Hello Everyone - I am new to the website!! Wanted to find out what other Type 1's are doing about weight management? I have spoken to my doctor and her along with a dietician pretty much said there aren't many programs out there for a Type 1 more are tailored to a Type 2 - such as the Diabetic Nutrisystem - I eat fairly well and try to walk everyday but never lose any weight and 9 times out of 10 when I get done exercising I am low and have to reach for a snake which feels like I am defeating the purpose....any suggestions or ideas?!? Thank you in advance!
The methods of getting insulin is a determining factor in weight control for me. I had much better control of my weight using the pump, now back on injections and gaining weight too. Up 18lbs so far being from spending more than a year on a pump. Jeff
Thanks for the post Jeff - I have heard so many pros and cons about the pump - asked my doctor about it to and she didn't recommend it for me which I thought was weird. Can you get back on the pump?
Hello B. I'm in my 49th year with T1DM. I was skinny most of my life, but when I hit mid 40s, abdominal weight gain became very easy! I started regular exercise, REALLY regular, with the help of a trainer. Regular exercise has been a great help for BG control, flexibility, reduced cardiovascular risk, and weight control. After getting an OK from your doctor, I suggest you find an exercise activity(ies)/class(es) you like and work up to doing them 4-6 times a week, with each session being sufficiently intense that you work up a sweat for 20-40 minutes. You may need physician or diabetes educator help to gradually work down your insulin doses as your insulin demand drops with exercise. With good regular exercise and insulin management, I think most T1DMs can erase the extra cardiovascular disease risk ascribed to T1DM, as well as substantially lessen or eliminate the detrimental impact of diabetes complications.
As for dietary means of weight control, I used a low carbohydrate diet for about a year to help lose the excess weight that I gained in my 40's. It was very effective for weight loss and the low carb (CHO) content reduced my insulin requirements. As a general rule, the smaller the CHO intake, the smaller the insulin doses. Smaller insulin doses carry much lower risk of hypoglycemia than larger doses. So, a low CHO diet may be a good transition diet for reducing hypoglycemia risk while you're training into a regular exercise routine. Note that you will need CHO (as simple sugars) to treat any hypoglycemia. So, don't try to cut out hypo treatment when you need it.
Because of high LDL cholesterol numbers, even with regular exercise, I tried a VEGAN diet for about 6 months. It was really hard to maintain, since it was just vegetables and fruit for the most part. My cholesterol numbers improved dramatically, with no meds other than insulin. However, I found that I lost some muscle mass/strength, so I added back lean protein (4 oz serving of chicken, fish, occassionally meat, once per day). I've tried to continue to avoid breads and pastas because the CHO is absorbed so rapidly that the insulin dosing is more challenging. Keeping to a low fat and low (processed) CHO diet is hard. But, it does yield great A1c, cholesterol, and weight reduction numbers if you can stick to it.
I work for JDRF; JDRF works for me.
P.S. B, I've been on an insulin pump for 20 years. I would not go back to injections unless someone forced me to.
Hi Randy - thank you for your post. All the information sounds in line with what the dietician has said - just takes a lot of patience - I tend to get discouraged quite easily but need to stick with it. I wasn't really overweight until I had my son - that was six years ago - ever since then I have had to luck losing any weight and I weigh about 235 and I am 5'8" - far off from what I should be. Do you find anything upsetting/annoying about the pump? Does it get in the way of your daily life at all?
Hey B. The presence of the pump is a near-constant MINOR annoyance. (I relish the day I can leave it off forever!) However, I get enough benefit from it to more than offset the annoyance. Since you need to lose a good amount of weight, I think you will have the greatest success with the low CHO diet. I think you might ask your doctor about using Byetta or Victoza as well. These products are approved only for T2DM, but they will provide the extra satiety you need to be able to lose weight more effectively. You might use them only long enough to get to your goal weight and establish new dietary and exercise habits.
Great - all good suggestions - I appreciate the information - do you think the Diabetic Nurirsystem would be a good idea - maybe that would fall under the CHO diet...
Yes I can do that, I won't again till they get some handles on software and security problems, along with other issues that pumps are subjected to. But having T1 for 43 yrs I am not sure it is worth it for me.
All understandable - I have been a diabetic for 26 years now and I was able to "get away" with a lot and I have to say it is getting harder and harder the older I get - so time to get my stuff together before I really start to have complications - I know that if I could lose some weight alot of other things will fall into place....
Hi I hear you on this one! Physically I am strong...but I also work closely w/dietician & trainer - I am very fortunate because they . It gets frustrating...everyone else is losing weight - celebrating their weight loss...hahaha then here I am still the same. Although I have lost 2-3 inches off my waist. I have been exercising for yrs. but of course I feel much better when I am so my focal point is not losing weight but keeping & gainins strength. I am not on a pump but will be starting one very soon. My endo never reccomended pump...I don't know why so I had my provider visit w/endo & the next thing you know I'm getting on it. From what I understand I think I'm am going to actually lose weight (stomach area)! I shall see & if I don't that's ok...I just need to keep my strength & have good bs. Protein is also very helpful, I prefer beans it keeps me fuller longer, I need less insulin & overall feel better.
EAkipa - Good for you for losing the inches and remaining on track with your routines....that is the hardest part for me - with working two jobs and having a 6 year old I tend to put myself last - but like I stated earlier it is starting to take a toll on me - I am just tired all the time - the blood sugars are ok not perfect as in what it states in the books but alot better than what they used to be. I have tried protein but more among the lines of lunch meat and cheese - what type of beans do you eat? Sounds like a good idea...
Being a single parent is not an easy job & being T1 is not easy either. I have raised 4 chilldren & we are all still alive & functioning! hahaha. YOU need to make YOU a priority otherwise who will raise your son? What will your quality of life be for him? Things to think about. I have been a T1 for 43 yrs wow I didn't realize I was this old! hahaha! Beans - I prefer the black beans I rinse them really well (from a can) & somteimes put a little bit of cheese on it throw them in the micorwave & there are delicious! I don't over-do it on protein I just make sure I eat enough.
I have been t1 for going on 20 years this Sept. I have spent the past 3 years doing many different things to get weight off. I started at 262 and was down to 181, and now I am expecting. I started off by just eating healthier and exercise. I started off by walking and have built myself up to doing all kinds of different activity. I started weight watchers 2 years ago. I found that was a fantastic way to lose and keep weight off. I love that it gave me guildlines and I could figure out how I wanted to make it. The hardest part is as you look weight you dont need as much insulin, therefore you blood sugar drops and you have to eat to get it back up. Very frusturating until you get your insulin where it needs to be. I thankfully have a pump and a CGM to go with it, so it was quite easy for my endo to make changes as needed. Hope this is helpful!
If you have health insurance, check out insulin pumps. Most people use a Medtronic Minimed or One Touch Ping or a tubless version called an Omnipod. Frankly I'd switch doctors if mine didn't advocate insulin pumps.... injections just can't measure up to the insulin delivery of a pump. I was worried about being attached to something all the time but got used to the pump in about a day. It feels miraculous to have my blood sugar be 95-102 every morning when I wake up.
I have a 6-year-old son too and have struggled with weight loss since my pregnancy. I lost all the baby weight right away, but when my son was about 2 began gaining a bunch of weight and was soon weighed as much as when I was pregnant! As a mom it's difficult to make time for myself to exercise and I got into the habit of picking up restaurant food (I know restaurants have salads, but I always got a double cheeseburger) or making a frozen pizza for dinner.
The main reason I struggle with my weight is because I've had bad eating habits most of my life and in my late 30's it really starting catching up with me. Like Keara I've loved Weight Watchers too. It was shocking how little I actually need to eat to feel full and be healthy. And if I want something it's totally possible to fit it into my food plan and lose weight. The best thing I've learned is to stay ahead of my hunger. After work I eat an apple or peanut butter crackers or some other snack on the drive home so I'm not starving when I get home and don't gorge at dinner.
Weight Watchers is also good because any fruit is a free food (to encourage people to eat fruits and vegetables) so with the lows I had when I first started losing weight I could eat a banana or orange and bring my blood sugar up without going off plan.
It's not easy... it takes time and planning. But I want to be healthier for myself and for my family.
T1 since 1977 Minimed pump since 2002