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Letter from the Editor: Unexplained Weight Loss

Mar 5, 2011

Over the past couple of months I have received calls from three of my old insulin pump patients asking me to decrease their doses. These patients were all using over 400 units of insulin a day and were at least 100 pounds overweight. As I was talking to them it became apparent that something unique was going on. They had all lost weight without trying and their insulin needs had been cut in half. In fact one of the patients had been told by their physician that they might soon be able to go off their insulin.

I was trying to figure out what was going on when my current intern, Ashley Berry, came to me with some research that helped explain what might be going on. To find out what she thinks happened read: Unexplained Weight Loss and Decreased Insulin Needs in Severely Obese Type 2 Patients.

We all know the value of exercise and physical activity for reducing weight and blood glucose and all of us are constantly extolling the benefits of activity to our patients. This week Sheri Colberg, PhD, examines how exercise and physical activity can affect more than just calorie burning. Check out Brain Hormones, Body Weight, and Physical Activity: Can Rewiring the Brain Lead to Lasting Weight Loss?


Many of you have helped patients avert diabetes disasters and we can all learn from them. (See our Safety and Error Prevention Topic page for a complete list.) If you have a “disaster averted” then send it in and if we use it in our Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series you will receive a Visa Gift Card worth $50.00. So far, we’ve sent out almost $1,000 worth of Gift Cards! Click here to let us know the details. (You can use your name or remain anonymous if you prefer.)

Announcements: March 6, 7PM ET on CNBC

Topics: The life and legacy of the man who shattered baseball records and racial barriers, but struggled against diabetes, Jackie Robinson. Also, a look at the language of diabetes; and the facts on an important women’s health issue that could be affecting you. Sundays on CNBC at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Catch up on

TCOYD Conference and Health Fair, Honolulu, Hawaii, March 5, 2011

The TCOYD team will be in Honolulu this March with Special Sam Choy, Hawaii’s Cooking Ambassador, and Bo Irvine, “Hawaiian King of Comedy.” Event includes: state-of-the-art technologies and advances in diabetes care; afternoon workshops; and physical activities for everyone.

Please answer this week’s poll (in the right-hand column): How many of your patients check post-prandial blood glucose prior to meeting with you?

View last week’s poll results.

We can make a difference!

Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief