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Tips To Prevent Unwanted Weight Gain With Insulin Therapy

Why do patients gain a significant amount of weight when on insulin therapy? Several proposed theories include decreased glycosuria due to improved glycemic control, the anabolic effects of insulin itself, decreased metabolic rate, aggressive treatment of hypoglycemia, and defensive eating to prevent hypoglycemia or deal with the fear of hypoglycemia.

As observed majority of patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) are already overweight, the weight gain associated with insulin therapy may delay insulin initiation. Weight gain may also increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, worsen hypertension, and lower high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, all of which are independent risk factors for atherosclerosis. Therefore, intervention to help minimize the weight gain associated with insulin therapy has to be closely monitored.

How to Avoid Weight Gain?

Addressing insulin-related weight gain is highly relevant to the prevention of metabolic and cardiovascular consequences in this high-risk population with type 2 diabetes. In addition to lifestyle changes (eg, diet and exercise) and available medical interventions to minimize the risk of weight gain with insulin treatment, familiarity with the weight gain patterns of different insulins may help deal with this problem. The use of basal insulin analogs may offer advantages over conventional human insulin preparations in terms of more physiologic time-action profiles, reduced risk of hypoglycemia, and reduced weight gain. (source:

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