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From Atlanta, Georgia, USA:

I am 21 and have been diabetic for 19 years. I consider myself a very active diabetic. I recently went on the insulin pump and found my sugars a lot easier to control. My question involves the effects of the pump on hunger and weight gain. I have gained 14 pounds and have a monstrous hunger that cannot be abated. This concerns me because I have not changed my eating or exercising habits.


Intensive therapy, such as the use of an insulin pump, will improve diabetic control. With this in mind you need to remember that calories previously lost as sugar in the urine are now available for use as energy or stored as fat. When intensive therapy is started and weight gain of 10 pounds or more is noted (and it's not fluid retention often seen with improved diabetic control), your food intake may need to be reconsidered and calories reduced. With a reduction in calories, the insulin dose may also need to be lowered.

A possibility that may have occurred: if an intensive insulin program has been improperly designed (too much insulin), you might be "eating to feed the insulin." What this means is that the insulin may have been lowering your glucose levels too much and you needed to eat to bring them back up. If this is the case a dose reduction in insulin should help you cut back on your consumption of food.

Whichever the case may be, take time out to discuss your concerns with your diabetes team in order to figure out what is the best approach for you and your diabetes care.


Original posting 26 Jul 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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