Not only do Type I Diabetics not produce insulin, the hormone that helps takes sugar out of the blood by delivering it to the cells, but we also don't produce amylin, a hormone that controls "gastric emptying." That's the speed that food leaves the gut.
Take a look at the chart to the right. The white line is a diabetic's blood sugar after eating at a buffet and taking insulin. The blood sugar raises dramatically as the diabetic gut digests and empties very fast. The insulin can't react fast enough.
The black line is insulin injected along with Symlin, a synthetic amylin analog.
I just started on Symlin this last week and so far, it's the bomb. I continue to wear the insulin pump to deliver insulin 24-hours a day to my system, but when I eat now I not only program the pump to provide insulin for the meal, but I also take a manual shot. (You can't mix insulin and amylin...yet)
This might sound horrible to you. You have to have a pump AND still take shots? But let me tell you that it's 100% better than having crappy blood sugar. I recently went to the funeral of a friend from high school who was the same age as I, except he'd be diabetic 15 years longer than I. I'd like to stick around as long as I possibly can.
The side effect so far is nausea, because my system hasn't seen amylin in over 10 years, so it's a little surprised. It's like a vegetarian eating meet for the first time in a while; the system reacts and rejects.
Here's some links. Ask your doctor about Symlin if you're a diabetic.
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Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.