I have been weight training for about 17 months and have made some decent gains in my lifting. I have been a Type I Diabetic for 5 years and I am 27 years old. My question is this. I’ve read articles about Body Builders who aren’t diabetics but they inject insulin. I’ve also been told that I have an advantage because I regulate how much insulin I take. I am trying to find out the following:
1) Why would a Body Builder who’s body naturally produces insulin want to take more?
A: Does “Because they are insane.” count as an answer (this from the guy who took DNP)? Seriously, the reason that bodybuilders at the pro-ranks might use insulin is several fold. First and foremost we know that insulin is one of the most anabolic hormones in the body. It stimulates protein synthesis (and decreases protein breakdown), increases glycogen storage and also increases fat storage.
It’s been hypothesized that bodybuilders might be unable to produce enough insulin naturally because of the large amount of lean body mass they possess and the amount of food that they eat. By itself, insulin has been a bust, mainly because it causes as much fat gain as it does muscle gain. But by stacking insulin wth Growth Hormone (and other drugs to prevent fat gain), bodybuilders have reached a new level of development.
2) Do I have some advantage because I control how much insulin I take?
I remember a story about a bodybuilder years ago who was Type I diabetic and his competitors felt that he had an unfair advantage because of his insulin control. As to whether you have an advantage or not, I’d probably doubt it. The insulin regimen used by Type I diabetics is geared towards maintaining normal insulin levels (relative to what you’d have if your pancreas functioned properly). Bodybuilders are using insulin injections to get supra-normal levels of insulin throughout the day.
Side note: A still unanswered question is whether insulin abuse by healthy individuals can cause a loss of pancreatic function (akin to how abusing anabolic steroids causes the body to stop making it’s own testosterone). That is, will the individuals abusing insulin make themselves diabetic in the long run.