causes

Packing on the Pounds? How to Avoid Weight Gain from Medications

My Bariatric Life Health Guide November 02, 2012
  •   Have you noticed the number on your scale creeping up as you’ve gotten older? It may be your pre­scription medication. Weight gain from prescription medication has become increasingly common as more Americans take prescription drugs for chronic illness.1   Drugs to treat ment...

3 Comments
  • David Mendosa
    Health Guide
    Nov. 03, 2012

    Dear MBL,

     

    Thank you for linking my article, "Oral Supplements and Insulin: The Weight Gain Struggles of Diabetes, that I wrote for HealthCentral back in January 2006. I had actually forgotten that I wrote it! That was exactly a month before I started taking Byetta, the first of the GLP-1 agonist medications, which are the ONLY diabetes drugs that regularly...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Dear MBL,

     

    Thank you for linking my article, "Oral Supplements and Insulin: The Weight Gain Struggles of Diabetes, that I wrote for HealthCentral back in January 2006. I had actually forgotten that I wrote it! That was exactly a month before I started taking Byetta, the first of the GLP-1 agonist medications, which are the ONLY diabetes drugs that regularly lead to weight loss.

     

    I went from 312 pounds in February 2006 down to 168 pounds in December 2007 while I was using Byetta. I stopped only because I wanted to see if I could manage my weight and my diabetes without any diabetes drugs, and since that time I have been able to bring my weight down a bit more to 156 by following a very low-carb diet.

     

    I never used insulin, but I have studied it and its effect on the weight of people with diabetes. My book, Losing Weight with Your Diabetes Medication, is largely about Byetta, but I reviewed the effects of other diabetes medications on our weight. In this book I wrote about insulin as follows:

     

    "Before Drs. Banting and Best discovered insulin, people with diabetes were slowly starving and no one with type 1 diabetes would live long. People who began to take insulin quickly gained weight. While that weight gain saved the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people with type 1 diabetes, the weight gain went too far. Like any drug, insulin has its unwanted side effects. One of the side effects of all types and brands of insulin is weight gain.

     

    "The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) is the longest randomized, controlled study ever of people with type 2 diabetes. One part of that study tracked 2,078 people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for six years. This part compared how well they did on insulin, sulfonylureas, and metformin. It turned out that people in two subgroups using insulin gained 22 or 23 pounds in that time. Most of the weight gain came in the first year.

     

    The experience of 9,546 members of Kaiser Permanente Northwest, one of the country’s largest health maintenance organizations, is similar. Those who started insulin between 1996 and 2002 and continued to use it for at least a year without adding any other diabetes medication gained an average of 7 pounds."

     

    Source: Mendosa, David (2008-02-26). Losing Weight with Your Diabetes Medication: How Byetta and Other Drugs Can Help You Lose More Weight than You Ever Thought Possible (Marlowe Diabetes Library) (Kindle Locations 378-387). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

     

    So, MBL, you are so correct is writing that insulin can lead to weight gain. It is a wonderful drug and can be a life-saver, but, like all almost all diabetes drugs, it can lead to weight gain.

     

    Nameste,

     

    David

     

     

    • My Bariatric Life
      Health Guide
      Nov. 03, 2012

      Hi David,

      Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. As always, you continue to inspire the community with your personal triumph over obesity and diabetes. Bravo to losing roughly half of your body weight -- and keeping it off for all of these years!

       

      It is amazing to read your article, which was written just prior to your weight loss journey, to get a glimpse...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi David,

      Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. As always, you continue to inspire the community with your personal triumph over obesity and diabetes. Bravo to losing roughly half of your body weight -- and keeping it off for all of these years!

       

      It is amazing to read your article, which was written just prior to your weight loss journey, to get a glimpse of where you were "then" compared to where you are today. I did not realize until now that switching diabetes medications was a linpin in your success. Hopefully folks reading this post and who struggle with obesity and diabetes will read your linked sharepost, "Oral Supplements and Insulin: The Weight Gain Struggles of Diabetes, and the comments that follow. There is a wealth of personal testimony about diabetes medications that promote weight loss; I am sure this will help quite a few people.

       

      As well, anyone wanting to win the war on obesity and diabetes would do well to read your book, "Losing Weight with Your Diabetes Medication." Understanding treatment options and how these affect weight is a vital point in people finally taking charge of their health and their lives.

       

      Thank you, again, for being an exemplary role model for everyone who struggles with obesity and diabetes. You are living proof that we can take control of our health and win the war on diabetes. I am going to buy your book, David. I hope that you will sign it for me.

       

      -MBL

    • David Mendosa
      Health Guide
      Nov. 03, 2012

      Dear MBL,

       

      I would be delighted to sign my book for you!

       

      Namaste,

       

      David