How diabetes works

A lighthearted explanation of what happens within the body of a diabetic, this first appeared in the forum courtesy of contributions by Mike and Nick, amalgamed into one tale by Patti. It does explain the process rather well, using the idea that blood is just the transport mechanism to get energy (blood glucose) around the body, it isn’t the place the energy is used – for that the glucose needs to leave your bloodstream to do its work. As diabetics we have an impaired ‘energy transport’ system going on.


In the warehouse the boxes of energy get packed up on to the waiting lorries which merrily drive off on to the arterial roads to make their deliveries. But when they get to the first delivery point the door is locked, so the drivers shrug and they just potter off round the ringroad to their next destination singing along to Radio 2. Back in the warehouse more lorries are being loaded up and joining the increasingly congested roads. Utter chaos. Now PC Hypothalamus comes on traffic duty and notices the horrendous buildup of traffic. He radios back to the head office of the T2 chain telling them that the reason the goods can’t be delivered is that all the loading bays are locked. It is Mr. Insulin’s job to unlock the loading bays, but he’s been given keys that don’t fit. Mr Metformin, is the lock repair specialist and goes around modifying all the locks so that the keys fit.

Now in the T1 chain, all the Mr Insulins have been fired because they took industrial action, so the management have to hire contractors on a daily basis called Mr Injected insulin. They have the right keys from day one.

In “type 2” chain, because there are so many truck milling about, the management keeps hiring more Mr Insulins to help unlock the loading bays, but true to form, the management doesn’t know whats really going on (ie their keys don’t fit the locks). All the extra traffic caused by the excess Mr. Insulin white vans adds to the chaos of the trucks and starts to cause damage to the road system. After a few years all the Mr Insulins have decided to retire due to overwork and cannot be recruited for love nor money. So the management have to switch to hiring contractors like in the T1 chain (but the T2 brand does not become T1 brand, they remain T2 brand who need to hire Mr Injected insulin).

The approach we favour around here is to make sure that we don’t flood the roads with trucks in the first place, rather we trickle feed them. This means we don’t need to hire as many Mr Insulins and the supply lasts for a lot longer and Mr Metformin has a job for life. This is contrary to standard advice which tells you to use as many trucks as possible, because that stops Mr fat clogging the roads. But does he?