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March 31, 2007

Insulin

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Question from India:

Can more of any of exogenous or endogenous insulins cause symptoms and acute problems other than hypoglycemia in view of many other indicated actions of insulin especially related to insulin’s effect on causing vasodilations and mineral shifts (extracellular fluid to intracellular fluid)? Many times, I feel many adverse acute symptoms when I increase my insulin dose in spite of persistently elevated glucose levels. Can such adverse acute symptoms be due to other actions, especially mineral instabilities, if they can be caused by more insulin? Can the mineral instabilities resemble hypoglycemia symptoms?

Answer:

As you suggest, insulin has many other effects, in addition to its ability to induce glucose transport. It has effects on mitogenesis, intermediary metabolism, salt and water metabolism, and others. However, how much you sense, in terms of symptoms, is always a question. One of the things that many poorly controlled patients sense, as they are coming into control with insulin, is salt and water retention. There can be effects on CNS (central nervous system) alertness and sense of well-being as the blood sugars fall. I am not sure you are going to sense intermediary metabolism. You might sense effects of weight gain.

JTL