Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment.
Meet the StaffFind a directory of doctors and departments at all Mayo Clinic campuses. Visit now.
Research and Clinical TrialsSee how Mayo Clinic research and clinical trials advance the science of medicine and improve patient care. Explore now.
Visit Our SchoolsEducators at Mayo Clinic train tomorrow’s leaders to deliver compassionate, high-value, safe patient care. Choose a degree.
Professional ServicesExplore Mayo Clinic’s many resources and see jobs available for medical professionals. Get updates.
Give to Mayo ClinicHelp set a new world standard in care for people everywhere. Give now.
Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations.
Subscribe to Housecall
Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics.
Subscribe to our Controlling Your Diabetes e-newsletter to stay up to date on diabetes topics.
A frequent complaint about diabetes medications — oral and insulin — is that they cause weight gain.
Some diabetes medications — sulfonylureas and thiazolidinediones — do cause weight gain. Metformin and incretin mimetics usually don't cause weight gain and may even cause a little weight loss.
People sometimes say they don't want to start on insulin because it causes weight gain. Insulin helps the body absorb nutrients and moves glucose into cells for use and storage, leading to initial weight gain.
If your blood sugars are consistently high over a period of time, as when you were first diagnosed with diabetes, or if your medication has not been controlling your blood sugars, your body tries to get rid of the excess blood sugar through the kidneys. Along with the sugar, your body is getting rid of calories and weight loss occurs.
Once you begin using insulin, the glucose goes into the cells and you gain weight. Your body is now using the calories that you previously flushed away.
Hypoglycemia also can cause weight gain. If you've ever had low blood sugar, you know that feeling of anxiety you get that makes you overeat to get your blood sugar back up.
Some pre-mixed or intermediate acting insulins require that you eat on a schedule. If the dose is too high you may need to eat extra snacks to avoid low blood sugar which then leads to weight gain. If this happens, work with your diabetes educator or health care provider for assistance.
If you overeat, you gain weight. Just because you can "take insulin to cover it" doesn't give you free reign to overindulge.
What can you do to prevent or minimize weight gain? Here are a few tips:
Have a great week!
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
I havent found anything on what you can do if insulin and other diabetes medications either raise your blood sugar levels or have no effect on them. Can you please give me some idea what to do for that?
The title of this article is so exciting and inviting to read.
But once you finish reading what you benefit out of it is a big repeated ZERO
Rhonda, it seems to be the problem with this blog that only partial information is given (or sometimes the information is poorly worded).
I don't know whether it is that the blogger does not know better or whether ti is not to scared diabetics.
As a retired biomedical researcher I have a problems with the inaccuracy of the glucose meters that will not give any solid information and can best used for trending tests!
But they are presented as if they are the solve it all solution for determining ones blood sugar content!
I lost weight on Metformin but found that difficult to tolerate due to the digestive upsets it caused.
Now i am on Gliclazide and the weight is piling on and making me feel depressed.
I wonder if i dare ask for another option?
Thank you for the great information. I'm suppose to start on metfomin and am very nervous about it. This is the first, meds I have had to use since diagnosed 13 years ago. I feel much better about taking the metfomin now that I have done some reading up on it.
Great article ! I always enjoy being able to obtain more info on diabetes being a diabetic myself
I have lost a lot of things because of this horrible disease but weight is not one of them! It is a constant battle and I am getting weary of it! I also have battled cancer and depression. The meds. I take for all of these cause weight gain.The nightmare began with a year of chemo.!
I get SO frustrated!!!
I use two kinds of medication to control my diabetes II, plus diet and some exercise. Repaglinide taken before meals never results with hypoglycemia with me, even if I skip lunch, which I often do.I also take Acarbose with meals that include starches. I have used both meds over 10 years, I have maintained same weight (155 lbs.) and my daily blood glucose levels are low (avg over 2 years = 116). A1C is usually 6.2 - 6.4.
I recommend these meds to any diabetic II that I meet.
Thank you for the information. I can't seem to get under 179lbs I'm type two and on metformin I also have neuropathy now on Friday I have found out that IV a mass and blockage .that has food restrictions too. It gets very complicated to me so I appreciate all the good information. Have a great day.
Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not for profit mission.
Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic.
A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.org," "Mayo Clinic Healthy Living," and the triple-shield Mayo Clinic logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.