insulin the cause of weight gain and obesity

INSULIN The Cause Of Weight Gain And Obesity

IS INSULIN The Cause Of Weight Gain And Obesity?

INSULIN IS PRESCRIBED to lower blood glucose in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Virtually every patient taking insulin and every prescribing physician knows full well that weight gain is the main side effect. This is strong evidence that hyperinsulinemia, high levels of insulin in the blood, directly causes weight gain. But there is other corroborating evidence as well.

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Insulinomas are rare tumours that continually secrete very high levels of insulin. These cause low blood glucose and persistent weight gain, underscoring insulin’s influence once again. Surgical removal of these tumours results in weight loss. Similarly, sulfonylureas are diabetic medications that stimulate the body to produce more of its own insulin. With insulin stimulation, weight gain is the main side effect. Although the thiazolidinedione (TZD) drug class, used to treat type 2 diabetes, does not increase insulin levels, it does increase insulin’s effect. The result? Lower blood glucose, but also weight gain.

INSULIN The Cause Of Weight Gain And Obesity

Weight gain, however, is not an inevitable consequence of treating diabetes. Currently, metformin is the most widely prescribed medication worldwide for type 2 diabetes. Rather than increasing insulin, it blocks the liver’s production of glucose (gluconeogenesis) and therefore reduces blood glucose. It successfully treats type 2 diabetes without increasing insulin and, therefore, does not lead to weight gain.

Where excessively high insulin levels lead to weight gain, excessively low insulin levels lead to weight loss. Remember, patients with untreated type 1 diabetes have pathologically low insulin levels and no matter how many calories they ingest, they cannot gain any weight. Without normal levels of insulin, these patients cannot properly use or store food energy and, untreated, they waste away and die. With the replacement of insulin, these patients gain weight once again.

Increasing insulin causes weight gain. Decreasing insulin causes weight loss. These are not merely correlations but direct causal factors. Our hormones, mostly insulin, ultimately set our body weight and level of body fat. Remember, obesity is a hormonal imbalance, not a caloric one.

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INSULIN The Cause Of Weight Gain And Obesity

With special thanks to Dr Jason Fung.

About Lukas G

Founder of - Fighting Type 2 Diabetes.

1 Comment

  1. […] “Insulin is the hormone that’s responsible for weight gain and type 2 diabetes.” […]

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