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Exercise on insulin pump = not loosing weight?
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An_245550 posted:
There seems to be quite a bit about exercise and type 2 diabetes and quite a bit about the danger of exerecise and taking insulin. But I'm not finding much on how you actually COMBINE exercise, fat burning, loosing weight AND taking insulin. Here's my confusion.... I'm a type 3 (insulin dependent type 2) I'm on an insulin pump and I've been exercising and have lost weight (about 30 lbs in the past 3 years.) But this has been a VERY difficult and SLOW process.... because.....In order to loose weight I have to exercise more... which is supposed to burn my excess fat.... which turns into glucose.... which raises my blood sugar... which needs more insulin... which....becomes....FAT! (And yes, I've really decreased what I eat as well.) So.... How do you LOOSE weight when you're tied to a constant insulin source? I haven't found any advice on this process -- just the usual warnings about exercise and hypoglycemia (been there, done that) I've tried adjusting the Basal - and I just get high. I eat less and get lows. I have a physically active job too so...if I were a "normal" person, I'd be a size 2 by now! The Doc makes it sound so easy... just exercise, loose weight, better insulin sensitivity and you're good to go. NOT. If you're exercising your ass off and taking insulin then your ass isn't going anywhere, right? What am I missing in this process?
Thanks
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Anon_74671 responded:
do you have a CDE and nutritionist? they may be able to help you.
 
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Haylen_WebMD_Staff replied to Anon_74671's response:
We recently had a robust discussion about exercise and sugars here. Click the link to read - you might find some helpful info:

More Muscles!

Haylen
 
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auriga1 responded:
LOL. Not at you. What you have written could have been written my me.

I so understand your dilemma. It's the exact same way over here. Was diagnosed and immediately put on two insulins. Lantus and Humalog. I've struggled each step of the way. I also have lost count of the lows I've experienced. My Lantus has been adjusted up for the most part, starting at 15U in the morning. Reached 40U when my fasting just would not come down.

Humalog with meals. Works fabulously. Any time I start exercising, it's an immediate drop in BS. It could be any time of the day that this happens. Fuel the low with more carbs, most times just sugar. Infinite circle.

To date, my doctor suggested dropping the Lantus dosage to 36U. I now have a higher a.m. fasting. Usually in the low 100's. When I was taking 40U, it usually would be 70-80. But, and a big but, any physical activity throughout the day, even basic housecleaning or gardening, I would invariably go low. Big time detriment to house cleaning. LOL.

So, basically, I can't answer your question. I would most certainly like an answer. I've had everything told to me such as timing the exercise at a certain time of day, lowering carb intake (the lows invariably follow) adding more fiber to the diet, etc, etc, etc. None of these answers work for me, either. My doctor suggested taking only half the Humalog at mealtime, but I find that the Lantus is the problem.

I have done little experiments such as spacing meals further apart than the 4-5 hours recommended. Bad, bad idea. Because I haven't ingested any carbs, I go low. Since I didn't eat, I didn't take any Humalog. So, basically, I'm feeding the Lantus just to stay even keel. This happens nearly every single day. The Humalog is injected according to the carbs I eat, so there is not extra insulin running around in my system.

Ach. Everyone is so different. Glad to have run into someone who struggles with the same thing. If you find something that works, post ASAP. I'll do the same. LOL. We need all the help we can get.

If I had the opportunity to exercise four hours a day, my BS might remain constant. Who knows? I'd be afraid to take the chance, because insulin is the only way I've found to control my blood sugars. My first A1C was 13.5, so I was in a bad way. No weight to lose, to boot. Have wound up in the ER with high blood sugars. I can't get rid of the diagnosis from medical chart of "uncontrolled diabetes." It is now, with my A1C at 6.0. Happy about that.

We love bike riding around here. I have to take a veritable suitcase of junk, foodstuffs, drinks, meter, etc. Pain in my you know what, but it's got to be done. Not a simple bike ride any longer. I sooooo love biking. Used to do swim aerobics. Have to tell the commune of lovely ladies to make sure I don't drown because I may go under from low blood sugar.

O.K., rant over. One day, maybe our ass will get somewhere.
 
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technogran replied to auriga1's response:
It is difficult to comment on insulin use without knowing the regimen that the user is following. To me it doesn't sound as if either Anon255550 or Auriga1 are counting carbohydrates to dose their bolus insulin. It is much easier to keep good and steady BG numbers if you have a plan to count the carbs you are eating. Protein raises BG a little bit and fat not at all, so the culprit in raising our blood sugars is carbohydrates. You need to work with your doctor or diabetes nurse specialist to work our how many units of insulin you need to cover a certain number of carbs. I actually worked it out with trial and error, and found that I need one unit of insulin for every 2 grams of carbs I ingest. I also found that in the afternoon, I only need 1 unit for every 3 grams of carbs, so the dosage changes through the day. I usually consume about 28g of carbs for breakfast and so I take 14 units of Humalog and that covers me for the morning until lunch when I end up with a number in the 4 or 5 (72-90). Since I am a Type 2 and highly insulin resistant, that is why my ratio is high. If you are Type 1, then usually the insulin dose is much smaller and can cover something like 1 unit for 10 carbs, or even 18 carbs.
Exercise is more difficult, and it is always good to carry glucose tablets with you when exercising to treat possible lows. You may also have to adjust the insulin that is used before the exercise to reduce it, so that you are not increasing the chances of going low.
You might find either of the following two books very useful in learning about insulin dosing. "Using Insulin" or "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh, and the other book is "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Scheiner. There is a lot of information about how insulin works with our food and our bodies in those books.
Good luck in getting help in adjusting your insulin and lifestyle.
 
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auriga1 replied to technogran's response:
Begging your pardon, but I do count the carbs I eat in order to bolus the Humalog. My doctor gave me a ratio of 1:10.
 
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technogran replied to auriga1's response:
Oops! Sorry Auriga1, I only f ound out after I had written my response, in another reply of yours.
I suppose in adjusting insulin there are also a number of differences between Type 1 and Type 2, and it seems in this Discussion group, we are not identified by type of diabetes. As you say, everyone is different anyway, and we all have to find our own path. I seem to be quite lucky in being able to keep my numbers between 80 and 120 (4 to 6.5) for most of the time, but I am a Type 2 without wild swings, unless I do something like forget an insulin bolus.
 
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auriga1 replied to technogran's response:
It's O.K. These boards used to have a Type 1 and 2 differentiation.

I was diagnosed as a Type 2. I am insulin dependent, though. My numbers were too high for medication to be effective and I had no weight to lose. If I exercise 24/7 and don't eat any carbs, maybe I wouldn't have to use insulin. Don't think that one would work.

Don't quite fit into either box; 1 or 2. Many people have talked to me about the pump because of the exercise difficulties. I have to start out exercising with a really high BS number if I don't want to go low. It just makes no sense to me. Raise your blood sugar so you can exercise.

Since I started insulin, there have been no swings whatsoever. Sometimes my FBS will climb if I take my Lantus later than my usual time. It never climbs when I eat because I take the Humalog according to how many carbs I eat.

Feel better than I have ever felt. Something to be said for eating right and keeping active.

Nice A1C's and numbers. My lowest was 5.8, but that took into account too many lows than my doctor would like.

Had to smile at forgetting the insulin bolus. Been there, done that. LOL. When my A1C climbed to 6.2, my doctor asked "did you forget to take your insulin?" Smart man. Guess he's seen it all.
 
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hootyowl2 replied to auriga1's response:
Auriga1,

Originally, these boards did NOT have a T1 or T2 differentation. That is how the boards were in 2003 when I arrived here. Then they divided the boards and a lot of people left because of it. Now they are back to the original, but old friends have not come back for lots of reasons. The community here is far different than it was back then.

I read a research report in my local newspaper a few years ago where scientists had discovered AT LEAST 16 different types of diabetes, most of which were genetic, and the proper treatment varies considerably. Of course, we never hear about diabetes T3 through T16 yet... We do hear about T1, T2, T1.5, and gestational diabetes.... A lot of things are similar/same and some things are different for each person. I have misplaced that article, but when I find it, I will post the details here. The point of that report was that treatment should be tailored to the individual patient because everyone is so very different.

Lantus and Humalog work great for me; in fact, I rarely need the Humalog at present, only PRN if I have a spike. However, diabetes is very fickle, so that could change back.

I tend to get lows in the summer because the heat affects my appetite and I do not feel like eating much of anything. [now, if it would just shrink my middle... >

Hooty
 
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brunosbud responded:
If you wish to lose weight, food intake has a far greater impact than how much you exercise...What you eat and how much of it.
 
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hootyowl2 replied to brunosbud's response:
hi bruno,

my weight gain was caused by several new medications back in 2006, not my food intake, types, or lack thereof... Medicines like Cymbalta, Lexapro, and several others caused a sudden weight gain of over 50 lbs in about 3 months... I am off of them, but it is still a problem trying to get rid of the lard. I do exercise and eat carefully... Before that, my weight was low to medium for my height and build.
 
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auriga1 replied to hootyowl2's response:
Hooty, that's great you don't need the Humalog any longer, except for PRN.

Interesting concept about 16 different types. I can believe that, because, as I said, I don't fit into any box here. I researched 1.5 a bit. Very close to it, I suppose. I was never tested for positive antibodies.

I do have the autoimmunie disease, psoriasis. Scary how one's own body attacks itself.

Fickle is the word. My diabetes is under control with the use of insulin and proper diet along with physical activity. I hope it stays that way.

I used to be very, very thin to the point where people would say I don't look "right." There was a point where I could not gain weight. This is hereditary. My parents were both thin, yet my mother developed diabetes, too. Runs in her side of the family. Because of her age at diagnosis, she was labeled as a type 2. Insulin dependent also.
 
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roxe86 replied to Haylen_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you for your response to my question. I will read this. I guess I wanted to know if anyone else recognized how absurd this formula is or if I'd missed a step. Even when first diagnosed and on the pills... it seemed stupid to burn fat into sugar then treat for the high sugar.... increasing insulin to put it back into fat? Like bailing out a boat with a hole in the bottom? Isn't that what insulin resistance is all about?

I reluctantly went to the pump about 3 years ago... now I wouldn't go back. Though I still have some lows - they're no where near as frequent as with injected insulin. And I can usually head them off by changing the basal or suspending it completely. Highly recommend it to others reading this post.

I don't have a CDE or nutritionist. I don't have insurance.... nuff said.

I'd be very interested in that article you mention Hootyowl2 .
Early on I became VERY discouraged and frustrated by yet another diabetic absurdity.... Treat everyone the same with the same formula... But if you complain that it's not working the doc, CDE, or dietitian looks at you as if you fell from the moon and says.... "Well everyone's different." Well then why are you treating me like everyone else?!!!

I appreciate all the responses/discussions.
Thank you everyone!
An_245550
(I had ment to post w my name but misread the check box)
 
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home2750 responded:
I find that if you watch the carbs, and watch your sugars VERY carefully, it will dawn on you exactly what is going on. The balance of these two will make that weight come off, of course with exercise, natch. The secret for me has been first, the detox, and them watching those carbs carefully. I have been following the Southern Remedy Diet from the University of Southern Mississippi, and have finally watched these pounds come off. It is the combination of certain foods (of course, everything I like) that become habit forming. These are the very foods that feed off insulin resistance. The keeping of a food and sugars diary is very helpful in seeing patterns. I have found that knowing these patterns will give you the key. Hang in there, sister. It's definitely a battle.


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