How type 1 diabetes affects the body

Type 1 diabetes has a profound effect on life. The question is not only in the calculation of carbohydrates and dosages of drugs. You need to look at it comprehensively.

Materials from the author’s workshop Diabeton

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes is like learning to live again. Suddenly there are new rules for eating, exercising, and even sleeping. It may take a long time to adjust to all these new requirements.

Weight gain is common in people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (hereinafter referred to as DM1, T1T) who are just starting insulin treatment. And the same swings in blood sugar that accompany these treatments can cause emotional changes, including a tendency to anxiety and depression.

You also need to know why these symptoms occur and how best to manage them without putting your blood sugar at risk.

However, the first step to a good life with D1T is realizing that you have joined a community of many other people who have had to deal with the same problems.

insulin and weight gain

The first major hurdle that many newly diagnosed people with diabetes face is the link between insulin and weight gain. This can be especially difficult for teenagers.

The reason why newly diagnosed individuals often experience weight gain is not as simple as some people think. Here are the most common causes of weight gain after diagnosis and how you can approach each one in the safest way.

You may have been underweight when you were diagnosed

For many of us, a diagnosis is only made after weeks of unexplained symptoms. One of the most common is weight loss.

Once you start insulin treatment and lower your blood sugar levels, your body will work hard to replace all those fat deposits that were used up during the illness. The natural effect of this is weight gain.

It is important to remember that this weight gain is necessary to get your health back to normal. While you may have enjoyed your finer body, this was the result of an illness and not something to be idealized.

Your weight may fluctuate for some time until insulin doses become more or less constant and your body recovers. Perhaps your body will go into a honeymoon phase for a while. Just as your sugar and insulin levels should equalize, so should your weight.

When you feel comfortable with your new treatment, you can start exercising, which will allow you to reach your best weight in a healthy way if you still feel it is necessary.

Polyphagia as a factor in weight gain

Another common symptom in type 1 diabetes is polyphagia, or extreme and persistent hunger. In your body’s quest to provide your cells with energy they don’t have access to, your hunger hormones are produced in greater quantities even when your stomach is full.

In some, the production of the hormones that control hunger is so high that the problem persists even after starting insulin treatment. This can lead to constant hunger, overeating and weight gain.

Eventually, your appetite will return to normal, but this may take some time. The best way to combat this phenomenon is to focus on meeting your mealtime carb goals while limiting your fat intake and choosing healthy snacks to satisfy your hunger between meals.

Insulin facilitates fat storage

In addition to helping cells use glucose, insulin also helps the body store fat. Insulin can also prevent the breakdown of fat in the body when excess insulin circulates in the blood.

Both of these factors contribute to weight gain in insulin-dependent diabetics. For many who are desperate to lose weight, cutting back on insulin seems like the best course of action. Not only is it unsafe because it can lead to high blood sugar levels that damage your heart and kidneys, but it will only set you on a weight loss roller coaster followed by weight gain again.

Instead of lowering the levels of insulin your body needs to maintain normal blood sugar levels, try to focus on increasing your body’s sensitivity to insulin.

Eat as little processed foods and saturated fats as possible and stay active. The natural reduction in insulin requirements will, in turn, lead to less fat accumulation and healthier weight loss.

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