In this article, you will get everything about the insulin, the relationship between insulin and weight gain, how and why insulin affects weight gain, and how to control the weight gain while taking insulin.
Weight Gain is a very common problem nowadays. We generally gain weight because of Bad Eating Habits, being less active physically, or a bad lifestyle. Though these are the most common reasons in the majority of the people, there are some very known and unknown medical reasons too.
One of them is Insulin. Yes, that’s right there is a very common side-effect of being on insulin therapy and that is Weight Gain.
If you are taking insulin for medical reasons. Then you must be wondering about the relationship between insulin and weight gain, how and why insulin causes weight gain and the ways to prevent weight gain while taking insulin.
What is Insulin?
First, let’s talk about what insulin is before getting to its side effects. So, Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas in your body. This hormone helps your body to convert the glucose from carbohydrates into energy or store them in your body for future use.
The main use of Insulin Hormone arises when your cells need glucose for energy. When you eat food and the sugar gets into your body, your blood sugar level increases. Now it is the pancreas turn to releases the insulin hormone. Finally, insulin hormone allows sugar (glucose) to get into cells. There the sugar gets converted into energy or gets stored in the liver for use in the future.
Disturbance in Insulin Hormone can lead to some serious medical issues like Type-2 Diabetes, Blood Pressure, or Obesity.
What is Insulin Resistance?
After understanding what Insulin is and how it works. Now let’s understand about Insulin Resistance. Insulin Resistance is a situation when the cells in your body that convert the sugar into energy don’t respond in a good way to the insulin hormone.
This problem can lead to more serious long-term issues like Blood Sugar Level, Type-2 diabetes, High Blood pressure. It is very important to consult a doctor if this is the case.
Also, the only way to prevent it from getting to a serious level is by following a healthy diet, physical activity, and medications. Professional medical advice is a must in case you are having any symptoms of this problem.
Why do people take Insulin Treatment?
Insulin Therapy is a medical treatment usually given to the people having High Blood Sugar levels. This therapy is not necessary for all the people suffering from Diabetes. In most cases of High Blood Sugar Levels, the first option that doctors consider is the medication, healthy diet, and exercise.
Still, if the condition does not improve, people move to Insulin treatment. This becomes a very important treatment for the people to get maintain their blood sugar level.
This becomes a necessary step when your body does not produce enough insulin hormone or your body does not react to the produced hormone the way it should. Otherwise, you may face serious complications in the future.
Side effects of Insulin Treatment
Any kind of serious medication has some side effects attached to it. Some of the side effects that can happen to the person on Insulin Therapy include the following.
Low Blood Sugar Level
When you get on Insulin Therapy, you can have a serious side effect and that is low blood sugar level. This is a very serious complication and needs to be treated as and when it happens. Though the solution can be very simple, still professional consultation is a must when it comes to your health.
Weight Gain is also a very common side effect seen in the people on insulin therapy. Usually, this symptom arises when you do not take a proper healthy diet and have a very inactive lifestyle. We will be talking all about the weight gain problems that happen due to being on Insulin Therapy in this article itself.
This side effect is mostly seen in elderly people. They get skin rashes and many other skin allergies due to Insulin Therapy. These allergies are not very serious and may get improved over time or with some kind of treatment prescribed by the doctor.
Swelling all over the body
Swelling is also another side effect of this treatment and may get it on any part of your body but especially on hands and legs.
This is a very rare side effect and most probably the elderly people face this issue. There is no way to avoid this, it’s just the way your body reacts to the treatment. But still, you should consult your doctor and make him aware of this problem.
Insulin and Weight Gain
We have discussed the most common side effects that can occur to the person taking insulin. All the side effects except Weight Gain need medical assistance and you really can’t do anything about them.
But you can take care of the Weight Gain Problem and can prevent it. Also, if you control your weight gain and manage the weight balance then you might be able to improve your blood sugar levels.
A diabetic needs to control the Weight Gain. Otherwise, it may lead to more serious complications like High Blood Pressure or even Heart Failure. Weight Gain can also worsen your present condition.
So, it becomes very important for your health to balance your weight and it’s smart too. Also, it’s not that difficult to keep your weight on the check and being healthy. Just some lifestyle changes and you are good to go.
But for that knowledge about the same is very important. You must be aware of Why and How Insulin Therapy leads to weight gain and How you can control or prevent gaining weight while taking insulin.
Let me make all these concepts clear. So, you can choose what’s good and important for your health.
Does Insulin cause Weight Gain?
Yes, Insulin without a doubt can make you gain weight. But it completely depends on the person’s body who is taking the insulin. Because everyone is different and it completely depends on how one’s body reacts to a certain medication.
Also, everyone has different habits and lifestyles. So, again it completely depends on person to person. But in most cases, Insulin can cause people to gain weight.
Weight gain mostly happens when a person with bad eating habits and a very inactive lifestyle starts taking Insulin. So, do not worry taking insulin doesn’t guarantee that you will gain weight. You can avoid gaining weight while taking insulin.
Why does Insulin cause Weight Gain?
The answer to this question is not very complicated. It’s simple and understood that you take insulin when the insulin hormone inside your body doesn’t work normally.
So, you take insulin for being able to convert the glucose you take into energy. Otherwise, your body saves the insulin in the form of fat inside your body for future use.
If you take more insulin then there are chances that your body will store more glucose in the form of fat inside your body and this fat doesn’t get utilized due to an inactive lifestyle. Thus, the unused fat leads you to gain weight.
This doesn’t mean that you should stop taking insulin because of the fear of gaining weight. You can avoid weight gain from using other ways. But do not compromise on your medication prescribed by your doctor. Otherwise, you can face more serious complications and health issues than weight gain.
How to prevent gaining weight while taking Insulin?
As I have already mentioned that compromising on your medication is not the right and preferred way to avoid gaining weight. It will be a foolish thing to compromise on your health just to avoid gaining weight.
Now let’s talk about the other safer ways to avoid gaining weight:
Confirm with a professional about the dosage of Insulin you are taking
You should always take insulin prescribed by your doctor. Because overdosage of insulin is also a big reason for gaining weight. More insulin will lead to more storage of glucose from your food in the form of fat. This way there is more possibility of you gaining weight.
So, make sure and cross-check with a professional doctor if you are taking the right amount of insulin according to the need of your body. More insulin will lead to weight gain and also will lower your blood sugar level too much which is again unhealthy.
Take care of your calorie intake
Keeping a track of the calories you are eating is very important if you are taking insulin. Because more calorie intake leads to more glucose. And it simply means that the insulin will convert some glucose into energy but the rest will go to more storage of fat. This simply means you will gain more weight.
Though keeping a track of calories is necessary for everyone but the people taking insulin, it is much more required.
Eat healthy food only
Eating Healthy is very important for people on insulin medication. Because unhealthy food contains bad fat and cholesterol which no doubt leads to weight gain.
So, avoiding such unhealthy food is very necessary to avoid and neutralize the effect of the insulin intake. Try to follow a limited calorie diet with all the healthy items.
If you are not very knowledgeable about the calories and stuff, try taking help with a professional dietician. A dietician will be very helpful for you to form an appropriate diet and also follow your diet without a miss.
Adding regular exercise to your routine will help you use more energy and the stored fat will also be converted into energy. This will help you burn more fat and will make you avoid weight gain.
Exercising regularly will be very helpful for you if you are on insulin medication. This will not only help you avoid weight gain but also will leave you more energetic. Exercising will make it easier for you to avoid weight gain.
If you are not much of a workout and a gym person, then you must try Yoga and Walk. It will prove lighter on your body but will provide equal benefits to you.
Avoid Sugary Food
Avoiding Sugary Foods like sweets, chocolates, and shakes high on sugar. It’s as it is not very helpful for your diabetic condition. But it is also not good for your weight management.
More sugar means more storage of fats and it definitely will lead you to gain weight. So, instead of having the items containing sugary food items, try to have more food containing natural sugar like fruits. Avoid adding processed sugar to your food.
Eat Good sources of Carbohydrates and Fats
Good Carbohydrates means unprocessed whole grains. Avoid packed and processed food items and try to have whole grains.
Try to eat food items like oatmeal, quinoa, vegetables, and fruits. Do not eat any food item which is processed in any way. This will help you in avoiding the added sugar in the processed food items.
Also, try to avoid food containing trans-fats. Trans-fats are very unhealthy and lead to stubborn fat storage which gets very difficult to lose. Try and have healthy sources of fats like olive oil, coconut oil, and nuts instead of packed food items that contain trans-fats and added sugars.
Food Items you should have while taking Insulin
We already discussed that healthy eating is very important for people taking insulin. Now, here is a list of food items that you can include in your diet to control your weight healthily.
Being on Insulin medication, you should include only unrefined whole grains into your diet like Oatmeal, Quinoa, and Brown Bread.
Green vegetables are a must for people on Insulin and trying to control their weight. Try to have more and more green vegetables like spinach, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, etc.
Fruits are very good for Diabetic people and especially for the ones who are taking insulin. They are also good because they contain natural sugar which is good for diabetic people.
Healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil
Fats are bad for you if you are trying to lose weight. But still, some healthy oils are extracted from fruits and are considered good sources of Fat. So, make sure you cook your food only in these oils.
Food Items you should avoid while taking Insulin
If you want to avoid gaining weight gain, you should choose the most healthy food items and avoid unhealthy options like:
Food with Trans-Fat
You should completely avoid the food items containing trans-fat. It is not at all good for your health. So, it is advisable for diabetic people to completely avoid the food items containing Trans-Fat.
Processed Foods or Packed Food Items
Processing of Food items generally loses the nutritional values of the food. Also, processed food items mostly contain added sugar which id=s not at all good for health and especially for the people on certain medications like Insulin.
Fast Food Items
Fast Food Items are high-fat items and that too high in Trans-Fat. These type of food items loses all the nutritional values and are also very high in calories. So, you should always avoid these packed items or fast food items and focus on home-cooked food only.
Sugary Food Items
Sugar is without a doubt a kind of poison for diabetic people and people on Insulin. So, try and avoid food items containing processed sugar. Also, consume only natural sugar from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains only.
Is Weight Loss possible for people taking Insulin?
Yes, weight loss is undoubtedly possible while taking insulin. Though it may take a little extra time than usual it’s not impossible. If you are on medication then you should avoid compromising on your diet and should become a little more active. Getting the results may take some time but you will get the changes over time.
Also, losing weight while being on insulin can be a little more difficult for elderly people than the younger ones.
It is very important and advisable for you to take professional advice before taking any step. This article is only for informational purposes and you should seek medical advice in case you need any professional advice.