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March 23, 2003

Insulin Pumps

Question from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA:

I am very athletic and participate in a lot of activities. Basketball is my main love; I play all year round, but I want to slim down a little bit before basketball season starts. I am interested in the pump, but my doctor said I would probably gain weight. Why? Do you support the pump in my case?

Answer:

As far using an insulin pump, weight gain happens whenever blood glucose control is significantly improved without changing food intake. If there is less hyperglycemia, then there are fewer calories lost in the urine. If activity and food intake stays the same and fewer calories are lost from poor diabetes control, then weight gain occurs. If this happens when using an insulin pump, weight gain occurs. If this happens when improving control in any other fashion, weight gain also occurs. With improved glucose control, often everyone needs fewer calories so that weight gain does not have to be automatic.

Go back and talk to your diabetes team about this in more detail as well. Go to the pump Chat Rooms at this website well as at the American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation sites for more information. All the pump manufacturers also have websites that would give you more information about pumps. There our several books listed in our pump section that may also be of help.

SB