I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for over 14 years. I’m also a Nurse. Yet sometimes I struggle to speak up and be heard when it comes to talking to health professionals about my health.
Sometimes I find myself repeating the same things only to leave with the impression that it’s my fault for not managing the diabetes well enough. This is extremely demotivating, especially when you’re trying your hardest.
But today I wanted to write about a refreshing change. For a while now I’ve been injecting enough insulin after meals to fell an elephant, yet still having high blood sugars. I’ve worked closely with a dietician to work out my carb to insulin ratios. But after injecting over 90 units of Novorapid insulin for an average carb meal, I decided I needed to get some advice from a Diabetes Specialist Nurse. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.
The Nurse I spoke with listened. That was the key. She heard what I said and diagnosed me with insulin resistance. Insulin Resistance, it sounds like a super power doesn’t it? Unfortunately it isn’t. More a complication of being on insulin for a long time and your body getting resistant to it.
Diabetes.co.uk explain it better:
What is insulin resistance?(From: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin-resistance.html, Last accessed: 21/03/21.)
The role of insulin is to allow cells of the body to take in glucose to be used as fuel or stored as body fat. . It also means that glucose is more likely to build up in the blood and this can lead to too high blood sugar levels. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, it tries to cope by producing more insulin. People with insulin resistance are often producing too more insulin than healthy people.
The symptoms of insulin resistance are:
Weight Gain – particularly around the belly
High Blood Sugars and HBA1C
High Blood Pressure
I’ve had every symptoms except for difficulty in concentration levels.
The treatment is to start Metformin. Metformin is a drug that will lower my blood sugar levels and hopefully make me less insulin resistant. I will keep you updated on how I go on.