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Does taking insulin cause weight gain?

Q. Does insulin cause weight gain?

A. Taking insulin to manage your blood glucose does not have to cause weight gain. If you are careful with your eating habits, it's possible to avoid gaining weight while taking insulin. The goal of insulin therapy is to help usher glucose out of the blood and into the cells where it is needed for cellular processes.

If you are eating too many calories, the glucose that your cells don't need are stored as body fat. If you have gained weight with insulin therapy or are hesitant to begin using insulin because of a fear of weight gain, make an appointment with a Registered Dietitian who is also a Certified Diabetes Educator.

You should have a good understanding of how to make the best use of your blood glucose monitor, your pre- and post-meal blood glucose targets, how to dose your insulin and how to adjust your food intake. People who have frequent low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) may have a harder time controlling their weight because of the need for additional carbohydrate to raise their blood sugar. A Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator can help you with all of this as well as helping you create an individualized diet plan.

About Jill Weisenberger

Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE is the author of Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week (American Diabetes Association, 2012). She serves as contributing editor of Environmental Nutrition. A recognized speaker and consultant, Jill is recognized for her practical advice and desires to help others improve their eating habits, to lose weight and to live healthier lives.

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