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More on Symlin

Scott was asking about the side affects from Symlin -- at least that what I assume is going on.

I thought that Symlin had stopped working about a year after I started taking it because I started gaining weight.  It was a stress reaction to some changes at work (if you really want to know, look through the archives).

I also wasn't experiencing the nausea that I had at the beginning.  I do see a difference between feeling hungry and not hungry when I play with it == or forget my pen at home.

Over the past few months, probably a year, I've been feeling really bad with what I assumed was uncontrolled GERD.  Something I've dealt with for a long time and seems to be getting worse.

First, I'm really not drinking much and have shown as dehydrated several times with lab tests.  And if you did see what and how much I was drinking you'd agree.  The dietician I saw last month thinks that between the fact that I only eat about 1000 calories before 5:00 pm and because I'm dehydrated, my body is driving itself to over eat in the evenings.

At the same time, I've been experiencing some real issues that are common among the lapband/gastric bypass set.

Something they call productive burping, meaning that you are actually getting food to come back up from the stomach. 

I'm also experiencing something lovely that causes uncontrolled bowel movements. 

I'm finding that if I drink lots of water, I do feel better, I don't have the uncontrolled eating problems, especially in the evening. 

In fact, I feel "full" right now, and I haven't eaten since 6:30.  I have been constantly sipping on fluids since then.  I'm kind of hoping if I keep up the hydration that it will solve the rest of the problems.  It DID Thanksgiving week.   So far, so good.  The blood sugar is good and my TDD has been under 80.  I've been doing about 125-150 units a day.

Let me tell you, if I can solve the problem by constantly sipping water, paying for Ozarka to deliver a case will pay off.  (Getting water upstairs to my room has been a problem).

Saw the shrink today

It's very odd sometimes because all I feel like I am doing is saying the same thing I've been saying on Twitter and the blogs, but it does seem to help.

Today, I decided while I was there, that I would get Ozarka to actually BRING me water.  You see, I've figured out that is the biggest and best thing I can do to help me with weight loss, lap band surgery or not, and that my biggest obstacle was getting it into my room.  So Tuesday I am going to have them deliver. It should be easier than bringing in bottles, etc.  We'll see how it works.

Joining a lap band support group has been eye opening.  Most of what they experience with the lap band is what I get with Symlin but ignoring, and I've decided to switch to dealing with it how they do.  We'll see how that works.

Medco - Symlin

I really thought that January 14th as a shipping date for my Symlin pens was a bit optomistic.  They are now showing a ship day of the 17th.  The good news is that the pen needles are already on their way.  They will go mule train, and the Symlin will probably come UPS, so they might arrive at the same time.


It's fun keeping watch though.  Haven't heard from the local pharmacy, I think I'll give them a buzz tomorrow.

Symlin Injectable

Saw the beginning of the ordering processing on the Medxo website this afternoon. So it is there. Called the local pharmacy and their supplier said it is not available yet but keep ordering until it is. It will be interesting to see which arrives first.

Symlin Games

Frankly the Symlin has not been doing it for me.

Yes, it allows me to use less insulin but it hasn't helped with controlling eating.

So I've been playing with the dose. I will repeat the warning my doctor gave: "remerber we don't know a lot about Symlin yet"

He did say he's more comfortable with me playing with it more than other patients but I'm the one who emailed why I was coming in and had print outs of every piece of data he wanted.

So I am doing 25 units of Symlin until i can start losing weight again.

Latest Experiments

After participating in a chat last week on insulin pumpers (if you are a member, the transcript is available), I decided to perform 2 Symlin experiments.

The first was NOT prompted by anything anyone said. It was prompted by the fact that I'm a Type 2, I've been dealing with heavier insulin resistance and lots of hunger problems. That said, I decided to up my dosage to 25 units. No adverse effects and my blood sugar is smoother.

This WAS prompted by the discussion. I've been kicking around this idea for quite some time, and since someone did suggest it in the chat and found it working, I decided to try it too. I put in an extra infusion set on Sunday and I'm using it to put Symin in. I've got it more accessible than I usually put it and plan to change it out on Sunday. It eliminated the "ick" factor of injections, although it still burns because of the ph problem. Of course, I take that as meaning it is working.

So far, it's been really good.

Things I've learned about Symlin

It's not quite as temperature sensitive as they claim -- I think that may be true of insulin too, as Medco treats both fairly cavalierly and they are sure careful with depo.

If you do much more than 4 symlin injections in a day, you may have gastrointenstinal distress. When I asked my doctor about it (who has had years of Symlin experience), he said, "yet'. I really think that is what caused nausa at Christmas and caused diarrah one weekend.

Symlin does work well for me for turning off the hungry, even some of my emotional hungrys. However, if I use it too late or too much, I am going to be sick to my stomach in one way or another.

It doesn't work well on grazing food. It will work on the initial food, but additional food need more insulin.

It would be better if I didn't have eating issues and could do better at controlling carbs. Unfortunately that isn't true.

Count me as one who loves Symlin

Close Concerns

Not only have see better A1C's since starting insulin, I've done something I haven't been able to do without it.

Lose weight. I've lost around 25 pounds since starting Symlin in June. I had previously lost around 15 pounds over a year time period, and it was a horrible struggle.

Losing weight on Symlin is extremely easy.

I've reduced my daily insulin usage from over 120 units per day to recently around 33 units. My A1C went from 6.9 to 6.0

I have not gone completely without problems. With the weight lose comes constant diligence to insure that I don't go low. In fact, I had two hypoglymic events last week. It's taken some time to figure it out, but I've determined that I can no longer dose prior to the meal, but have to dose immediately. I had been dosing 30 minutes before the meal to avoid a high blood sugar reading post prandial. We're figuring with the weight lose, I've also gotten a reduction in insulin resistance.

I've gotten very good at tweaking bolus rates.