fat. I suspect you will find your fat is higher than you think, but I'm guessing, I didn't break down your menu in detail. I am always sceptical about the 'low fat' stuff. But what I see is a low amount of protein in there.

    Eggebeters (breakfast), sliced chicken breast (lunch), 4 oz chicken breast (dinner) is not a lot of protein. Maybe I'm too much of a meat eater :-)
    That means you are getting a lot from carbs (not good in your situation) or fat.

    A buddy of mine is a plastic surgeon and we discussed in the past how liposuction could help people with excess abdominal fat. He was all for this and even said it would cost our healthcare system less to do this than live with the consequence of obesity. I know some doctors would cringe at this, but it is something you may want to discuss.

    Maybe, I say maybe, it could be one way to break the cycle.

    Last edited by itotito; 02-16-2009 at 06:38 AM.

     
    Old 02-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #6
    gimpy1201
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    Re: Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by itotito View Post
    I am not an expert on this, but you may want to do some research on it.

    I have read multiple times that insulin causes fat storage.

    There is a very credible link...wish I could post it ...that describes the vicious circle of fat causes insulin resistance, insulin resistance causes more insulin to be required and produced, which causes more fat storage which causes insulin resistance.....

    Your abdominal fat, known insulin resistance and large dose of insulin requirements all seem to line up with this theory


    Again, I am not an expert, but I am guessing you have to find a way to break that cycle.

    If you can time your carbs and excercise to require less insulin and let the excercise bring down the glucose levels ?

    Your calorie intake is very reasonable, especially with that cardio. You may want to look at your breakdown of carbs, protein and fat. I suspect you will find your fat is higher than you think, but I'm guessing, I didn't break down your menu in detail. I am always sceptical about the 'low fat' stuff. But what I see is a low amount of protein in there.

    Eggebeters (breakfast), sliced chicken breast (lunch), 4 oz chicken breast (dinner) is not a lot of protein. Maybe I'm too much of a meat eater :-)
    That means you are getting a lot from carbs (not good in your situation) or fat.

    A buddy of mine is a plastic surgeon and we discussed in the past how liposuction could help people with excess abdominal fat. He was all for this and even said it would cost our healthcare system less to do this than live with the consequence of obesity. I know some doctors would cringe at this, but it is something you may want to discuss.

    Maybe, I say maybe, it could be one way to break the cycle.
    I have to agree that insuln causes fat storage. My Wife is about 60 lbs overweight in the stomach and hip area[Don't let her know I wrote this]. I have taken her bg after a meal and have been amazed at how quickly her bg is lowered to premeal #s. Diabetes does not run in her family. Her mother is the only one who has it and she got it at the age of 76 after being overweight by 100lbs for 40 years. I assume that they produce so much insulin that they convert carbs to fat very efficiently and that is why they gain weight. I know my wife doesn't eat alot of food it just seems her body converts it to fat easily.

     
    Old 02-16-2009, 08:13 PM   #7
    catlover82
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    Re: Diabetes and Weight Loss...please help!

    Well, I had my appointment with the doctor on campus today and I can't believe it but she actually listened to me. She said that metformin is a great option for me especially since I'm displaying all the symptoms of PCOS and my insulin resistance is quite high. She was also quite surprised I haven't been seeing an endocrinologist. She asked me who my endo was and when I said I didn't have one she gave me a "seriously?" look, lol. So I'm going to get a referral from here, which I don't mind because she seems to be interested in getting to the root of why I'm not losing weight, and why I'm taking so much insulin.

    Thank you for all your suggestions. I'm going to look at my fat content and try and add a bit more protein into my diet. Protein keeps me full and I eat less when I do eat some (which is why I try to eat some protein at breakfast). I've been focusing on calories and not so much on fat or even carb levels.

    I actually feel like there's some hope of losing some of the extra weight now

     
    Old 02-17-2009, 04:11 PM   #8
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    Hi,

    That's good news. I'm glad you'll be seeing an endo. Good luck and keep us posted.

    Sharon

     
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