Insulin and weight gain: Keep the pounds off

Insulin and weight gain often go hand in hand, but weight control is possible. If you need insulin therapy, here's how to minimize — or avoid — weight gain.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Weight gain is a common side effect for people who take insulin — a hormone that regulates the absorption of sugar (glucose) by cells. This can be frustrating because maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of your overall diabetes management plan. The good news is that it is possible to maintain your weight while taking insulin.

The link between insulin and weight gain

When you take insulin, glucose is able to enter your cells, and glucose levels in your blood drop. This is the desired treatment goal.

But if you take in more calories than you need to maintain a healthy weight — given your level of activity — your cells will get more glucose than they need. Glucose that your cells don't use accumulates as fat.

Nov. 10, 2017 See more In-depth