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Diabetes

Hypothyroid, Insulin Dependent

02/24/2009

Question:

Defeated with trying to lose weight because of hypothroidism and diabetes. Slow gut also.

I rarely feel hungry except when my body tries to trick me which is when my blood sugar is 130-160.

I am actually ready to just give up because along with an intensive insulin regime I cannot lose weight.

My doctor and doctors over the years would always tell me I wasn`t trying hard enough. I cannot excersize 24 hours. I actually work for a living. I am tired of the guilt and trying to do what`s right for me and people look at a person as if they are stupid and lazy.

HELP!

Answer:

Losing weight can be a long process, even without other health problems. People who are successful at losing weight have found a way past the "blame and guilt" game. Yes we need to take responsibility for our actions - but few people are overweight because they want to be! Blaming ourselves and others, and/or feeling trapped in guilt, puts a huge barrier in the way of successful weight loss. It uses up all our energy - so that we have no energy left to make the eating and exercise behavior changes we need to make to lose weight. We have to believe in ourselves - to leave the blame and guilt behind.

Eating too little, or not eating healthy foods, can cause problems too. It can change our ability to know if we are hungry, or full, or satisfied. And food is fuel for our body - our body works much better with the right amount of good quality "fuel".

Uncontrolled diabetes and/or hypothyroidism can make it harder to lose weight - but not impossible. Try these recommendations:

1) Make an appointment with your diabetes care provider and your thyroid care provider. You need to find out if your diabetes and hypothyroidism are well controlled. If not, you need to work with your care providers to make a "game plan" to get them under control. Diabetes and hypothyroidism can be controlled - so keep working with your care providers.

2) Make an appointment with a diabetes dietitian. We all need help taking an honest look at the number of calories we are eating, what time of day we are eating them, and how our current exercise plan is helping us lose weight. Go to this appointment with specific questions and ask for the help you need. For example, do you need to know how many calories you should eat in a day to lose weight? Do you need help finding low calorie foods to fill you up when you get munchy?  Make a list beforehand - go prepared! The dietitian can help you if you know what you need.

3) Ask your diabetes care provider or primary care provider if they think you are suffering from depression. Depression is more common in people with diabetes, and it can keep you from being successful losing weight. If your provider tells you that you might be depressed, then see a counselor or therapist soon. Medication can help, but seeing a counselor or therapist is very important too.

4) Don't let yourself fall into the "blame and guilt" game. Whenever you start feeling frustrated and start blaming yourself or others, or start feeling very guilty, STOP. Tell yourself you are a good person struggling with a difficult problem. Then start someplace small. Pick one behavior you can change that can help you to lose weight - then really think about how you can do it and be successful. Make a definite plan - then do it! Evaluate your goal in no more than a week - if it's going well, then celebrate!! If it isn't going well, either change your plan or pick another goal. The key is don't give up! Habits are hard to change, and it's not easy to be honest with ourselves about change. But if you keep at it, you will be successful.

5) If you like to cook or like to read - check at the library or at the American Diabetes Association "bookstore" for books that can help you.

Good luck! Remember to ask for help, and don't give up!

Related Resources:

American Diabetes Association

For more information:

Go to the Diabetes health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Nancy J Morwessel, CNP, MSN, CDE Nancy J Morwessel, CNP, MSN, CDE
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Diabetes Center
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati