« Egg White ... Ice Cream? | Main | Artsy Fartsy. »

Debating Symlin.

I've been reading a lot about people's experiences with Symlin.  I know Super G and Kelly have given it a ago, along with a lot of other fellow d-bloggers.  I gave some thought to trying it a while back, but Chris and I were, at that time, close to trying for a baby, and then I was pregnant, and now I'm breastfeeding - activities that are all a big "NO!" to the question "Can I use Symlin?"

But the kidlet is four months old, and I've begun the weaning process from breast to bottle.  I'm still feeding her in the morning and once or twice throughout the day, but my days of full-time breastfeeding are in the past.  Within the next two or three months or so, she'll be fully weaned and my body will be mine to mess around with again.  (Thinking about adding an extra set of hands - would be useful additions when it comes to changing a diaper while shooing the cat away.)

More realistically, I'm thinking about Symlin.  Once BSparl isn't directly receiving the drugs I am taking, there will be some medical changes to my regimen.  My endocrinologist has already told me that once the baby is weaned, I'll be moving from my blood pressure medication Labetalol to the previous drug I was taking - Altace 2.5 mg.  And I'm already wondering what tools might be at my disposal for blood sugar management, other than insulin.  Like maybe that Symlin character.

IWould you do it? have mixed feelings on the whole "additional drug" thing.  Over the last year or so, I've become sort of hyper-aware of what's safe for a pregnant woman, from deli meat to drugs.   "If it's bad for a growing baby, how can it be good for me?" is the question rolling around in my head almost at all times.  I understand that sometimes it's a risk/benefit situation, like with deli meats (the nitrates aren't great for me, but they could be really crummy for a budding fetus).  Or the Labetalol, which isn't a drug you want to be on during pregnancy, but if I had ditched blood pressure meds entirely, my experience with pre-eclampsia could have started in the second trimester, instead of the third.  Symlin is something that can help tremendously with post-prandial spiking (and additionally, with weight management), according to the claims on their website.  And I like the idea of that extra assistance all the way around.

But I'm a little sketchy on the idea of taking a drug that has some known nausea side-effects.  (I HATE puking.  Hate.)  And then there's the "Hey, you're on an insulin pump so you don't have to worry about injections ... oh wait, here's another injection."  I feel all uppity and self-righteous about adding in another drug, because in my opinion, less is truly more.  One thing about Symlin, though, is that the decision to try it doesn't mean I have to stay on it.  I could opt in for a few weeks and then return to life without it.

So much to think about in anticipation of my November visit to Joslin.  Has anyone used Symlin and survived the icky first few adjustment weeks?  Could Symlin, in addition to exercise, help me toss the last ten pounds of baby weight?  Is this drug worth shooting up?

Inquiring minds:  I haz one.


You've posed a LOT of questions that have been floating through my mind about Symlin as well, which I had been wanting to ask the DOC! I'll be very interested to hear what you get back as a response, as well as YOUR responses if you go on it!

In particular, I'm curious about what happens if you go off it, like you're contemplating. If you lose those last 10 pounds while on Symlin, will you just gain it back the moment you're off it? Or can you keep it off with your regular diet and exercise from that point?

Excited to see this particular post!

SO GLAD you posted about this Kerri. I have been rolling these same thoughts around in my head (minus the breastfeeding stuff!) for about 3 months now. Just not sure if one more variable in my blood sugar tilt-o-whirl is worth it or not. I'm looking forward to reading the comments from other users. Thanks so much! :-) And congrats to almost having your body to yourself again!

My daughter has been mixing symlin in her pump for about 6 months now. I call it the 'great miracle'. We see far far less of crashing lows, followed by major highs. It just seems to keep things level. I know there are concerns with crashing lowes while on Symlin but because we mix it with humalog (I know some sites say NOT to do this but we know many who have been doing this for a long time succesfully)she is only getting 1 days dose over three days. We haven't had any problems with serious lows.

FWIW, I was using Symlin before starting the whole TTC process. While I did have significant nausea, I didn't actually puke at all. The nausea eventually got better, too. It did amazing things for my post-prandial BG. Once I'm done with TTC (either because I get pregnant or give up), I'll be going back to Symlin. I wrote several posts about my Symlin experiences - http://ladadeeda.com/category/symlin

My daughter has been mixing symlin in her pump for about 6 months now. I call it the 'great miracle'. We see far far less of crashing lows, followed by major highs. It just seems to keep things level. I know there are concerns with crashing lowes while on Symlin but because we mix it with humalog (I know some sites say NOT to do this but we know many who have been doing this for a long time succesfully)she is only getting 1 days dose over three days. We haven't had any problems with serious lows.

She has also experienced zero nausea.

I have used Symlin. The longest I have used it is about 6 months at a time.

The good things are when I take it, it does help my blood sugars and does make me feel less hungry.

The bad things are it is an extra shot, it was not a fast weight loss fix like I had heard and when I upped the dose too quickly I got big time nausea side effects.

What confuses me and frustrates me the most is figuring out my insulin dosage when using Symlin. I think it is a very coordinated effort to get the right balance and I just don't have the patience.

My doctor is really cool and will let me take breaks if I need to. I think he figures it's better for me to take a break than to have a breakdown. :)

I think the nausea is one of those "your mileage may vary" things (of course). I remember having some for the few days of increasing dosages (if you don't know, you start with 15 units per meal - the units are different than insulin units, too, BTW - and work up by 15s to 60 per meal), then no problems really since. I've had issues with the whole "on-a-pump, no injections" thing too, esp. when I forget to bring the Symlin pen with me out and about. At least, unlike insulin, you can live without it. It would be nice if they could build a pump that could deliver the Symlin as well, but that might mean a separate infusion site, bigger pump for two reservoirs... ick.

The biggest adjustment for me was the feeling full faster, which can be scary if you dosed insulin for your whole plate and then you're only able to eat half. I sometimes find, in the evenings esp, that I'm more "snacky" later.

My thing with "extra" medications is that I feel more okay with them when they're a synthetic version of something my body's supposed to be making already. I'm on Synthroid, too - same idea - if my body can't make it and I need it, I'm fine taking the factory version (I was going to say "man-made" but that applies either way here, LOL).

All you can do is try it, see what your experience is.

I liked symlin and will consider it again if I ever decide on going for #2 or not, but I also had some of the scariest lows ever on it. It is very, very, very hard to treat a low with symlin "on board".

I am seeing my endo. tomorrow and this is my #1 question to him out of 8 questions!! I'll let you know what we decide!

This is something that's been on the backburner of my mind-stove for a while, too. I don't like the idea of shots on top of pumping, but the benefits *might* be worth it. I, too, am interested to hear what others have to say about it.

I was on symlin for one month and could NOT get past the sick to my stomach feeling. I felt that way daily after taking it. You up your dose every few days and eventually end up at 60. Even when I scaled back down and just used 15 I felt sick. That is just my personal experience but that does not mean everyone else will feel that way. I do know someone who took it and did not feel sick at all and did lose some weight. So, it just depends on how you can tolerate the side effects.

I had these questions for my endo nearly a year ago. She's written 3-4 scripts for me but insurance won't approve it (their reasoning was that I have hypoglycemia unawareness-- the same reason they approved the DexCom). Hopefully now that I've been on the Dex for a year, I can prove that my bg has been more stable.

I, too, an worried about the nausea. I already get motion sick just riding the train home...and I'm not sure if Symlin would just compound the problem (but if it did, that would really, really suck).

From what I've heard, I hope to avoid Symlin at all costs.

It may not be too bad, but I have the same reservations you do (the extra drugs, the puking), and I feel like I don't have a pressing need for the benefits Symlin offers.

Oh Symlin. I tried it well over a year ago, in my pre-pumping days. 2 shots at a meal was enough to drive me bonkers, and the idea of shooting up now that I'm so content with my pump... not gonna happen. I lost maybe 3 pounds in the time I was on it (a few months) suffered sticky lows, and of course the nausea. For me the nausea was more of a weird headache than actual stomach pain/vomiting. But you are so right about it being something you can quit, so why not give it a go? Good luck!

Glad you brought this up! I was just starting to research symlin.

I had a good experience with Symlin before getting off it when I got pregnant.

My doc is not very pro-Symlin at all, but I lost weight (a little) and never felt that annoying "bear" in my tummy two hours after a meal. I was on it for about 2 years and was the last T1D in his practice to get off it. Also, my insulin-to-carb ratios were a lot higher than now (in the midst of 2nd trimester insulin resistance)!!

I upped my dosage *really* *really* slowly to avoid nausea and found it wasn't a problem for me. I use a pump, too, and I found that taming the bear of an appetite I always have (from infusing an appetite stimulant 24 hours a day) was a fair trade-off for the prick of the pen (which is not to say that shots aren't maddening! The pens are definitely easier!!).

I did have some lows that really lingered, so glucose tabs suddenly became extra extra important.

Hope this helps!!

P.S. Following your pregnancy and birth story have been a wonderful, empowering experience for me and my husband!! Rock on, momma!!

Hey, K -

I'm afraid my experience with Symlin was not a good one. It made me feel incredibly sick to my stomach, plummeted my bloodsugars for the entire time I used it - and unpredictably (like it might drop me to 20 from a 119 before a meal - or it might drop me to 80 from a 119 before a meal....). I did lose some weight, which was why my doc had prescribed it (I wasn't having any real post-prand issues to speak of), and I promptly gained it back after going off.

Good luck - I would say the key is taking great care in how much you start with. Given the insulin-sensitivity we share - I'm thinking you might land up needing tiny little doses as I did. I hope you get better predictability!

xo - N

I'm with Jacquie on this one, I would really have to sit down and do a pros/cons list to consider it.

Everytime I talk with my endo about how I feel I could do better with my A1c, he always reminds me that as long as my A1c stays under 7.0% that my risks of complications is under 3%. So unless you're having bad highs all the time, I wouldn't really see the need for me.

The only reason I personally would want to go on Symlin is for the weight loss factor, but it seems that's more of a hopeful-bonus side effect than the purpose. I don't think experiencing another shot and nausea would be enough for me to just lose 3-6 lbs. Plus, I've managed to follow my diet pretty closely (minus going out to eat with friends), so eating less would mean I'm not gonna get the amount of nutrition I need.

I don't know, I would want to see a lot more success stories with Symlin before I tried it. I just don't want to be one of the pioneers who advocate it.

I wouldn't take it assuming it will help you lose weight; it may but it might not. I would give it a few months' trial period. A few weeks isn't really long enough in my opinion. It took me quite a while for my body to adapt to it to the point where it was actually effective. The nausea is pretty mild if you increase the dose as recommended. Well, it was mild for me, in the sense that I only threw up once, and it was probably related to something else at the time.

It did give a sort of hyper anxiety about having bad lows; but once I figured out that I could pretty much always split my boluses (rather than taking all insulin upfront), I could cancel a bolus midway if I noticed I had taken too much. Symlin + insulin pump + Dexcom is a pretty good combo.

I actually have an untouched symlin pen sitting in my fridge since April 2009! My endo gave me some to try along with prescriptions for it which I just threw out since they expired. I thought about using it however the cons outweigh the pros in my book. I give credit to those PWD who get benefits from using it while being able to tolerate it. Good luck with it if you give it a go!

This is the first discussion I read regarding Symlin.

Drug changes freak me out a also. If something is really working well don't change it. But on the other hand, how would we know if it worked unless we try it.

I remember years ago the Dr. said try Lantus, at first it was a OMG moment. After a couple of months no problem. Maybe trying will work well. I have since moved on to a pump and I am loving it.

P.S. I noted in your post that you will soon be taking Altace. My reaction to this drug was this annoying hack, hack cough all the time. I never realized that the cough was from the drug. Keep an eye/ear out for that reaction.

First symlin is as much a drug as insiulin is.

my endo helped develop it in his early career and i was on it until lapband and there is a lot about those experiences on my blog.

i liked it

My ENDO pushes Symlin on me everytime I see her. I use it for 3-4 months then drop it. Other than some severe,hard to treat lows, I never did see any major reduction in total daily dose, weight, or A1c. It didn't make me sick and I worked up to 120mcg. I have a friend who loves it. I still use it occassionally at 60mcg for those rare high-carb meals. It does smooth out the spike. Can't hurt to try. Go slow and have your glucose tabs handy.

I tried Symlin a few years ago. It causes some wicked lows that don't come up despite treatment (even sometimes if you don't give any insulin for your meal). Symlin delays food absorption, including low treatment. Maybe now that I'm on the Dexcom things would be better, but I was unimpressed enough to not try it out again.
The nausea isn't too bad as long as you don't increase the dose too fast. I stuck with a relatively conservative max dose of 7 units. Never could get up to the 15 unit dose my doc said to work up to. Honestly, pre-bolusing (I try for 10-20 minutes before meals) works far better to reduce the after meal spikes than the Symlin. And taking less insulin because of fewer highs also helps weight loss.
Every diabetic is different, and this may be your golden ticket. If you're willing to give it a go, do it, but beware of the lows!

I had extreme problems with nausea initially, and even stopped using it for awhile, but now have no issues with it. Using the Dex showed me how much my numbers spike after breakfast, so that is the only meal I use symlin with. Also, that way I don't have to worry about carrying around a penlet all the time, just using it in the convenience of my own home. There is a huge difference on the days I do and don't use it with my breakfast. If I have a low fat meal, say cereal and milk (of course, coffee too!), then I bolus over an hour. If there is fat involved, say peanut butter on an english muffin, then I bolus over 1.5-2 hours. I highly recommend it. Feel free to ask any questions.

I was on Symlin for a while but the nausea never went away, and it sucked. I didn't puke from it, but I just felt terrible right after I took it. And the lows whooped my ASS. 40 mg/dl is definitely a low, but a Symline 40 mg/dl? So much worse.

I'm not saying to not try Symlin because everyone is different, but I agree with some of the posts here that I just don't have the patience to introduce something else to my regimen, especially being so comfy with the pump. Being on Symlin was like starting all over again.

That being said, I do have some Symlin pens in the fridge that I should use up, and I wouldn't mind losing some weight!

Try a vial and report back!

For those of you who experienced severe lows or nausea have you considered talking to your endo about mixing it in your pump? It also means no shots.

I tried it a while back. The nausea wasn't fun, but was doable for me. What wasn't was feeling super full and needing to eat or drink ridiculous amounts to keep my blood sugars up. Some of the worst lows I've had. I loved the not being starving all the time, but the lows made it not worth it for me.

I have been taking Symlin for a couple of years now and really like how it works. Of course I do have to pay attention and make some adjustments. I have two different insulin to carb ratios that I use. One with Symlin (17 to 1) and one without (13 to 1).

I also found that it does send my BG's lower and I had a couple of scary lows but my doc and I decided that I should not take Symlin unless my BG was above 80 and stable.

The nausea was bad in the beginning but now I notice the full feeling and just stop eating before I get nauseous.

For me Symlin has really stabilized things with my BG's and my A1c's have been consistently below 7 since going on the drug.

I was one of the test patients of Symlin when it was being tested, and yes it did work. I'm on Symlin now, and I have to say that Symlin does have it's pluses and minuses. Yes you may get naseau, it just one of those side effects, just like insulin can lower your bloodsugar. The good thing about Symlin, it does help with that bloodsugar spike after eating. BUT it also makes the bloodsugar stronger and can drop your bloodsugar. So if you're eating chinese(Chinese food always makes my bloodsugars spike) I'd take it. All in all it is helpful tool.

I have been on Symlin for approx. 8 months. Before starting symlin I was unable to drop any wieght even with running 20 miles a week. Since starting the drug I have lost 20 lbs and am still losing. Many of the comments made above were true for me as well. The biggest thing I still struggle with is the carb: insulin ratio which has caused some nasty lows but overall my weight is down, insulin use is lower and A1C has been dropping and I have no plans to stop taking it.

I'm not using Symlin. When it was proposed to me a few years ago, I wanted to try it, but I was new to using a pump and I didn't want to add a new complication to my blood sugar management. (And I was glad to have stopped taking shots and not eager to start again.)
But I am still wanting to eventually start on Symlin or something similar. I think the idea that it is an "additional drug" is looking at it totally wrong.
Novolog is not an additional drug for me. It's a replacement for the insulin my body no longer produces.
Symlin is a replacement for the amylin my body no longer produces. There are definite problems with my metabolism caused by the absence of any amylin. That's what Symlin helps with, and that's why I don't consider it an additional drug.
Byetta would be an additional drug.

I think you should try it. If it works great, if not, great.

It is POWERFUL and there is nothing like a Symlin low. Remember, I'm the dood who took 60u of insulin after having about 15 onboard and even that fight was not as scary as the lows I had now and then.

Be careful, try it, and if you no likey, then screw it.

Son tried Symlin for about 4 months, even though his endo had not seen much in the way of results with her patients who had tried it. He had minimal nausea, which decreased, but did not notice significant changes in his insulin requirements and lost only a couple of pounds, his weight being why he was on it in the first place. He went off to college and did not refill the Rx.

Haaated Symlin. With a passion of a thousand fiery suns. It burned, it bruised me, it was unpredictable, it was a shot while on the pump. Yuck.

I've been on Metformin since March and it has done a lot of good for me. Of course, I also have to remember to take it. I am so used to being on the pump and not having a 2nd med that I still sometimes forget that I need to pop the pill. Metformin is also a bit of a horse pill and tastes bad, but when I get over myself and take it, it is just fine and it works the same no matter when I take it. Except, if I forget to take it then my BG goes up because my basal rate is set as if I'm taking it, so that's been tricky.

I tried Symlin and was hoping for the benefit of a reduced appetite, less insulin and better sugars. I didn't experience any nausea, but after I experienced one of the worst lows in my life, I quit. I dropped fast and hard! It was just too scary. I've got a 2-year-old at home and I just couldn't risk something happening when it was just us. And for the record, I've had lows in the 30's and never felt like I felt when I took Symlin and ended up in the 30's. It was awful.

I resisted taking Symlin for a long time. Now I take it with breakfast only. It did help lower my A1C. Be careful on it, though. It can create dangerous lows. Does it help with weight loss? A little, but it's not a diet drug.

Thanks for the mention! Yes, I started SYMLIN a few weeks ago & am continuing w/it slowly, & following Dr J's orders re:increasing the SYMLIN dosages slowly,cutting back bolus amounts, writing & Asking lots of questions.
I've felt a little woozy, but nothing horrible. But I'm still only at 15 mcgs
I haven't worked my way up to the highest dose of 60 mcg, which might be why I'm not feeling a lot of nausea.
My advice is to take into account what everyone is saying& then really think about it. You have to be ready, because it's an adjustment and it's not a quick one. When and if your ready to say "yes," you will.
kelly k

I will make only one comment...Xenical..ie. Orlistat. It is a med. for losing weight that has been accepted by the fda for kids! It's a blue capsule, and to be perfectly honest with you, it makes you poo grease...literally. It also helps you blood pressure, and my simvastrin (cholesterol med) had almost been rendered redundant. It's safe, and you will lose weight. I have lost over 35 kilos using it since I was diagnosed with type II. I am now a size 10-12,and no, I don't own stock in the company. Check it out, I know they sell it in the US. Either under the name Orlistat or Alli. And... it is sold without a perscription. I swear by it!
Lot of love to you and B-Sparl!
Beth in Seville

I tried Symlin briefly shortly after it came out (before it was even available in pens). I was also trialing the Dexcom at the time - which was good because I had some CRAZY graphs.

I could not take my mealtime insulin AT ALL if I was taking Symlin or I would crash BIG TIME! However, I would spike like 2 hours later without insulin (of course). So what I ended up doing was taking the Symlin with my meal and my insulin 1 1/2 hours later. I decided remembering the second dose and time just wasn't worth it, especially without the backup of a CGM. I liked the leveling of my numbers, but not what it took to achieve it.

I took Symlin for about a year before I stopped (due to wanting to try to get pregnant) and it was OK. Definitely helped me keep weight off better than I was doing on my own, and I actually lost some weight early on while taking it (because yes, there was some nausea, but that eventually dissipated.) Still, even though I took it, like you I'm always reluctant to take on "another" drug. Good luck in whatever you decide!!

I've never taken it and based on these comments I don't ever want to take it.

I've been on symlin since 2005. I LOVE IT. It took me about a month to figure out how to use it (and I follow a strict bunch of rules when I take it b/c it caused me to have some pretty severe lows), but after that first month, it's smooth sailing. Hello, thai food with no post-prandial BG higher than 150. As far as the nausea...yea it's bad at first. But if you go slow and take teeny tiny doses, it's better. Titrate up slowly. I started on 2 units, and that was too much, so I dropped it down to .5 units, which made it better. Now I take 7 units and it is awesome. LOVE it. Made such a huge difference in my diabetes management!

i took symlin and it was horrible. the doctor kept telling me i would get used to it, but i took it for at least a year and not every time i took it, but more often than not, it made me miserably sick. as in curl up in a ball on the floor and have stomach pains and headaches and just try not to die for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
i think the reason it helps you keep weight off is because it makes you feel so bad that you can't even think about eating anything!

Interesting. This isn't exactly the write place, but I thought you'd be interested in this article over at io9 about diabetes and evolution...sort of interesting i guess. http://io9.com/5614469/is-evolution-pushing-our-dna-towards-diabetes

Reading these posts makes me terrified to consider you getting serious lows from Symlin that are hard to treat. I think that one of the most important considerations in your decision is whether you'd be putting bsparl (and yourself) at risk with the consequences of lows that aren't easily treated because your body won't digest the glucose you eat fast enough. I think that you can figure out a better way to lose that last 10 pounds.

Another comment: I'm way older than you and my kids are about your age. So in some ways we don't have much in common. However, I treasure your posts. You are a fabulous writer who manages to make all of your readers feel like we're your best friend. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

I tried Symlin and didn't stick with it for more than a month or two.
The lows on Symlin are killer lows and hard to get yourself up and out of in a reasonable amount of time to deal with your child(ren). The combination of exercise and Symlin caused the lows to become even more problematic.
The time it took to draw up the Symlin became extra time that I simply wasn't used to taking as a busy mom on the go and being on an insulin pump for that very reason.
Good luck!

Another great conversation. Thanks for the info from everyone. You are teaching a very big audience and the variety of perspectives does provide some balance.

Took Symlin and was a bit low to begin with .....ended up having my 16yo son taking me to the hospital with an all time bad won't come up low.
However, it does reduce spikes and help with weight loss. I now do not give insulin until I have eaten carbs.
Oh and another thing is that it is not uncommon to be very hungry when the Symlin wears off a few hours after taking. If you can get past that then you are okay.

I've been on Symlin for two years and I do think it's a great tool, even if it's a lot of work to learn how to use. I avoid additional drugs too, but I feel strongly that this secondary missing hormone is necessary enough in my body to justify taking a manmade version.

If I follow strict rules I don't have the dreaded Symlin low (watch out for those, they're no joke.) I only allow myself to take it when: I'm above 80 or so, I have NO insulin on board, I haven't been low recently, and my basals aren't set too high. I give insulin for the meal in an extended bolus, usually over 1 hour, never all at once, and never before the meal. If conditions are favorable, and I can use it, I see perfectly flat postprandial BGs. Awesome. I started with tiny doses, and had little or no nausea. I didn't lose weight but wasn't trying to. However, I really appreciated the satiety cues that Symlin restored...made me realize what I had been missing!

I'd say try it, being super careful about mealtime insulin and starting BG, and see how you feel. It's tricky, and it's more work, but it's worth learning about.

Perfect timing! I started Symlin on 8/11 and took off for a trip the next day. I was really nervous about being 'sick' away from home.Symlin is no longer available in a vial; disposable pen only, so that was comfortable and familiar to me. I started on the 60 mg pen that begins at a fixed dose of 15 for 3 days, 30 mg for 3 days, 45 mg/3 days, etc. My stomach was a bit queasy the first 2 injections and then easy peasy after that. Increased the dose on my trip and left breakfast after one bite! Next dose - no problem. Dr. told me to take 1/2 my Apidra when dosing Symlin - that can't be bad. Next increase should be tonight/tomorrow; but I can deal. C'mon - misery loves company - KIDDING!

Regarding Lisa's comment above about her daughter mixing Symlin and Humalog in the pump--I'd love to know more about that! (Lisa, want to share some facts and some information sources?)

Also, on that topic, have you read Karmel Allison's two posts on Symlin and mixing with insulin?


hi Kerri, I have really liked Symlin. In people without diabetes, the hormone amylin (which is what Symlin is, in synthetic form) is co-secreted with insulin. So it's another hormone that we don't make naturally, that poeple without diabetes get naturally. I liked the idea of getting that too. I got to be in Symlin trials so I had a lot of help titrating it and still like it a lot - though I took it in an extra pump I got to borrow for about a month and say it worked much better in the pump (makes sense - people without diabetes have it secreted all the time with extra coming for meals!) Gary Scheiner is an amazing CDE and he wrote a post on diaTribe about Symlin and the complexity in taking it here: http://www.diatribe.us/issues/20/thinking-like-a-pancreas.php. Here is an enthusiastic post about my test drive with Symlin: http://www.diatribe.us/issues/8/test-drive.php. Thanks for all you do, this was very interesting to read all the experiences with Symlin and I'm sad for those for whom it hasn't worked and will be keen to hear your experiences if you go on it.

For me symlin was the sort of thing I didn't appreciate until I stopped taking it. I started taking symlin last summer almost strictly for the weight loss and as someone who was diagnosed at the age of 5 I had honestly NEVER felt full in my life until I started taking it. When I first started out with it I had very mild nausia for about a week and it quickly went away. I did experience a few crazy lows after meals but adjusting my insulin to carb fixed that pretty quickly. when i do take symlin my daily insulin goes from 60-70 units to 30-40. I initially dropped about 10 lb when i first started on it and after that it really helped me not gain the weight back. I stopped taking my symlin regularly in february (because sometimes I act like the stupid college student that I am) and gained probably 20 or 30 lb. I really did not realize how greatly it had curbed my apetite until I stopped taking it. I started taking it again in June and am really glad I did. Currently I'm on 30 mcg per meal but may move up to 45. My "rules" are don't take it if my sugar is under 80 or I'm eating less than 30 carbs. Sometimes if im only eating 30 carbs i'll take the symlin instead of insulin and that seems to work really well. Good luck

I have no experiences with Symlin at all, but I have a (maybe dumb) question: If you had such a good control during the pregnancy with all the weird things happening to your body, why can't you have it without pregnancy? Shouldn't it be easier now? (I've been wondering about that for some time now.)
I'm one of the "the less drugs the better" fraction too, so I'm very sceptical about new drugs (esp. because of side effects & diabetes) when I don't see why they would be needed.

I agree whole-heartedly with the last two comments! I'm a type 1-er and took Symlin for about a year. I lost 25 pounds fairly quickly. It was the first time in my life that I could make it from lunch to dinner without feeling hungry or snacking. Like a miracle! Clearly, our bodies are just missing this important hormone.

I also went from taking 40-50 units of insulin per day to taking 30 per day. I had to lower both my basals and my carb ratios. Because Symlin made me feel full, I also waited to bolus insulin until after I had eaten---so as to avoid thinking I would eat more, over-bolusing, and then crashing after meals. That definitely helped with the lows.

I do think the extra injection is the biggest downside. I just had a baby, and can't wait to get back on it (after breastfeeding). Good luck and let us know what you decide!

I tried it a few years ago and I had similar results as everyone else...I had some wicked lows, I did lose some weight, but I HATED having to do another shot whenever I ate since I've been a pumper for 10 of the 12 years I've been diabetic. While I was on it, I literally had to carry bottled juice with me and even that wasn't enough sometimes. When you go low on Symlin, it's like fighting to get out of quicksand to bring your bloodsugar back up. It was really frustrating because it took FOREVER to climb back up. It just became not worth the hassle for me. Also, my insurance wouldn't cover it, so it was just way too expensive for me. I would say to definitely talk it out with your doctor and decide what's best for you. I honestly don't know if I'd go on it again or not. I'm working on losing weight right now by counting calories and it's working okay so far, so I'm just going to stick to this way for now. Good luck!

I'll be 50 in July, a type I 40 yrs this October and have been pumping since 96. .

My Dr. brought up Symlin too just before Xmas and I've been thinking about it.

While preg with my only child in 98, when I was 37, I had nausea and a bloat feeling 24/7 from about wk 6 until several months after having him. The entire time I would tell everyone that pregnancy was the BEST DIET EVER - lol - due to the continual nausea and bloating, one SIP of liquid and I was FULL. I was in bed almost the entire day miserable. It took me all day long just to finish my daily menu of a mere 2 eggs, slice of toast and a glass of milk. I only gained 16 lbs and not a pound came on till my 5th month!

If it really makes you feel sick, I know how weird that sounds, I'm thinking of doing it. I test A LOT and I want to be thin, and have great BG control by the end of this year.


I discovered your weblog site on google and check a number of of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the very good operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Searching for ahead to studying extra from you later on!

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)