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From London, England:

There are many things that I don't find and one of them is: How can I find out the way to get fatter? Many times I've read about people with weight problems but I've never read anything at all about those who, like me, want to increase their weight. Eating more seem to be the logical way but, what about doing more sports or increasing my insulin doses?


It is very unusual for someone with diabetes to be unable to gain weight if they want to. However, I have seen this problem in a teenage girl who had always been very thin even before diagnosis. There's no doubt that shape is, to some extent, genetically programmed. You mentioned exercise and, although this obviously burns calories, it's important that you don't give it up because it has more important benefits in terms of cardiovascular fitness and psychological well being. Additionally, exercise makes your body more responsive to insulin so, in theory, you are more likely to put on weight if you eat more after exercise. Basically, you have to find a balance between the three main elements of blood sugar control - insulin, food and exercise. If you eat more, you will have to put up your insulin dose otherwise you will get high blood sugars. Speak to your dietitian to ensure that you are eating the correct things - it would be a mistake to simply eat a lot of fatty foods.


Original posting 3 May 97


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