Type 1 and insulin resistance

Hi! I have been a type 1 diabetic since I was 11 (almost 14 years). I’ve always taken really good care of my diabetes and have never had an A1c over the low 8 range even through puberty. I’ve had a recent skin concern and both my primary and endo are contributing it to insulin resistance. Has anyone else ever had insulin resistance and what did you do to help safely lower your insulin levels? I am currently on a pump. Thanks for the help!

@Tee25 hi Taylor,

if “skin concern” means they are giving you steroids - then your insulin resistance is very likely due to steroids. If the endo had no suggestions, and you had a 2nd opinion by another endo, I am not at all sure anything you could learn here would be helpful.

type 1’s can have insulin resistance or even acquire type 2. since we have to take insulin anyway, the typical answer is more insulin. sometimes and when a doctor thinks the benefits outweigh the risks, the endo may prescribe type 2 medications that help a person absorb insulin. “safely lower insulin levels” is a catch 22. you need what you need, reducing insulin will increase your blood sugar. the goal, the way I see it, is to reduce your serum blood sugar.

very resistant people can use stronger insulin, for example U-500 which is 5x stronger than the typical U-100 insulin.

Another question to ask the endo is what will be the effects of additional insulin, my guess is that you’ll start to gain a lot of weight. one of our only ways to deal with this it to minimize carbohydrates, and increase exercise and activity. good luck.

Hello Taylor,

I have been insulin resistant for about 10 years until I changed my eating habits and I used to have cystic acne and eczema, I took steroids for a while but ultimately it comes down to what you are eating on daily basis. I was able to clear my skin and not be insulin resistant until I started eating much better, no meat and no processed foods. I don’t know if that helps but o have been a diabetic for 27 years and I went through a lot, so if you have any questions let me know.

I dealt with the same thing for years. I finally found mangomannutrition. He is a type 1 diabetic who reverses other type 1’s insulin resistance with a low fat Whole Foods plant based diet. Since switching to that my nasal insulin has decreased from 20+u/day to 8u/day and my I:c ratio has gone from 1:4 to 1:15. I know this sounds like some sort of “too good to be true” ad but this is the honest to god truth. I’ve also lost about 25 pounds in the process that I had been trying to lose for 10 years.

Hi Stephanie @Stephsladnick, I’m really not surprised that this works. Your nutritional advisory is combining treatment theories for two of the seven [or more] types of conditions which share the common factor Diabetes Mellitus - Greek words meaning frequent passing of sweet water. Basal rates are often based on body weight and can be reduced in correlation with BMI reduction - you have achieved this.

Congratulations, you are now needing to manage “only” the one type that is referred to as “Severe autoimmune” - the type that has defied cure for at least 3,500 years.

How did you deal with lows in the beginning? What I struggle with isn’t so much healthy eating but I am slightly overweight and know that the benefit of losing weight would be lower insulin levels. The hard thing is when I start eating super healthy especially less carbs I tend to go low a lot more. Any advice on that piece? Also curious did you eat any meat or sole plant diet?

Thank you! Definitely good advice

You kind of have to feel things out and expect a lot of lows. However, you can definitely keep the lows at a minimum with careful attention for the first week or so. If you stick to a low fat plant based diet strictly, within 1 day you’ll see a tremendous increase in insulin sensitivity. You have to take it one day at a time and do a lot of adjusting until you find 1) your new normal diet and 2) your new normal insulin requirements. For example, when I strictly stick to the diet my insulin to carb ratios are 1:25 but normally I do eat some nuts and avocado and fatty breads so typically my insulin to carb ratio is moreso 1:12. For me, it’s not about being perfect, but it’s about knowing what to do when I want to gain more control. It’s amazing the difference I notice not only in insulin sensitivity but also blood sugar predictability when I fluctuate between eating some fats and avoiding fats/protein. Fat and protein cause blood sugar to spike less initially after eating, but to spike later when you have no more fast acting insulin on board and wrecks havoc on my levels.

As far as my diet, I used to eat a burger maybe once a month but I don’t even enjoy that stuff anymore. Now when I want to indulge in a fatty meal that will screw up my blood sugars for hours to come, I indulge in avocado toast or oatmeal or ice cream (these are things I weirdly really enjoy). I don’t eat any meat, cheese or oil unless it’s a bite of someone else’s food just to taste it.

If you are going to embark on this, I’d be happy to walk you through more specifics about how to initially lower your insulin levels to try to compensate for lows.

Very interesting. Thank you for your advice on this. It’s much appreciated!

So, are we saying that meat actually raises blood sugar and causes insulin resistance? I was always taught to eat meat and veggies and avoid starches. I’m also surprised at what great carb ratios you have. My ration right now is 1:3, which I have been told is high, but I’ve never been able to get it much lower. Very drustrated. .

Dietary proteins can be converted to glucose, but very slowly and inefficiently.

I didn’t know that. Thanks.

Be very careful using the term Insulin Resistance.

" Insulin resistance" is a medical condition independent of and separate from autoimmune diabetes known as TypeOne Diabetes. Proteins, fats, fibers and several other “foods” can delay or interfere with how our bodies utilize the insulin we inject/infuse just as those substances do in people who not diagnosed with diabetes but they do not cause, and are not, insulin resistance.