diabetestalk.net

Is Insulin Making Me Fat?

Insulin – Too Much Makes You Fat

Insulin – Too Much Makes You Fat

Insulin – a hormone produced in the pancreas regulates the amount of sugar in the blood. In diabetics, the pancreas produces no insulin at all, too little, or it is defective. Only about 10% of the people with diabetes are Type I where their bodies do not produce insulin. The majority of the diabetic population produce too little or the system is defective. The major function of this hormone is to distribute the broken down food (glucose) to leave the bloodstream and enter the cells of the body for energy. Obesity is the excess accumulation of fat. The excess fat is stored in the fat cells (adipose cells), which, collectively make up the adipose tissue. So, how does this fat get into the fat cells? The answer is Insulin. It’s well known that insulin stimulates an enzyme on the surface of the fat cells that moves the fat into the cell. So, if you produce a lot of insulin, there is going to be large amounts of fats moving into the fat cells. People always ask about the fat in their diet. You would assume a lot of fat in your diet would increase your fat storage. That is not the case. Take a look at Type I diabetics. They can have large amounts of fat in their diet and eat ravenously but cannot store fat because their bodies don’t produce insulin. So, dietary fat, even in enormous amounts, won’t even find the way to the fat cells without insulin. The opposite holds true for a low amount of insulin. With it low, insulin’s sibling, glucagon, plays a role in retrieving energy from the fat cells for usage. Problems arise when this system becomes defective, which most commonly happens when people develop insulin resistance. Insulin talks, but the cells don’t listen. In other words, the pancreas keeps producing insulin and the blood levels continue to rise until the Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance And Weight Gain

Insulin Resistance And Weight Gain

Hormones are powerful and you should not take them lightly. Several hormones may either speed-up or impede your weight loss success. Insulin is one such hormone. Resistance to insulin causes diabetes and weight gain. Escaping insulin resistance can give you control over your blood sugar and your weight too! What is Insulin? But, what is insulin? What does it do? Insulin is a hormone released by your pancreas - an organ in your abdomen. When you eat, your body senses that and signals your pancreas to release insulin. Your body releases insulin in response to glucose, amino acids and fats in your meals (1-3). But, its secretion is highest when you eat sugary foods. What Does Insulin Do? After its release, insulin assists the entry of glucose from your food into your body cells. Think of insulin as a key that unlocks the door for glucose to enter into your body cells. When your system gets loaded with glucose, it causes a shift in your metabolism. It slows down the breakdown of fat. More importantly, it starts the synthesis of new fat. Insulin redirects excess glucose into fat cells and triggers ‘adipogenesis’- synthesis of fat (4-7). No wonder sugary stuff is so fattening! Insulin Sensitivity vs. Insulin Resistance Insulin sensitivity is the term for how your body responds to insulin. If your body is ‘sensitive’ to insulin, it means everything is on the right track. The key is turning the locks just fine and there is no need to worry. But, things become different when ‘resistance’ replaces ‘sensitivity’. When you become resistant to insulin, it means the key is not turning the locks the way it is supposed to. Glucose is not entering into the cells and fat synthesis is on the rise (8). Insulin Resistance - Cause or Consequence? The link between insulin resi Continue reading >>

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

How Insulin Really Works: It Causes Fat Storage…but Doesn’t Make You Fat

Many people believe that insulin is to blame for the obesity epidemic. When you understand how it actually works, you’ll know why this is a lie. Insulin has been taking quite a beating these days. If we’re to listen to some “experts,” it’s an evil hormone whose sole goal is making us fat, type 2 diabetics. Furthermore, we’re told that carbohydrates also are in on the conspiracy. By eating carbs, we open the insulin floodgates and wreak havoc in our bodies. How true are these claims, though? Does it really make sense that our bodies would come with an insidious mechanism to punish carbohydrate intake? Let’s find out. What is Insulin, Anyway? Insulin is a hormone, which means it’s a substance the body produces to affect the functions of organs or tissues, and it’s made and released into the blood by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is a very important one: when you eat food, it’s broken down into basic nutrients (protein breaks down into amino acids; dietary fats into fatty acids; and carbohydrates into glucose), which make their way into the bloodstream. These nutrients must then be moved from the blood into muscle and fat cells for use or storage, and that’s where insulin comes into play: it helps shuttle the nutrients into cells by “telling” the cells to open up and absorb them. So, whenever you eat food, your pancreas releases insulin into the blood. As the nutrients are slowly absorbed into cells, insulin levels drop, until finally all the nutrients are absorbed, and insulin levels then remain steady at a low, “baseline” level. This cycle occurs every time you eat food: amino acids, fatty acids, and/or glucose find their way into your blood, and they’re joined by additional insulin, which ushers them into cells. Once the job is done, insu Continue reading >>

Does Your Medicine Make You Gain Weight?

Does Your Medicine Make You Gain Weight?

Diabetes medications are effective at lowering blood glucose, but they also can cause you to gain weight. "Weight gain is a frequent yet unrevealed side effect of insulin and a few other categories of blood glucose lowering medicines," says Marty Irons, R.Ph., CDE, a clinical community pharmacist in Vermont and member of the Diabetic Living editorial advisory board. Irons says weight gain doesn't have to be permanent, and your health-care provider should help you balance blood glucose control with your weight. Avoid extra pounds caused by medication with these easy-to-follow tips: How to Prevent Medication-Related Weight Gain If you're prescribed a diabetes medication that may cause weight gain, here's how to avoid this unwanted side effect: Speak up and ask questions. Ask your health-care provider why you need a particular medication that may cause you to gain weight instead of one that may promote weight loss. "Primary-care providers can be slow to adopt newer medications and often rely on tried-and-true fixes," says Marty Irons, R.Ph., CDE. Ask for help and a plan. "Work with an educator to develop a plan to nip weight gain in the bud and get the support you need along the way," says Jennifer Okemah, R.D., BC-ADM. Reduce calorie intake. Avoid weight gain by making small changes. Use measuring tools to get the right portion sizes, and lighten up on salad dressing, mayonnaise, and margarine to save calories. Adjust calorie intake as needed. Burn more calories. Increase physical activity to help burn more calories. Create a calorie deficit of at least 500 calories per day, suggests Anne Daly, R.D., BC-ADM, CDE. Get moving at least 30 minutes on most days. Don't overtreat lows. Eating too much to treat hypoglycemia can raise blood glucose too high and add excess calories Continue reading >>

Are Your Weight Issues Tied To Insulin Resistance?

Are Your Weight Issues Tied To Insulin Resistance?

Frequently, a new client will walk into my office knowing he or she needs to lose weight, get in shape and improve their health. Perhaps they feel sluggish and are hungry a good part of the day, and nothing they do makes a difference. Multiple diet regimes, exercise programs, lose-weight-quick gimmicks — they’ve tried them all and are just fed up. With no visible results, many are still searching for the root of the problem, which could actually be insulin resistance. Not until the last 10 years did many health care professionals really understand what it is and its impact on the body. It affects metabolism, hunger levels and zeal for life, and if untreated, can turn into diabetes. A Key That Won’t Turn Simply put, insulin is the key that unlocks the cell for sugar to get in, which in turn enables your body to use the food you consume. However, somewhere along the line, the key either gets stuck or has difficulty getting into the lock. Or, if it does get in, it can’t turn the lock, hence the term “resistant.” If your body develops a resistance to insulin, you are not able to utilize the food you take in, which can increase your fatigue and your cravings for ever-increasing amounts of carbohydrates. Why is this a problem? Well, if your insulin is not working properly, it sets up a cascade of effects which are not in your favor. This includes the ability to store fat more easily, as well as increases in blood pressure and cholesterol or triglycerides, which can lead to fatty liver. Lifestyle or Lifelong? Is insulin resistance a lifestyle issue? The answer is yes, but ... Insulin resistance is associated with a sedentary lifestyle — a diet high in processed carbohydrates and calories beyond one’s metabolism — but it can be present at birth. Research now s Continue reading >>

Why Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain?

Why Does Insulin Resistance Cause Weight Gain?

Why does insulin resistance cause weight gain? People with insulin resistance often make too much insulin in response to eating. They may also produce too much insulin in order to maintain normal blood sugar (blood glucose) levels. The body cannot excrete excess insulin made by the pancreas; excess insulin is stored as fat in the body. This is just one of the reasons why people with insulin resistance gain weight more easily than those who are not insulin resistant. A simpler explanation is this: Insulin is a fat storing hormone – it triggers the body to store more fat; Insulin itself can be stored as body fat; and People with insulin resistance often make too much insulin. Many People With Insulin Resistance Can Eat Normal Amounts of Food and Still Gain Weight Insulin is a Fat Storing Hormone – It Signals the Body to Store Energy as Fat The body requires more insulin to metabolize (use as energy) carbohydrates than it does fat and protein. A low-calorie diet that is high in carbohydrates and unhealthy fats can trigger the pancreas to make too much insulin. People with insulin resistance can consume a normal amount of calories, but if calories are from foods that trigger too much insulin production, they can still gain weight from the excess insulin which is stored as fat. Excess insulin can also make you feel hungrier and signal the body to store more calories as fat. One way to lose weight is to reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat and to only eat low-glycemic carbohydrates. Avoiding “fast acting” carbohydrate foods (foods that are high in refined flour and sugar) also can reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to manufacture. Fast acting foods include candy, juice, soda, and foods that contain sugar, corn syrup, and highly-processed starches usual Continue reading >>

Is It Time To Stop Blaming Insulin For “fat Storage”?

Is It Time To Stop Blaming Insulin For “fat Storage”?

Crack open any physiology textbook and chances are you’ll learn that after eating any normal meal, the release of insulin from the pancreas then signals the shutdown of the release of fatty acids from adipose (body fat) tissue and the increase of fatty acid uptake. Because of this well-known role of insulin, one of the more puzzling explanations offered by some – including a few respected scientists and medical professionals — for weight gain is that elevated insulin is to blame because of its involvement in “fat storage”. In addition, they argue that the reason why a diet lower in carbohydrates works for weight loss is because of reduced levels of the peptide hormone. It’s an easy conclusion to make. The logic goes that carbohydrates through their stimulation of insulin are fattening beyond their contribution of energy as kilocalories. It doesn’t matter how much you eat, so long as you avoid carbs to lose weight. Another growing belief floating mainly around fitness circles is that it’s best to forego foods containing carbs when heading to the gym. It’s for fear that the carbs’ action on insulin will squash fat burning stimulated by exercise. Then again, some low-carb proponents have also argued, physical activity as a means to expend energy for weight management is pointless altogether. Again, carbs are really all that matter because of their action on insulin. Where does all the extra energy from excess protein and fat go when overconsumed? And what about protein’s own effects in stimulating insulin or insulin’s role in promoting satiety? These questions are often overlooked or not easily answered by those that promote the “insulin is a fat storage hormone” proposition. Out to help repair insulin’s reputation is obesity researcher Stepha Continue reading >>

Should I Worry About Weight Gain With Insulin?

Should I Worry About Weight Gain With Insulin?

I am almost 20 years old, have had type 1 diabetes for eight years, and use insulin glargine (Lantus). Should I try to lower the need for insulin to prevent weight gain? I haven't been gaining weight, but I am concerned that I'll get into a cycle of increased insulin dosages and weight gain. Continue reading >>

How Sugar Makes You Fat

How Sugar Makes You Fat

Look at how many grams of sugar are in what you’re eating (on the nutritional label). Now divide that number by 4. That’s how many teaspoons of pure sugar you’re consuming. Kinda scary, huh? Sugar makes you fat and fatfree food isn’t really free of fat. I’ve said it before in multiple articles, but occasionally, I’ve had someone lean over my desk and say “How in the heck does sugar make you fat if there’s no fat in it?”. This article will answer that puzzler, and provide you with some helpful suggestions to achieve not only weight loss success, but improved body health. First, let’s make some qualifications. Sugar isn’t inherently evil. Your body uses sugar to survive, and burns sugar to provide you with the energy necessary for life. Many truly healthy foods are actually broken down to sugar in the body – through the conversion of long and complex sugars called polysaccharides into short and simple sugars called monosaccharides, such as glucose. In additions to the breakdown products of fat and protein, glucose is a great energy source for your body. However, there are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem, and it involves a very simple concept. Anytime you have filled your body with more fuel than it actually needs (and this is very easy to do when eating foods with high sugar content), your liver’s sugar storage capacity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fatty acids (that’s right – fat!) and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored (that’s right – as fat!) wherever you tend to store adipose fat cells, including, but not limited to, the popular regions of the stomach, hips, but Continue reading >>

Why Did I Gain Weight When I Started Taking Insulin?

Why Did I Gain Weight When I Started Taking Insulin?

There are several factors at work to lead you to believe that insulin is "to blame" for your weight gain. People who have poorly controlled diabetes also sometimes experience weight loss because their bodies are unable to properly convert food into energy. This is because they either are not producing enough insulin or their bodies are unable to use the insulin they produce properly. This food winds up as excess glucose circulating in the blood (resulting in high blood glucose!). Ultimately the body can't use all that extra glucose circulating in the blood and so it is eliminated in the urine. When your blood glucose runs high, you can become dehydrated as your body works to clear itself of all that excess glucose — which makes you think you've lost weight, but you've only lost water. Then, when you start taking insulin and get your blood glucose under better control, you start over-retaining fluids initially to make up for your dehydration, which makes you think you've rapidly gained a lot of weight. You associate it with taking insulin, but really what is happening is taking your insulin properly is just enabling your body to better use food and maintain a proper water balance. Also, once you start taking insulin injections and start getting your blood glucose under control, you now have enough insulin circulating in your blood to help the glucose get into the body's cells where it can be used as energy. So the glucose produced by the food you eat is no longer spending time in your bloodstream and being excreted out as urine. You gain weight. Your high blood glucose may have also made you feel more hungry because not all the food you were eating was able to get into the cells as energy to nourish the cells. Then, you started taking insulin — and continued to eat t Continue reading >>

Does Insulin Make You Fat?

Does Insulin Make You Fat?

Whether or not insulin is to blame for the obesity epidemic is one of the hot questions being debated on heath and diet blogs. On the surface, this seems like an arcane question that would mainly interest physiologists and diet researchers. After all, who really cares about the underlying mechanisms of fat storage and release? Most of us just want to know some practical steps we can take to lose excess weight and keep it off and, beyond that, to stay healthy. It seems like a simple yes-or-no question of fact that you could settle by studying populations and doing lab studies. But it’s not so much a question about facts as one about causation. Questions of causation are often the thorniest ones. This particular question has taken on almost political or religious overtones, provoking emotion and acrimony in the diet blogosphere. On one side are defenders of the Carbohydrate/Insulin Hypothesis, like Gary Taubes and Michael Eades. This is laid out in detail in Taubes’ book Good Calories, Bad Calories (2007), and more compactly in “Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It” (2010). On the other side are opponents such as James Krieger and CarbSane, who find the Carbohydrate/Insulin Hypothesis to be oversimplified and deeply flawed, citing recent scientific advances. People tend to chose up sides in this debate. I’ve been participating in this debate myself (while still learning a lot) on the websites of Jimmy Moore, James Krieger, and CarbSane. I won’t rehash all the technical details here. Instead, I’d like to propose a “frameshift” that recognizes and integrates the strong points from each side, attempting to overcome their shortcomings. First, here’s an overview of what each side has to say: Proponents of the Carbohydrate/Insulin Hypothesis, as articulat Continue reading >>

Does The Insulin Pump Cause Weight Gain?

Does The Insulin Pump Cause Weight Gain?

Question: Dear CDE, I have been a Type 1 for 19 years now and have been on a pump for about a year. My A1C used to be horrible (13%) and I weighed a normal weight. When I finally got my A1C down to around 7% I put on about 75 pounds in 2 years. I was just wondering if anyone has lost weight while using a pump. If so, what did you do, what do you usually eat everyday, exercise, etc. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated... Ally Answer: Dear Ally, Before I address the specific question, I want to educate you about basic physiology regarding glucose (sugar) utilization by our bodies. In someone without diabetes, after eating a meal or snack, the food gets converted to glucose and the brain sends a message to the pancreas requesting insulin to escort the glucose into the cells to be used for energy. The pancreas responds and secretes the appropriate amount of insulin for the food eaten. If this person eats more calories than they burn, they will gain weight. In type 1 diabetes, after eating a meal or snack, the food gets converted to glucose and the brain sends a message to the pancreas requesting insulin to escort the food into the cell. The difference is that in type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not do its job so instead of the glucose getting put in the cells; it hangs out in the blood and eventually gets sent over to our kidneys which in turn makes us urinate. Each molecule of glucose that we are flushing down our toilets has calories which we are losing through our urine. When people with diabetes begin taking insulin to match their food intake they are holding on to those calories and using them for energy. That is why most people lose weight before being diagnosed with diabetes. Once insulin therapy begins, they can gain that weight back. Insulin itse Continue reading >>

My Diabetes Is Controlled — But Why Am I Gaining Weight?

My Diabetes Is Controlled — But Why Am I Gaining Weight?

Exercise, eat right, and stay at a healthy weight. These goals are at the core of every type 2 diabetes treatment plan. And, for some people, that’s enough. When it’s not, insulin therapy is one treatment option that can help patients, but one possible side effect is weight gain. This can become a cycle for patients who need to control both diabetes and their weight. It’s frustrating when you feel the treatment is part of the problem. With diabetes, however, you have to get the blood sugar under control first. Insulin is used because it works. The cost of insulin can vary, but lower-cost insulin is associated with more weight gain. RELATED: Take Control of Your Diabetes How to break the cycle In a way, weight gain is a sign that the insulin is working — your body is more effectively utilizing sugar, fat and protein. Your body also has the ability to store them, which means if you don’t adjust your food intake, more of those calories turn to fat. Also, insulin is not necessarily the only factor. When you’re managing your diabetes, your body has a better chance to rehydrate, which also can cause weight gain. Of course, dehydration is a greater risk if you have diabetes, with frequent urination and thirst as two common signs of the condition. Drugs you take for other conditions also sometimes cause weight gain. So, what are your options if weight gain and insulin are an issue? Try these three tips: 1. Up the ante on diet and exercise The simplest answer is to adjust your diet and exercise. Talk to your doctor and to a nutrition specialist about a food plan that takes the insulin effects into account. Work a bit more activity or exercise into each day. Don’t self-adjust the dosage or timing of your insulin in order to accommodate eating more calories. You can Continue reading >>

Insulin And Weight Gain: Keep The Pounds Off

Insulin And Weight Gain: Keep The Pounds Off

Insulin and weight gain often go hand in hand, but weight control is possible. If you need insulin therapy, here's how to minimize — or avoid — weight gain. Weight gain is a common side effect for people who take insulin — a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) by cells. This can be frustrating because maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your overall diabetes management plan. The good news is that it is possible to maintain your weight while taking insulin. The link between insulin and weight gain When you take insulin, glucose is able to enter your cells, and glucose levels in your blood drop. This is the desired treatment goal. But if you take in more calories than you need to maintain a healthy weight — given your level of activity — your cells will get more glucose than they need. Glucose that your cells don't use accumulates as fat. Avoid weight gain while taking insulin Eating healthy foods and being physically active most days of the week can help you prevent unwanted weight gain. The following tips can help you keep the pounds off: Count calories. Eating and drinking fewer calories helps you prevent weight gain. Stock the refrigerator and pantry with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Plan for every meal to have the right mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fats. Generally, experts recommend that meals consist of half non starchy vegetable, one-quarter protein and one quarter a starch such as rice or a starchy vegetable such as corn or peas. Trim your portion sizes, skip second helpings and drink water instead of high-calorie drinks. Talk to your doctor, nurse or a dietitian about meal-planning strategies and resources. Don't skip meals. Don't try to cut calories by skipping meals. When you skip Continue reading >>

12 Myths About Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes

12 Myths About Insulin And Type 2 Diabetes

Insulin facts vs. fiction When you hear the word “insulin,” do you picture giant needles (ouch!) or pop culture portrayals of insulin users with low blood sugar (like Julia Roberts losing it in Steel Magnolias)? Either way, most people think of insulin as a difficult, painful, or potentially scary medical treatment. The problem is that if you have type 2 diabetes, you need to know the real deal before you can make an informed choice about whether or not this potentially lifesaving therapy is right for you. Here, we take a look at the facts and fiction about insulin when it comes to treating type 2 diabetes. Diabetics always need insulin Not necessarily. People with type 1 diabetes (about 5% to 10% of diabetics) do need insulin. If you have type 2, which includes 90% to 95% of all people with diabetes, you may not need insulin. Of adults with diabetes, only 14% use insulin, 13% use insulin and oral medication, 57% take oral medication only, and 16% control blood sugar with diet and exercise alone, according to the CDC. The point is to get blood sugar—which can be a highly toxic poison in the body—into the safe zone by any means necessary. Taking insulin means you’ve ‘failed’ “This is a big myth,” says Jill Crandall, MD, professor of clinical medicine and director of the diabetes clinical trial unit at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, N.Y. “Many people who try very hard to adhere to a diet, exercise, and lose weight will still need insulin.” The fact is that type 2 diabetes is a progressive illness, meaning that over time you may need to change what you do to make sure your blood sugar is in a healthy range. Eating right and exercise will always be important, but medication needs can vary. “A large percentage of people with ty Continue reading >>

More in insulin