Escorts and Closets

I think it is relatively safe to say that if you read my blog you know (most of) what insulin does.

But I’ve been thinking lately about another job it has.

Storage.

For every single calorie we put in our mouth, our body either needs it for fuel or doesn’t.

Think about what happens to those calories that our body doesn’t need. Any guesses as to what happens to them?

Yep, stored for future use. Whether we need them or not.

Any guesses as to how those energies get stuffed away?

Correct again! Remember how insulin is the key that opens the cell and all that jazz?

I visualize it like an army of escorts. For every unit of insulin I inject (or pump), it grabs 7.5 grams of carbohydrate OR 35 mg/dl of glucose in my blood (depending on time of day), and escorts it directly to the engine or the closet, depending on what my metabolism says.

When the closet fills up, it builds another closet. When that fills up, it builds another, and so on.

I’ve got about 65 pounds of full closets right now.

insulin-storing-fatWhat happens when there are too many escorts? Well, then they freak out and start shoving glucose anywhere they can find (leaving the blood unsafely low on glucose). Since we’ve just shoved glucose needed at the engine into the closet, the engine sounds the alarm for more glucose!

Ideally we only eat what we need for fuel, and ideally we perfectly match that food with the right amount of insulin.

When we don’t, we either gain weight and have good blood sugars, or we don’t gain weight (and in extreme cases even lose some) and have high blood sugars.

Both scenarios kind of stink in my book.

So as I eat that next bite of pasta, I’m going to try being more aware of where it will end up – the engine or a closet.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…