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Diabetes type 1 and Weight Loss ?


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Hi, I am 21 and I have been diabetes (type 1) for 17 years. I just finished my teenage crazy going out, eating out and drinking and now I am thinking of really taking care of myself if I don't want to be blind in the next decade and etc...

 I also have a few pounds to lose and diabetes causes a little trouble because I have to adjust my insulin shots to what I eat, and sometimes I have to eat sugar because I am in hypoglycemia and it messes up with diet. 

 My little overweight could be due to a fear of having a hypoglycemia and overeating (especially before bedtime) and a thick tire around my belly button might be due to insulin injections (some odd studies proved that repeated insulin injections can increase fat tissues in some areas). 

 I would like to lose that weight without struggling too much with diabetes (I already struggle enough that way). Some will say that I should not even try because of my health, but please understand that I am still a person and being diabetic doesn't mean having a tire around the waist.

 Anybody understand what I mean ? or can tell me about their experience ?

10 Replies (last)
#1  
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You need to be professionally monitored by a doctor and nutritionist to do this safely. There are other diabetics on this site though.
Hey Audley, I'm 16 and have had type 1 diabetes for 15 years. As a teenager, I have got into the habit of constantly going out, eating at crazy times and giving a million shots for every time i eat. I talked to my doctor in November about how I was constantly hungry and at the time i had gained about 15lbs in a year! This is how my doctor explained it to me: A regular pancreas produces insulin to break down the sugar and carbs we eat and produces many other enzymes that break down food and send signals to tell our brain that your full. Because our bodies do not produce insulin and these other enzymes, we do not get as strong of signals to say that we're full. Also insulin has a tendency to make you more hungry. One enzyme that causes a normal body to feel full is Aymalin (spelling?). I was put on a medicine called Symlin (synthetic Aymlin). You inject it, along with your insulin, everytime you eat. Since late November I went from 145lbs to 125lbs! Since November I have finally felt like a normal person, not gorging myself all the time with food. I will caution you that the first week makes you feel so unbelieveabily nautious, but once you get used to it and the weight begins shedding off you will see that it is definately worth it! I would strongly advise you to ask your doctor about it. If you have any questions I would love to help! We definately need to help each other out : )
#3  
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oh my god ! If I had heard of such a thing a few years ago ! I was SO hungry all the time and filled myself up with bread and stuff like that at home. so ok... insulin+puberty=hungry.

  I don't think 'll need this right now, I don't have a huge excess of weight, but it would have helped before ! thanks we should keep in touch ! 

Hi I new to this but I am trying to get a handle on how the insulin and diet works.  I was doing great weight wise then I went on medication for the diabetes(type 2). One medication put 15 pounds on me in 6 weeks. I am now on a long lasting insulin Lantus solostar pen about 40 units a day. I have battled with diabetes for 28 years. longer than you have been around honey. I will have to ask my doctor about the Symlin to see if it is something I can be put on. My sugars are down now but I too struggle with feeling hungry all the time. Try puting insulin together with menopause up and downs. I exercise every day for an hour on the treadmill and I am a massage therapist and do about seven hours of massage a day four days a week.  At 409 cal burn an hour I am working it. I am at 225 and my goal is 180.  I just started counting calories. I didn't realize how much I was over eating.

 

SORRY THIS IS A DUPLICATE ENTRY Hi I new to this but I am trying to get a handle on how the insulin and diet works.  I was doing great weight wise then I went on medication for the diabetes(type 2). One medication put 15 pounds on me in 6 weeks. I am now on a long lasting insulin Lantus solostar pen about 40 units a day. I have battled with diabetes for 28 years. longer than you have been around honey. I will have to ask my doctor about the Symlin to see if it is something I can be put on. My sugars are down now but I too struggle with feeling hungry all the time. Try puting insulin together with menopause up and downs. I exercise every day for an hour on the treadmill and I am a massage therapist and do about seven hours of massage a day four days a week.  At 409 cal burn an hour I am working it. I am at 225 and my goal is 180.  I just started counting calories. I didn't realize how much I was over eating.

 

#6  
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  This may be repetition but I got it from a diabetes education program, and did not really find the information clearly written out elsewhere. Most stuff was the problems of out of control diabetes- not about the long term effects of poor control as compared to what happens when very out of control. 

 

  The why of diabetes long term problems.   In long term problems, the problem is the damage to the blood vessels - the smaller they are they more likely the damage. (Blood vessels provide transportation-capillaries are the term for the smallest diameter blood vessels.)  Red blood cells that flow along the blood vessels along with the glucose are what causes the long term damage to the capillaries. Because red blood cells carry oxygen to cells and remove carbon-dioxide they go all over the body is why diabetes damage is so wide spread throughout the body. When glucose levels are high, glucose can “stick" to the exterior of red blood cells. The higher the glucose levels, the more glucose floating around in blood vessels that can attach to red cell walls.  This attachment makes the red cells stiffer, harder etc. and more damaging when they hit blood vessel walls (which they do all the time with the heart's pressure moving the blood flow). Over time the capillary walls can get so scarred (narrowed) they slow down or even block passage of red cells. The blocked blood vessels cause poor transportation of cellular needs.  The cells start function poorly and may even die (starve). If enough cells die, the organs cannot function well.  The more the damage - the greater the "illness' of the organ, and the more complications that arise from diabetes. Finally one dies an early death because out of control glucose levels have damaged too many essential organs in the diabetic's body.   This is a simplified explanation.

 For a slightly more complicated one that explains nerve damage- nerves do run next to blood vessels. It is felt that the damage to the blood vessel walls is sometimes so extensive that the myelin sheath cells that surround the nerves also get damaged when they lie next to the badly damaged blood vessel.

 There are other things that can happen to make things worse- high blood pressure for example will make the stiff glucose studded red cells that hit and damage cell walls hit more often and harder, than would happen with a normal blood pressure.   There is high cholesterol - cholesterol tends to stick to damaged blood vessel walls-so a combination of high cholesterol and high glucose means damaged walls will get blood vessels blocked faster There is heavy abdominal fat that seem to stress the function of the pancreas. No explanation for this but since one cannot spot reduce, one has to lose fat all over the body in order that the pancreas start to function better. And so on.

 

Now a quick going over of the basics.

Diabetes is high levels of glucose in the blood.

The higher the amount of glucose floating around red cells in the bloodstream, the more likely they will attach to a red cell.

The more glucose attached, the "stiffer" and "rougher" the red cell becomes.

This stiffer Red blood cells impact on the blood vessel wall can cause damage of the blood vessel walls.

Too many such impacts and the damage cannot be easily repaired

These rough up areas can collect debris and in the smallest capillaries can easily block off transport to cells causing cell death.

Enough cell deaths and organs cannot function well 

Some organs cannot replace the damaged cells (or cannot replace them fast enough).

Over time the organ (eyes, kidney, etc) "fails".

If enough organs fail the result is early death for the diabetic.

 

Having the "mechanics" of the problem explained is great.  All of a sudden eating smaller amounts of foods that raise blood sugars makes sense (you can carefully spread the eating of that delicious slice of cake over 2 days instead of at one sitting) Eating every 4 to 6 hours to keep sugar levels steady makes sense, especially useful idea if you NEED to modify calories for an high activity lifestyle.  Having A1C test done ever 3 to 4 months makes sense, and if the A1C levels DO NOT match your records of your sugar levels you KNOW something is wrong. Etc.  By the way the A1C tests for the amount of glucose that attaches to red cells. Since red blood cells only have a life span of 120 days at the most, having the test done gives your doctor an idea of how well you have managed to keep your sugars close to a healthy normal in the last three, four months. 

 

  The "good" thing that researchers have found is that if you can keep a good control the complications will "never" happen to you. (Never means you will die of something else!). If you can keep the sugar levels to “normal" it is possible the body may have a chance to heal. So some parts of your body may become as functional as they were before getting damaged by the consequences of a high glucose levels.  This means for the type 2 diabetic - one day’s lack of control will result in about 120 days of damaging red blood cells floating around. (And one's A1C levels revealing that lack of control for 120 days)

So if you can keep your glucose levers acting "normal" there is hope that some of the damage you have done to yourself with years of poor control may be repaired. Some damage might be too far gone.

 

This is my first time "blogging"--I guess this is what I'm doing.  I found nsgardener's info on diabetes very interesting and encouraging (especially the part where you mention that it may be possible to repair damage done in the past).  I am 61 and have been overweight since I was in my teens.  My type 2 diabetes was diagnosed about 15 years ago.  I have had somewhat good control until the last 6 months or so.  I started on Byetta in addition to other oral medications about 15 months ago.  My problem is eating too much of the wrong foods (not candies, pastries, etc...but pasta, rice, bread, etc.)  So, I'm hoping to change all that and to eat and live a much healthier lifestyle.  Need to start exercising, too.  I plan to start (again) a walking program so that I will be ready to do some walking next year when I plan to go to Germany.  Wish me luck!

 

 

This is my first time "blogging"--I guess this is what I'm doing.  I found nsgardener's info on diabetes very interesting and encouraging (especially the part where you mention that it may be possible to repair damage done in the past).  I am 61 and have been overweight since I was in my teens.  My type 2 diabetes was diagnosed about 15 years ago.  I have had somewhat good control until the last 6 months or so.  I started on Byetta in addition to other oral medications about 15 months ago.  My problem is eating too much of the wrong foods (not candies, pastries, etc...but pasta, rice, bread, etc.)  So, I'm hoping to change all that and to eat and live a much healthier lifestyle.  Need to start exercising, too.  I plan to start (again) a walking program so that I will be ready to do some walking next year when I plan to go to Germany.  Wish me luck!

 

 

#9  
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Hi,

i am also 21 and have had type 1 diabetes since i was 15. i guess you could say i'm a bad diabetic but i'm trying more now. 15's a hard age to have to change a major social part of your life, i also don't think i was very well educated at the time. i have never talked to anyone else with diabetes about it except my educator and specialist, so you are the very first.

i have never had very good controll and have now been on an insulin pump for the last 2 years i think, it's helping but i still need better controll.

Exercise is great as it lowers my BGL and means i don't need as much insulin but i can be hard finding the right balance so you don't hypo.

it tend to take less or no insulin so i don't hypo but i am also very carful as i have had ketoacidosis from high sugars for a prolonged period and it's not good.

i know what you mean about the tummy. i have a section of scar tissue a palms width in leagth on either side of my belly button from injecting in the same area for to long. i didn't know how mush i need to vary the injecting site when i first started. so it makes me look like i have a fat tummy but i can't get rid of it.

i also know what you mean about hypos messing with your diet. i can't just have 6 jelly beans and waite i can't stand the feeling of being out of control, so i tend to eat through my hypos. a perfect example is last night when i got hame from they gym. i had some jelly beans, a banana, some biscuts and i'm sure there was something else.

i'm going to stop now becasue i feel like i'm rambling but the one thing i will say to all diabetics is. EXERCISE.

caio.

#10  
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I am 41 and have had diabetes (type 1) for 30 years.  I am really fortunate because I had great support from my parents in the early years and, aside from the crazy freshman year at college wherein I ate and drank like a fiend and gained 35 pounds, I have had excellent control of my diabetes (and no complications!).  I do struggle with weight loss issues though.  After that wild year, I lost the 35 pounds by getting back the control, but I struggle to maintain and I swear to God I can gain up to 9 pounds in a week if I eat anything but my usual 1500 calories.  My problem is that when I exercise or try to lose weight the low blood sugar stuff kills my diet as I seemingly subsist on orange juice and glucose tabs. 

This past summer I cut my insulin significantly and went on a healthy eating (practically starvation) plan (fruits, veggies, dairy) that didn't have any grainy carbs and I lost 20 pounds, 9 pounds of which are back on.  I empathize with anyone who is a type 1 and cannot lose weight though because I vouch that it is like a million times harder for us; a regular person just has to eat less and exercise more, and with us it is so much more complicated. 

I also agree about the fat deposits as a result of injections/ pumping.  I am currently on injections again after 3 years of pumping because I NEVER had a fat stomach area until the pump.  I mean my thighs, arms, and buttocks were already damaged enough from the 20+ years of injecting and then the stomach thing kicked in.  My doctor claims it is age-related, but I have the other body parts as strong evidence.  Insulin makes you fat and that is that. 

I suggest though to you young diabetics that you get control NOW because it is so great that I am in my 40s and so relatively healthy.  I have 4 kids (2 biological and 2 adopted from foster care) and I have enough energy (barely!) to keep up with them because I am healthy.  I cannot even imagine how things would be if I were sick or had to deal with other health issues.   I plan to live a long time --- long enough to see my grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren!   I realize what a struggle living with diabetes is, but honestly, as my mother told me when I was a tween, it's better than cancer because you can control it. 

Best regards,

Kat

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