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Re: [IPk] a question

>> is there any benefit to using less insulin, other than costing the
>> health services less?
>Yes, there was a thread last year on the US list about this.
>Apparently "excess" insulin can contribute to heart disease and other
>circulatory problems. I don't remember the details, best to ask again
>on the US list as I think it might be a little hard to search for
>this topic. I will post a note to our medical advisory board as well.

With diabetes we certainly have massively increased amounts of insulin in
general circulation. In the non-diabetic, the insulin is released by the
pancreas just upstream of the liver, and about 75% of it is immediately
used up by the liver, and only 25% heads off into general circulation,
ultimately to the muscles etc.[1] But since we inject the stuff into fat,
100% of it goes into general circulation. So we have 4 times as much
insulin reaching the muscles, and in particular the heart.

It's been debated for many years whether this is a bad thing. Some believe
it contributes to heart and circulation disease - others suggest it causes
no problems. I remember seeing some research mentioned recently that
demonstrated no link between insulin use and heart disease.

Since exercise is almost always a "good thing" and exercise reduces the
body's insulin requirement in the medium term, and eating too much is
almost always a "bad thing" and eating too much increases the insulin
requirement, I find that my daily insulin total is an excellent barometer
for how "healthily" I am living - ie getting plenty of exercise and not
eating too much. But whether the lower insulin requirement is in itself a
"good thing", I don't know.

Doctors currently are playing with semi-permanent catheters surgically
implanted with one end in the liver, and the other at a permant port on the
skin's surface. Essentially you then connect your pump directly to your
liver - just as nature intended - but the problem is that an infected
infusion site rapidly becomes hepatitis, which is very serious. They are
still working on this.


[1] See any decent medical text book

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