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Weight gain no big deal in type 1 diabetes: study

Discussion in 'Adults with Type 1' started by Ellen, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

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    Weight gain no big deal in type 1 diabetes: study - Weight Management - Body & Health

    Weight gain no big deal in type 1 diabetes: study

    Provided by: REUTERS
    Written by: Will Dunham
    June 7, 2008


    By Will Dunham
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Becoming overweight or obese may not be so bad for people who are battling type 1 diabetes, the less common form of the disease, researchers said on Friday.
    People who put on weight over time were less likely to die than others studied, and those classified as underweight were at the greatest risk for death, according to the study.
    Even people who were technically obese were less likely to die if they had type 1 diabetes, the team at the University of Pittsburgh found.
    "Those who gained the most weight over time seemed to have lower mortality than those who gained less weight or lost weight," Dr. Trevor Orchard, one of the researchers, said in a telephone interview.
    People with type 1 diabetes are often underweight, and those who were able to put on weight may also have been controlling their disease better, Orchard said.
    The study, which tracked 655 patients with type 1 diabetes for 20 years, was presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco.
    Diabetes, marked by high levels of sugar in the blood, is really two diseases. Weight gain can be very bad for people with type 2 diabetes, the kind that is being driven by rising rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles.
    But it seems to be a different story for type 1 diabetes, previously called juvenile diabetes, the researchers said. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune disease, in which the body mistakenly destroys cells in the pancreas that make insulin.
    Insulin converts sugar, or glucose, into energy. In both types of diabetes the excess sugar in the blood damages organs including the eyes, kidneys and heart.
    Orchard said people who gained weight appeared to be those who did the best job in controlling their blood sugar.
    When the researchers statistically accounted for waist circumference -- a risk factor for death -- overweight or obese patients were less likely to die compared to patients with a normal weight.
    "The concerns that we have with growing rates of obesity need to be viewed a little differently in type 1 diabetes than in the general population," Orchard said. "It's not a recipe to go out and eat and put on weight. But it is a reassurance."
    (Editing by Maggie Fox and Xavier Briand)
     
  2. kel4han

    kel4han Approved members

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    Hmmmmm, I have been kicking myself for gaining 5lbs the last 3 weeks.....curse of PMS causing me to eat anything in sight. Which means my carb intake goes from the lighter 150 a day to about 300c a day. Where in the world do they come up with these studies? I don't think the extra 5lbs on my 120lb frame is needed.....but hey, if they say so! :D Too bad it's bikini season LOL
     
  3. Ali

    Ali Approved members

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    My guess is that as suggested in the paper those who gained weight during their lifetime probably had better control and were not artifically keeping their weight low through poor insulin to food management. You would really need to see the study. The risks for being overweight should be the same for a diabetic as a non diabetic-but maybe many type ones are better monitored than the average population so end up on blood pressure and cholesterol drugs sooner than the average overweight person. Perhaps the underweight type one poorly manages their disease and visits the Dr. infrequently. I know for me the main problem with any weight gain is the adjustments in my insulin routine I need to make and I worry about the impact on my blood pressure and cholesterol. I am at the most average weight and always have been but do have high BP and borderline cholesterol problems so I am now on medication. But-neither is related to my weight or diet but only to being a long term type one but I do not want to also add to that problem by bad food choices so continue to eat healthy and keep my weight even over the years. YDMV and JMO.:D Ali
     
  4. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

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    What Ali said, plus mild insulin resistance is a much lesser deal if you're already taking insulin.
     
  5. Richard157

    Richard157 Approved members

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    Hello Ellen. I was Type 1 for about 45 years and was never more than 5 pounds overweight. The I started using Humalog in the 1990's and I began gaining weight. I tried very hard to lose some of that weight but I kept on gaining. After several years I was 57 pounds overweight and I had developed insulin resistance. I was a Type 1 with Type 2 symptoms. That is commonly called "Double Diabetes". I started taking Avandia to control my insulin resistance. I have now been taking Avandia for 9 years. I have lost 29 pounds but I will always have insulin resistance. The overweight caused me this complication. Overweight can also cause heart problems, stroke and blood pressure problems as well. I think ALL diabetics should avoid becoming significantly overweight, even us Type 1's.

    Richard
     
  6. Aidyn

    Aidyn Approved members

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    This is a very interesting article.

    I practiced diabulemia throughout my teen years (along with anorexia and exercise bulemia, but those are different stories) and as soon as I started actually caring about my health and finally taking control of my diabetes, I gained 50 pounds! :eek: My A1C was always in the 6.5-7 range (which I think is pretty good!) but my high weight bugged the crap out of me. Luckily, I have now learned how to manage my diabetes and my weight at the same time.

    I think one of the reasons really tight diabetes control can sometimes lead to weight gain is because of low blood sugar. We need to "feed" our insulin with lots of carbs even when we are not hungry just so we won't get shaky, dizzy, and end up fainting. My other philosophy is that if you are very aware of how your body works and how much insulin you need, you may end up eating whatever you want and just making sure you take enough insulin to cover for it, not really thinking about the other aspects of nutrition. These are just a couple thoughts that occured to me and by no means are they necessarily accurate. :)
     
  7. MOMofTEENgirl

    MOMofTEENgirl New Member

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    My daughter just turned 16, dx with type 1 at the age of 6. She has always carried a little bit of "extra" weight -- not really fat mind you, but certainly heavier than her non-D friends. We find that, when in really good control (A1C under 8), she is even heavier :(
    Her type 1 D friends seem to struggle with the same issue.
    The article makes me feel a little better about the few extra pounds (NOT that I'd encourage additional weight gain!!!) -- she is a fairly active teenager so, fitness and health (control) are obviously more important :p
     

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