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What does "Insulin sensitivity" mean?

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#1
shainesboostin

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Like the title says, I keep hering people talking about "insulin sensetivity" what does thatexaclty mean? Give me an example. I have for instance seen product (need2slin) that claim to, once again, "increase insulin sensetivity".

Help me out!

#2
Subby

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Think of it like fuel economy. A car with better fuel economy will go further on the same tank of petrol. The petrol is being used more efficiently and less is needed for the operation of the car. An old car with poor economy, will be guzzling petrol. To move away from that analogy, insulin resistant people will often not be able to maintain a balance and still run smoothly if uneconomically in the long run. Their ability to maintain a normal blood sugar may be compromised, and this may lead to type 2 diabetes.

So if you are more insulin sensitive, you will need less insulin (either provided by your pancreas or, by an injection or pump) to do a certain task or deal with a certain amount of food, than if you were less insulin sensitive/more insulin resistant.

Most people with Type 2 will be considered insulin resistant, through such mechanisms as visceral weight. There is nothing stopping T1s from having similar issues, or other similar ones such as possible neutralising reactions by the body to foreign insulin. Insulin resistance is generally the opposite of insulin sensitivity.
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#3
ant hill

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This all about doses of insulin that people take like I take far too much insulin to match my meals carbohydrates. There are people are sensitive because they are slim (Unlike me :() and there are other factors also.

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Peter...


#4
xMenace

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You will see now and then insulin to carbohydrate ratios or I:C's. My breakfast ratio is 2.5:10 or 2.5 units of Novarapid for every 10 grams of carbs I consume. My lunch ratio is 1:10 and my dinner is 2:10. I arrived at these through titration exercises. I'd eat the same meal daily and adjust my doses until my post-prandial blood sugars were good. *I no longer use these because they don't work well when you don't eat many carbs.

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#5
Cora

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Insulin sensitivity basically means how sensitive your body is to the insulin. So if you are not sensitive, you will need a lot. Many T2s are like this and some T1s. If you are insulin sensitive, as are many T1s, you won't need much insulin as you will get more mileage out of it. For example, my insulin to carb ratio was 1:25 in the mornings while I have a friend who is only 1:4. I am sensitive, my friend is resistant. If you are pumping, your isf (insulin sensitivity factor) is how many points one unit of insulin will drop your blood sugar. Again, if you are sensitive, one unit will drop you a lot, if you are not, you will need more.

Hope this helps a bit.

Cora
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Pumping 2002-2008
Pancreas transplant 2008

#6
foxl

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You will see now and then insulin to carbohydrate ratios or I:C's. My breakfast ratio is 2.5:10 or 2.5 units of Novarapid for every 10 grams of carbs I consume. My lunch ratio is 1:10 and my dinner is 2:10. I arrived at these through titration exercises. I'd eat the same meal daily and adjust my doses until my post-prandial blood sugars were good. *I no longer use these because they don't work well when you don't eat many carbs.


THANK you for this -- my ratio calculated to 1:50 ... but I am low-carbing.
Linda


[B]Jan A1c 6.3/B]
Jul 09 ... C-pep 1.3, GAD-65 > 30
Mar 10 C-pep 2.8 (20 g carb); GAD 3.2
dx 02/09 in DKA


Levemir 12U per day; novolog PRN TDD ca 16U
MetforminXR 1000 mg BID
Ramipril 5 mg
T4 112 mcg
Chia oil
Vitamin D3, 4000 IU
Eating 20 - 45 g carb per day ovo-lacto-vegetarian
Walking 30 min 6x week

#7
Subby

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Also got significant internal insulin as far as you know at this stage? That's going to have a potentially overwhelming impact on exogenous needs. Kind of obvious, but worth saying for people getting their head around whether insulin resistance correlates with insulin dose. Dose can be an informative factor, but may not tell the whole picture.

For example, if you have a T1.5 or T2 who's pancreas is providing, say, 80% of required insulin for a given meal. Let's say the total needs for a person with "normal" insulin sensitivity, for that meal, is 5u, whether provided internally or externally. Even if the diabetic is insulin resistant and needs the equivalent of 10u, if their body provides 8 of those units, they only appear to need 2 units. Hence from the outside the dose doesn't inform of insulin sensitivity status.

Confusing, yes, the main point is, IR can't just be determined from dosage needs. I think you can draw relative conclusions though, for example if that type 2 goes from needing 2 exogenous units to 0 exogenous units for that meal, you at least know they have become more insulin sensitive. (Or, potentially the pancreas might be producing more insulin, which could be said to be separate to insulin sensitivity. Very hard to determine total use when the pancreas is involved.)
20 years T1. NPH and Novorapid.
Some essentials for my blood sugar control: dosing via i:c ratio and cf • basal testing when needed • daily 40 minutes moderate exercise (or close) • carbs somewhere below 120g currently • only eating carbs and carb/fat combos that do not cause a problem spike, with or without insulin.

#8
mason330

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Cora got it right at least the way I understand it, I am sensitive to insulin so for a correction factor I operate under the assumption that 1 unit of apidra will drop my blood sugar by about 80 points. You can figure out your sensitivity by being a guniea pig!
David

#9
shainesboostin

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Ok, so whaqt about for a type 1 diabetic? Why does it even matter? I mean, as long as I take enough insulin to keep blood sugars steady? Would it matter if my ratio was 1:10vs 10:10?

I generally take 1 unit per 10 carbs, is that bad?

#10
mason330

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You seem to know, but the question is does 1 unit to 10 get you the desired results. You kinda have to know what it is in order to take the insulin. You also need to know what it is for corrections, like when you eat a meal and you dont get the insulin right. And it matters if you are a 1:10 and you operate as a 10:10 your going to get alot of lows.
If you are talking about the supplements to increase your sensitivity I dont know what the benefit would be for a type 1 unless it actually worked it could save you some money.
David

#11
Richard157

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I am a type 1 with insulin resistance.That means I need more insulin than I used to. One unit of bolus insulin reduces my BG 15 points for most of the day. (That means my ISF, or insulin sensitivity factor, is 15.) If I test at 130 and want to lower my BG to 100, then I divide the difference by 15 and use 2 units to do the job. In the evening my ISF increases (I am more sensitive) and 1 unit lowers my BG 20 points. While I am sleeping my ISF increases even more. One unit will lower my BG 30 points then. I am just pointing out that insulin sensitivity can vary throughout the day and night.
Type 1 for 68 years, A1c = 6.1, pump with MM 523 Revel, I have good health.

You never know how Strong you are until being strong is the ONLY choice you have!

#12
karena

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The insulin to carb ratio is not the same as insulin sensitivity. So it does matter. The insulin sensitivity comes into play to determine correction needs, basal dosing, and for pumpers it allows our device to help calculate dosing.

Ok, so whaqt about for a type 1 diabetic? Why does it even matter? I mean, as long as I take enough insulin to keep blood sugars steady? Would it matter if my ratio was 1:10vs 10:10?

I generally take 1 unit per 10 carbs, is that bad?


Edited by karena, 04 April 2011 - 08:46 PM.
typo

Karen
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#13
PinkRose

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You will see now and then insulin to carbohydrate ratios or I:C's. My breakfast ratio is 2.5:10 or 2.5 units of Novarapid for every 10 grams of carbs I consume. My lunch ratio is 1:10 and my dinner is 2:10. I arrived at these through titration exercises. I'd eat the same meal daily and adjust my doses until my post-prandial blood sugars were good. *I no longer use these because they don't work well when you don't eat many carbs.


That's a good point. When one goes on a very low carb diet, all of these calculations seem to go out the window. In fact carb counting is just not a daily requirement & challenge like it used to be.




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