Does that have something to do with it?

I have a question for the all-knowing blogosphere.

Symlin/Amylin. (no, that’s not the question. Be patient…I’ll get to it…)

Symlin is the brand name of the man-made drug now available that resembles amylin. Amylin is a natural hormone that is created by the pancreas and released into the blood after meals. It’s job is to slow the rate at which food is digested and absorbed, to reduce the production of glucose by the liver, and also to reduce appetite. Many of us have heard about it, and know people using it.

I know that I probably would benefit from symlin, and will give it a shot (ha!) soon. I have pretty dramatic post meal BG spikes, but then come back down to target within a few hours. I can’t add more insulin because I would be dropping too low shortly after. I think I could do better by making smarter food choices (lower GI items), bolusing 15-20 minutes before eating (I try, but it’s pretty damn hard most of the time), and by limiting the amount of carbs I eat in a meal. I have also tried John Walsh’s “Super Bolus” with promising results, but it’s a complicated bolus and takes a little bit longer to program.

That list of stuff exhausts me just thinking about it. So, I’ll try symlin and see how that goes. I’m waiting for it to come out in pen form (recently FDA approved) and to get on a CGM. Both are (relatively) right around the corner.

My question is this; We know that amylin/symlin slows the digestion of food (therefore slowing the rise in BG). We know that people without diabetes naturally produce amylin. I know that I don’t produce amylin. Does that mean that my food digests (and raises my BG) faster than a person without diabetes (because they produce amylin)?

Shit. That hargeniusdly seems fair. I’m already pancreatically challenged, and the timing of today’s insulins are not fast enough as it is. Don’t tell me my food is raising my blood sugar even faster than the next guy and his perfectly working pancreas!

If my carbs are like Road Runner then I’m like Wile E. Coyote getting all effed up trying to chase them down (using all sorts of questionable contraptions).

I hope that C-Peptide (another hormone produced by the pancreas that is not in the man-made insulin I use) doesn’t do anything terribly important!

Maybe it is responsible for boosting IQ. That would explain a lot

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18 Comments on "Does that have something to do with it?"

Fda Pharmaceutical
6 years 4 months ago

Useful post! Thanks a lot.

7 years 9 months ago


That’s something I forgot to mention in my recent post about Symlin.

Once I got a little used to Symlin (so less nausea) I noticed that it made me feel full for the first time in I don’t know how long. That’s a big blessing.

7 years 9 months ago

I completely agree about being angry that the pharma industry went so long without discovering/producing another ENTIRE HORMONE made by the pancreas. I mean, if we all know that the Type 1’s pancreas is useless, why wouldn’t they have looked sooner to see if it is producing anything else that diabetics might find useful?

It’s tempting to think that now that it has been produced that big pharma might try to over-emphasize its importance, as someone here said, but I have to disagree based on my own experience.

I feel like I have been given A MISSING PIECE since I started injecting Symlin 4 years ago (I got in at the end of the clinical trials). I lost 25 lbs in those first 3 years, with way less exercise than the 45 min/5days/week I had done all those years pre-Symlin in a futile attempt to battle my weight. It’s not all about the weight — I don’t want to portray it as a weight-loss drug, but the fact was that I was barely trying and I felt totally ‘normal’ after meals. No more wondering if I was really full and feeling a need to eat more just to make sure. Finally, I am at a normal weight and my gain/loss has to do with what I am actually doing or not doing — punishment for eating poorly and not exercising, and reward for eating healthy and going to the gym. It’s an amazing feeling.

I know it’s 3 shots a day, but it just went back to being a part of my normal routine. This disease sucks, right? So I trade the suckiness of going back to shots while feeling way more normal after eating.

I guess I had a lot to say this afternoon! Hope it helps.

7 years 10 months ago

Now you got me thinking about Amlym. But as far as the C-peptide, well everyone knows that controls your Mojo. Are you having problems with your Mojo? :-)

Bad Decision Maker
7 years 10 months ago

hey Scott,
My understanding is what Allison (her uncle) said – yes, our food digests faster and raises our blood sugar faster than someone without diabetes, even if you fix the insulin difference. That explains so much – I never got why even when I give my humalog far ahead of time (which non-diabetics aren’t doing) and start low/normal, I still get spikes that are way outside of what non-diabetics have.

When I first read articles explaining amylin, I was surprised and annoyed it hadn’t come up more earlier. They missed a whole freaking hormone?!?! My bitter self thought, maybe if they weren’t so focused on a complete miraculous cure, they would have found out this helpful info for us folks living with diabetes now.

My take on it is that it’s probably pretty important, but I also would not underestimate the role of pharmaceutical companies and $$ in hyping the importance. They are so powerful and underwrite a lot of the education even doctors get (and articles in medical journals, and studies the FDA uses). So the fact that there is now a shiny new profitable drug, Symlin, might be making it into a bigger/better deal than it is.

That said, I am thinking about starting it. My post-meal blood sugars have been insanely high lately if I eat anything besides greens and meat/cheese.

I had no idea about C-peptide being useful, I was about to comment that it’s just a byproduct used as a marker. Thanks Heidi & other-Scott for that new info!