Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

7/18/05

Q:
Insulin makes me gain weight. What about liposuction or some kind of surgery to reduce the amount of fat cells in my body? It has been proven that the fat around a diabetic's middle -- which is where almost all of mine is centered -- is proportionate to the need for medication. So, if part of the fat is removed, wouldn't it stand to reason that the readings for my diabetes would improve?

A:
Some people do gain body fat when on insulin. Do you have episodes of low blood sugar where you need to "feed" the lows? It may be that you do not have a high food intake, but that the right balance for you has not been achieved. Liposuction would not magically solve your situation. Type 2's requiring insulin either have beta cell toxicity or a diminished beta cell output. The latter may be the prelude to becoming a type 1.5 or type 1.

Be very clear with yourself that you have tweaked your lifestyle management, so that perhaps less insulin may be possible. The type and timing of injections is most important. I've often found that just revising one's protocol makes a difference in amounts of insulin needed.



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