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Question:

From South Amboy, New Jersey, USA:

I am a 25 year old who has type 1 diabetes along with hypothyroidism, and as with most women my age, I am concerned with weight gain. I have heard about a product called Trim Spa that can help with weight loss and does not contain ephedra [wrong -- see comment below. ED.] Are there any side affects of using this Trim Spa weight loss product and taking insulin injections?

Answer:

I don't know what is in this particular product, but it is hard to believe that any over-the-counter weight loss product wouldn't have potential side effects in someone with type 1 diabetes.

If you are truly overweight and having problems stopping an ongoing weight gain or losing weight, perhaps you should speak to your doctor about trying to lower your insulin a little bit, and if your blood sugar goes up, decrease your food intake and/or increase your exercise to keep your blood sugar under control rather than go back to the higher dose of insulin.

Often, insulin requirements go down in the late teen years, and if the insulin dose isn't decreased, you have to eat more food than is good for your weight to prevent low blood sugars. Also if you are taking more insulin than you need, your appetite may be increased, and your insulin may actually not work as well as it should. (You actually develop some insulin resistance even though you have type 1 diabetes and must take insulin even if your weight is normal.)

Remember, if you are taking insulin and need to lose weight, you may have to do it more slowly than you would if you didn't have diabetes and didn't need insulin. If you lost 1 pound a month, you would be heading in the right direction. Two pounds a month would be fantastic. More than that may not be realistic.

Do not make any changes without first consulting with your own physician!

TGL

Additional comments from Joyce Mosiman:

Ephedra has been indicated in several cases of heart arrhythmia and death when used as a diet aid. I would not recommend using any product with this drug in it.

Unfortunately, there are as many suggestions on how to lose weight as there are people who need or want to lose weight. The bottom line is to take in fewer calories than you burn. Starting on an exercise program with the blessing of your physician may help to get you started watching what you eat. Weight loss programs that offer group or individual support may also be helpful and in the long run may not be as expensive. Eating a healthy diet with less refined sugar and starch and reasonable amounts of meats, larger servings of vegetables and fruits is a good place to start.

I would recommend you talk to your dietitian for further suggestions and help in determining an appropriate weight loss regimen for you.

JM

Additional comments from Dr. Donough O'Brien:

Trim Spa is a complex, largely irrational, mixture of a wide variety of nutritional and herbal supplements. It's much advertised benefits in promoting weight loss are unsupported by formal long term controlled studies. This is not to deny a short term placebo effect and at the same time there is no evidence that such a product would interfere with conventional diabetes treatment. One of the main ingredients is glucosamine, a natural product which has been much used in the treatment of arthritis, but despite the similarity in name, there is no evidence that glucosamine in the doses suggested would have any impact on blood sugar levels.

DOB

Additional comments from Dr. Stuart Brink:

None of these products work. If it sounds like a miracle drug to produce weight loss, so far, nobody seems to know about it! However, you would need to know exact ingredients to know about possible side effects. Please discuss with your diabetes team since they can advise you and know your specific health issues.

SB

[Editor's comment: Sorry, but your info that it does not contain ephedra is wrong -- the product's website does say it contains ephedra, under its other name, Ma Huang. The website lists: Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCI), Zinc (as zinc citrate and zinc arginate), Manganese (as manganese arginnate), Chromium (as chromium Chelavitetm dinicotinate glycinate), Gymnema sylvestre leaf and Gymnema sylvestre leaf extract, Vanadium (as vanadium amino acid chelate), Glucosamine Sulfate, LipoTropic Blend (Lecithin, Inositol, Choline Bitartrate, DL-Methionine), Appetite Control Blend (Peppermint Leaf, Fennel Seed, Bladderwrack Kelp, L-Glutamine, DL-Phenylalanine, Rosemary (aerial parts), L-Tyrosine, Bitter Melon Extract), and Thermogenic Herbal Concentrates (Guarana Seed Extract (60mg caffeine), Ma Huang extract (15 mg ephedrine alkoloids) (aerial parts), Ginger Root, Black Pepper, Long Pepper, Spirulina Blue-Green Algae, Cayenne Pepper Fruit, Kola Nut (seed), Siberian Ginseng Root, Cinnamon Twig, Lemon Verbena (aerial parts), Chamomile Flower, Licorice Root, Tangerine Peel, Chicory Root). WWQ]

DTQ-20021123170913
Original posting 27 Nov 2002
Posted to Weight and Weight Loss

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:40
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