Monday, March 05, 2007

Insulin Doping??

An article listed on ScienceDaily and cited on PubMed today reports that scientists in Germany are developing a urine test that would be used to detect illicit use of insulin in athletes. Insulin does promote the uptake of carbohydrates into muscle and fat cells, so in theory perhaps this could be an advantage. But then again, in people without diabetes, carbohydrates promote the uptake of carbohydrates by fat and muscle (via normal insulin production). Of course, insulin's role in metabolism is much more complicated than my simple explanation; I still have to wonder what advantage these athletes could possibly be seeking.

A friend once suggested to me that, as a T1, I had an advantage over other athletes in the sense that I was very aware of the state of my body. He may have had a point. For example, after a very intense or long bike ride, I may have to keep eating without insulin or with a greatly reduced dose of insulin for a few hours, or frequently longer. Efforts to keep my blood sugar from falling may help me to regulate the amount of food I need to refuel the glycogen in my muscles. On the other hand, I imagine that normal hunger cues in non-diabetics do a pretty good job at this. And I'd rather be a little less informed on the state of my BG than have to worry about having a low BG during a race. Still, having T1 diabetes helps me to stay motivated with my athletic goals and with other efforts to maintain a healthly lifestyle.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Anne!

I have heard this too, but can't get an explanation either! When my boyfriend's buddy at the gym found out I had Type 1 and used insulin, he sarcastically and rudely said my worth just doubled. Excuse me??!! Ha ha funny funny. Ahem! Yea, great time to lock up my insulin stash instead of it sitting in the egg basket in the fridge! Supposedly this is valuable dope for body builders. Black market?! Just kidding.

Lindsey

Katybr55 said...

Well if it isn't one thing it's another, Now I have to worry about people stealing my stash? I just can't wait until I no longer Have this awful disease, I'm chronicaling my journey into reversing this mess:
to reverse diabetes, get healthy again

Katy

Scott K. Johnson said...

I don't really understand the details of it either, but I know that insulin can be used to gain weight - something that a lot of weight lifters are looking to do. Maybe it just drives you to eat more (via those same hunger signals you mention?).

I do appreciate all that I know about a normal metabolism and my diabetic metabolism. I don't think the average "non-diabetic" person knows how "things" affect one's body. But then again, they don't have to. Like you say, I'd rather be quite ignorant of it all.

Take care!