My insulin injections made me fatter!

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Why my insulin injections and insulin resistance make me gain weight


image of injection kit
image of injection kit

Another part of the curse of being a Type 2 diabetic is that the treatment for my diabetes made me gain weight and gaining weight was hurting me.  It’s a vicious cycle.  My blood glucose levels go up, my doc prescribes more insulin to be injected, I gain weight and my blood glucose goes up more, so I need more and more insulin to force my blood glucose levels down.  As a diabetic, we find out that much of the standard treatment for our disease actually makes it worse instead of better.

In my research on insulin resistance and insulin and studying Dr. Jason Fung’s articles and videos, I’ve learned that insulin injections are not what my body needs to get better.  I was taking 182 units of insulin daily to keep my blood glucose numbers within a decent range.  But then I began intermittent fasting to lose weight and improve my health, I gradually reduced my insulin injections and within 2 weeks, I was off all my insulin injections and my average blood glucose level was 145.  My Intermittent fasting was like doing bariatric surgery to my body.  But it was bariatric surgery without a knife.  Bariatric Surgery is surgery enforced fasting according to Dr. Fung.

When I slacked off my fasting, I noticed my blood glucose began to rise again and once again I need to add insulin injections.  My average blood glucose reading went up also. So its back to steady IF to get back to where I was.  Dr. Fung says this all about insulin resistance.

I’m continuing practicing IF to cure my insulin resistance so I will no longer need insulin injections at all again.  I know it will be a long process but will be worth it. I’ve learned that a “tell” for my insulin resistance is my morning fasting glucose level.  Right now it’s still pretty high so I do inject insulin in the morning.  Later in the day as I continue to fast my blood glucose level comes down significantly.

My new numbers from my doctor’s appt yesterday

I had an appointment yesterday with my general physician who is also handling my diabetes right now.  I did labs right before the appointment, so I’ll get those results back soon.  But my weight was 230 by his scale and my BMI was 38.8.  In 2015, I had a BMI of over 41.

My blood pressure was 111/73 which is great.

We talked about my high morning BGLs and he wants me to up my dose of long-term Lantus at bedtime from 10 units to 20 units and see if that will bring my morning numbers down.

Below are my numbers from 3 different appointments with my general physician – 9/12/16 (before IF), 1/9/17 and 4/13/17 (after IF).  I do not have lipid panel info from yesterday’s appt.  I go back to the doc in July.

 Vitals: 9/12/2016 1/9/2017 4/13/2017
Blood Pressure 128/7-0 123/77 111/73
Pulse 79.00 81.00 84
Temperature
Respiration 20.00 20.00 20
Weight 260.00 239.00 230
Height 65 in 65 in 65 in
BMI 43.46 39.77 38.41
BSA 2.33 2.23 2.19
 BLOOD WORK 9/12/2016 1/9/2017 4/13/2017
Description Results Results
Hemoglobin A1c 7.10 6.90 8.2
Est Avg /glucose A1c 157.00 151.00 189
TSH 1.51 0.00
CHOLESTEROL 186.00 92.00
Triglyceride 231.00 135.00
HDL 40.00 32.00
LDL Calculated 100.00 33.00
non-HDL Choles 146.00 60.00
Soldium 141.00 137.00 140
Potassium 4.40 4.20 4.6
Chloride 103.00 97.00 105
CO2 24.00 22.00 22
Calcium 10.50 10.50 10.9
Bun 16.00 12.00 20
Creatinine 0.47 0.62 0.72
Glucose 97.00 155.00 217
Protein 7.40 7.70 7.5
Albumin 4.00 4.20 4.3
Bilirubin 0.20 0.50 0.2
ALK Phosatate 136.00 109.00 126
AST 17.00 18.00 13
ALT 19.00 13.00 10
WBC 9
RBC 3.71
Hemaglobin 12.9
Hemacrit 39
MCV 105.1
MCH 34.8
MCHC 33.1
RWD 13.4
RDW-STDEV 50.1
Platelets 638
MPV 9
Neutrophils 1%
Lymphocytes 15%
Monocytes 7%
Eosinophils 1%
Basophils 0%
IMMATURE GRANULOCYTES 0
NEUTROPHIL ABSOLUTE 6.9
LYMPHOCYTE ABSOLUTE 1.31
MONOCYTE ABSOLUTE 0.61
EOSINOPHIL ABSOLUTE 0.1
BASOPHILS ABSOLUTE 0.04
IMMATURE GRANULOCYTES ABSOLUTE 0.03
MICROALBUMIN, URINE <1.2 mg/dL
MICROALBUMIN/CREAT RATIO, UR <20.0 mg/g Creatinine
CREATININE, URINE 60.0 mg/dL

 

What is Insulin Resistance?

What exactly is insulin resistance? One of insulin’s jobs is to help move glucose from the blood into the cells for energy. When blood glucose remains elevated despite normal or high levels of insulin, this is called insulin resistance. The cells are resisting insulin’s pleas to take up glucose.  (Text from Dr. Jason Fung, see his great explanation in the resources below).

In Type 2 diabetics who inject insulin (like myself), the more insulin that is injected, the more resistant the cells become – requiring more and more insulin injected – a vicious cycle which has made it very hard for me to lose weight.

Resources about Insulin Resistance/Obesity

What Exactly is Insulin Resistance?

Insulin Resistance Protects Against Insulin

Intensive Dietary Management (Dr. Fung’s Progam)

Video Resources

The Aetiology of Obesity – Part 1 (Dr. Jason Fung)This introductory lecture discusses underlying causes of obesity. Commonly held myths are exposed and new truths are uncovered in the quest to understand obesity.

The New Science of Diabetes – Part 2 (Dr. Jason Fung)The importance of insulin resistance in obesity and how hormonal obesity theory explains the epidemiology of obesity, and the new science of diabesity

Trial by Diet – Part 3 (Dr. Jason Fung)Recent dietary trials are reviewed and how the Atkins diet fell short. Why unbiased nutritional information is so hard to find.

The Fast Solution – Part 4 (Dr. Jason Fung)This lecture examines how the rising consumption of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates, have lead to dramatic increases in obesity and diabetes.  Also, we discuss how the time-honoured tradition of fasting can help reverse many of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

The Phantom Menace – Part 5 (Dr. Jason Fung)The link between diet and disease is discussed in this lecture. We explore how diet causes heart disease, obesity, diabetes, stroke and cancer amongst other diseases and the implications for treatment.

Dietary Villians, Fat Phobia – Part 6 (Dr. Jason Fung)In this 6th part of the series, we discuss dietary fat, cholesterol and health. We discuss how we became so fat phobic and its implications for health, the scare about saturated fat and how vegetable oils are toxic.

Dietary Villians, Salt Scare – (Dr. Jason Fung)An in-depth look at the controversy surrounding the low salt diet and whether salt reduction is beneficial leading to the surprising conclusion that salt is not nearly the dietary villain we all believed.

Image of a woman holding loose jeans out
Image of a woman holding loose jeans out

Summary:

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how Intermittent Fasting is improving my health and my diabetes.  I’ve lost 30 pounds, lowered my blood pressure, reduced my insulin injections greatly and reduced lots of my inflammation and pain from fibromyalgia.   Of course I would like to have more self-control so I could do the longer fasts, but my goals are being reached, even if slowly.  But then, I messed my health up over many years, it will take more time to fix it.

Comments

Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below.  In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes.  Please share your interests and questions in your comments.  I also love to hear others stories about how they handle their own diabetes issues.  I will be sending out a monthly newsletter starting in May 2017.  If you would like to receive that email newsletter, you can sign up here.

– Shirley

 

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2 thoughts on “My insulin injections made me fatter!

  1. Hi Shirley, thank you so much for sharing this. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes but I am not insulin dependent. I seem to be able to cope with careful dietary management. I was shocked when I read that you were taking 182 shots PER DAY!! What is wonderful news is the 30 pounds that you lost with the Intermittent Fasting. That is excellent and more victories to you.

    All the best,

    Brian

    1. Brian, sorry you are type 2 also, but glad you have it under control without insulin. I highly recommend Dr. Fung’s methods, especially if you are a newer diabetic. His protocols have allowed many of his diabetic patients to “cure” (get rid of all signs) of their type 2 diabetes and cure the insulin resistance he thinks causes our problems. Its going to take me a while to get rid of my insulin resistance since I’ve been diabetic for years. Thank you for reading this article and your comment. best wishes. – Shirley

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