Ever wonder why insulin doesn’t work in your legs? Or maybe absorption is great in your legs but horrible in your arms. What gives? Not only is it super odd, but it can be pretty annoying when you’re trying to rotate sites but can’t use an entire area of your body.
Absorption is life!
For me, it’s my legs.
Legs, which make up about half your body, are an entire area of insulin real estate that I cannot use. It’s as if I’m injecting water instead of insulin. Okay, maybe it’s not that bad. But I would say it’s like I am injecting with half and half – half insulin, half water.
While I still haven’t figured out why this happens, I have noticed that I am not the only one. I have seen others comment on it in the T1D social media groups I’m in/follow, but no one can seem to figure it out.
But I have a hunch…
Fascia is a build up of film that collects around muscles and joints. Fascia buildup mostly happens with injuries or not stretching after a workout. It can also happen with over or under use of a muscle.
Now, stay with me here… this is my hunch…
Since fascia build up hinders circulation in that area, it would make sense that injecting into an area with heavy fascia buildup would make it really hard for your insulin to get proper circulation before it “ends” or “expires”.
I personally have a lot of fascia buildup in my legs. Not because of injury, but because I seriously LOVE “Leg Days” and I never stretch.
My massage therapist confirms this every time I see her, saying, “Your Fascia is really tight in your legs… like really tight.”
Testing My Theory
For a period of time I focused on chipping away at some of this fascia. I stretched my legs after every workout, used a torture device otherwise known as a foam roller/muscle roller (this is the one I have and love), and massaged my legs nightly.
After a couple weeks of “prepping” my legs I decided to put my insulin pump on my thigh. And wouldn’t you know, normal absorption.
Of course, I fell back into my old ways pretty fast; I stopped the stretching and massages and apparently assumed that my problem was solved.
About two weeks later I was back to poor insulin absorption in my legs.
Turns out fascia grows back pretty fast, literally overnight.
I Think I’m Onto Something…
While my endo doesn’t think there is a connection because “no scientific studies have proven this” (sigh– how typical), I explained my experiment to my massage therapist and she was pretty intrigued and said, “Yeah, I can definitely see that. It makes sense”.
This all leads me to my question of the day…
Question of the Day
Do you have an area on your body that doesn’t absorb insulin well? Is it an area where you’ve had an injury/or tight or overused muscle?
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can’t inject in my arms. and thats what I workout most and definitely dont stretch either.
I KNEW I WASN’T GOINGCRAZY!! Insulin doesn’t absorb well in my legs either. I never thought about fasica (i actually never even heard of it before reading your article). Thanks for planting the seed, I’m going to look into this too <3
Mine does not absorb well on some parts of my body, but that is more about scar tissue than site specific areas. Ahh scar tissue after 43 years it comes with the territory.
yeah i guess so! only so much rotating you can do.
I’m t1d and half of my body doesn’t absorb insulin I do resistance training but I cant figure out that why half of my body doesn’t absorb insulin btw I love leg days aswell but my leg absorbs insulin really well I’m really confused
That is odd, have you tried switching insulin brands? I know for me, Humalog is like injecting water, but Novolog works great. and some people are the opposite and do better with Humalog.
Yes. My upper thighs don’t work….250 or more, even with basal for sedentary times. I hike few miles everyday and do pilates with legs.
Something to think about as well…