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I was 44 at diagnosis of diabetes (48 now). I WAS overweight at diagnosis: I weighed 1 but NOT obese. Neither of my parents had diabetes, but my maternal grandmother and 2 aunts and an uncle did. One of my aunts was fat, but the other aunt and my uncle were thin.

Having lost 25 pounds, I haven't been able to get off insulin -- I often read that if you lose 10% of your weight, (and I lost more than that!) you can usually go off meds! I've tried going off insulin, but my BGs start to go up promptly, and I don't LIKE being in the mid 200's after meals!

Initially, I was successful with diet for almost a year, but in the summer of '93, I started to get symptomatic, and couldn't control with diet any more. I started with Glucotrol in December, but it didn't do a thing, and finally went on insulin in May, '94. Insulin was like MAGIC -- my BGs started going down immediately!

I'm definitely producing insulin because I don't get ketones, so a C-peptide test would only confirm that. But I'm curious as to whether the 30 units I take are really all I'm using or whether I'm probably using a lot more than that.

My reason for wanting to know is that my father (in whose family there is NO diabetes) had early coronary disease, and I worry about heart disease because of that history. I've read that hyperinsulinemia is a risk factor for artery disease, and I wonder whether by taking insulin, I'm doing more damage.


There is some rather tenuous evidence that hyperinsulinemia will increase the chances of hypertension and peripheral vascular problems in diabetics. This was of some concern when pumps were much less flexible that they are nowadays. Since you need insulin to keep your blood sugars within normal limits, it would be a great mistake to stop or reduce the dose; the end result could well be the opposite of what you were aiming for: i.e., an increased chance of vascular problems.


Original posting 8 Sep 96


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