You’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. Luckily, you feel okay and your doctor has put you on a treatment plan with insulin injections to control your blood sugar. You’ve also been given the prescription of making some lifestyle changes, including losing weight. Changes are being made to what you eat and your exercise levels.
Frustratingly, the numbers on the scale are going up instead of down. What is going on?
#1 Taking Insulin
If you’ve been living with uncontrolled blood sugar levels and started taking insulin to get them back under control, you might notice your weight going up. Insulin helps the body absorb glucose into the bloodstream. This is great for preventing complications, but glucose equals calories.
So, the insulin you take will help your body absorb those calories and sometimes, store them excess as fat.
The body deals with extra blood sugar in part by removing it through urine, which can lead to dehydration. Some of your weight gain may be the body rehydrating itself.
#2 Increased Appetite
Insulin resistance also means that the cells aren’t getting enough energy to do their jobs. In response, they send signals to the brain that can trigger your appetite. Even though you may have eaten enough calories for the day, your body could give you cravings that encourage you to eat more.
Oh, but wait!
It’s possible to get in the habit of overeating, and when you start taking insulin or another medication that improves sensitivity, you’ll still continue to eat too much. However, the major downside is that the pounds might come on faster because now your body is able to store that glucose more effectively.
When you’re dealing with frequent low blood sugar episodes, you may also gain weight. This is because the primary treatment for hypoglycemia is to eat something to raise your blood glucose levels. The occasional low isn’t going to make you put on pounds. However, those who have poor eating habits, take large doses of insulin, or have type 1 diabetes may experience this problem more often.
Try to eat more complex carbs, protein, and good fats to provide your body with fuel for the long-term. If you do take a lot of insulin, speak with your doctor about cutting your dosage back to help counter the hypoglycemia.References