Using insulin to treat type 2 diabetes could lead to weight gain, according to a new study from Tulane University.
The study showed that aggressive treatment to regulate blood sugar levels and bring A1c levels down, especially through the use of insulin, could cause weight gain.
The study, led by Dr. Vivian Fonseca of Tulane’s Health Sciences Center, appeared in a February issue of Diabetes Care.
It followed 8,929 type 2 patients, approximately half who participated in standard treatment while the other half used more aggressive treatment options, including insulin.
Those who used more aggressive treatment options gained about 2.7 kilograms more, on average, than their average treatment counterparts.
“Following randomization, the intensive group participants with the greatest reduction in A1c gained the most weight,” the authors write. “Insulin and TZD (thiazolidinedione) use was associated with the greatest weight gain. Nevertheless, appreciation of these characteristics may help develop strategies to prevent weight gain when initiating intensive glycemic control in the future.”
The study was conducted over the course of two years.
Although the news might be disheartening for type 2s, since weight management can help control the symptoms of diabetes, there are steps they can take to prevent weight gain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, counting calories, eating regular meals, getting up off the couch to exercise, and talking with your doctor about other medication options are the most effective ways to keep both weight and glucose levels in check.