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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Life in the Sensitive Lane

In the diabetes world there is a lot of focus on insulin sensitivity factors.

Insulin sensitivity is how much insulin your body needs to effectively convert your carbs into energy and keep your blood sugar in check. When someone is said to be insulin resistant, their body is needing to use too much insulin to get the job done. When they are sensitive they require less insulin.

It's better to be insulin sensitive. If you google insulin sensitivity there are dozens of articles telling people how to increase their insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance. There are medications that can be used to help patients who are insulin resistant to lower there sensitivity. Exercise is known to increase sensitivity. There are things you can do.

If you're like me, there are no articles or words of advice. I am insulin sensitive. My doctors congratulate me on this, but are always scratching their heads in confusion as to what I can do when I go through episode after episode of unprovoked hypoglycemia.

At present, some of my basal rates sit at Zero. Zero Point Nothing. From 1pm through until 5pm everyday I receive NO insulin through my pump. King sits on my hip merely for decorative purposes (and so I dont forget to reattach later). 

I eat my lunch at 12.30pm and don't give insulin for that either. About 2 days out of every 5 I still find that I can go low mid-afternoon. With no insulin on board. No insulin via basal. Frustratingly, I cannot go into negative insulin. All I can do is eat something which feels unnecessary and only serves to put on any weight I might lose through good exercise routine. Being insulin sensitive means that I find it very difficult to maintain exercise habits, as often I have to consume vast amounts of food to even attempt exercise. 3 days ago I had to eat 200gm of carb to exercise. 90 before, 30 during and 80 following exercise. All on no insulin. My blood sugar was on 4.3 1 hour before exercise rose to 7 after eating..and eating...and fury-drinking some sprite, before dropping back to 3 15 minutes into my walk (oh, so strenuous) and finally settling on 4 after the forced post-exercise meal.

There are no answers for cases like mine. Being LADA, I may still be producing my own residual insulin. It seems unlikely given how quickly my blood sugar can rise if I do get my carb counts wrong at other times of the day, but its possible. 

The suggestion has been to try exercising early in the morning. I start work at 7.30am though, so I am not inclined to get up at 5.30am for a run. I am not a morning person. A nice morning lie-in is not yet another something I am willing to give up for diabetes.

Insulin Sensitivity is over-rated.


  1. I've had times like this throughout my life. The first time happened in my late 20's. I went an entire week without having to inject any insulin. By that time I'd been a juvenile onset/type 1 for over 25 years. My doctor just told me to keep testing my blood sugar and when they started to rise to slowly add insulin. This happened several other times. That last time was during menopause. I would have to drastically decrease my N and R for a week then slowly increase it. Mind you, I had no problems with N and R. I love those insulins so much more than humalog and lantus. After my hysterectomy, all the craziness with my blood sugars stopped.

    1. Oh wow, this makes me feel a bit more normal. I'm really glad you commented to share your experiances. Its so good having contact with people who have been through things like this before :)

  2. Ashleigh, I do not even remember that kind of sensitivity. I do not think I ever was. Well maybe for an hour or so LOL. Hold on to it, it is a great thing to have lunch and not cover.

    1. Its good for my wallet, but not good for my teeth - too much sugar needed to boost levels.

      I hope I can get to a happy medium one day of still being insulin sensitive, but not to these ridiculous amounts.