I think it works like this (but I’m not sure):
If we eat carbs, our pancreas will release extra insulin to deal with the carbs. It’s just the way it is, if I got it right.
Type 1 diabetics can even calculate how much insulin to take based on grams of carbs consumed.
Some of us will get the extra insulin, the insulin will do its job and we’ll move over. If we’re among the lucky ones, a little insulin will go a long way. If not, there’ll be more insulin needed than the next person.
But still: if you increase the amount of carbs, the amount of insulin will increase. For everybody, if I’m not mistaken.
Many of us: we’ll increase the carbs, we’ll get the extra insulin… and the next step won’t work so well. So, we get more extra insulin. Then, hopefully, the carbs are dealt with. But while this is going on, you’ll have the higher glucose AND higher insulin doing possibly bad stuff inside you.
The effect seems to be somewhat cumulative. The more it happens in the cranky way, the more it seems to be likely to happen in the cranky way next time. And it gets crankier, once it became cranky once.
To complicate matters further: there’s no easy way to know if, for instance, your blood glucose didn’t raise much because a little insulin did its job just fine, or if it didn’t raise much but only at the cost of a lot of insulin.
So, even measuring BG isn’t enough to know what is really going on when you consume the extra carbs. Why is it low? Little insulin did it, or you were washed inside with a lot of the stuff?
Overworking may cause also damage to the very cells that produce insulin, if I understood it correctly. Pancreas beta cells, or something.
So, one day, you may eat the carbs and your beta cells won’t be healthy enough, or in enough number to produce all that insulin you need to deal with those carbs.
Then, there’s something pretty scary to add to the problem: when we go very low carb, there’s the adaptive glucose sparing, or physiological insulin resistance. I think nobody knows what this really is, but blogs and youtube videos will tell you that it’s perfectly fine, that it’s just your cells letting the BG available for the cells that really need it, that can’t live from using fat as fuel, because they don’t have mitochondria, or something like that.
But the thing is totally terrifying: you won’t eat carbs at all and yet your BG is high in the mornings and after exercising. Many of us have this problem. Others, don’t.
A few of the questions only bloggers/youtubers know the answers to (because they can say whatever without the burden of proof and followers will be followers no matter what they bloggers claim to know… without proof) is: why all that BG isn’t being used by the cells that need it and the BG levels aren’t just normally low as one would expect if eating no carbs for weeks? Why would the extra BG not be harmful, if it’s higher than what is believed to be healthy? If the cells without mitochondria needed the sugar, why is it running free for hours in your body, like nuclear waste no one wants?
And the question I ask myself: if you start to eat more carbs on a few days, but keep very low on others, won’t the “good” insulin resistance (I don’t believe for a nano second it is good!) compound with the extra carbs you only eat sometimes, to create a bigger problem?
Say your BG is already high from the “good” insulin resistance (adaptive glucose sparing, or a rose full of thorns by any other name), then your insulin may be extra, too. Then you eat more carbs than you do most days, than your body is used to, then, boom, more insulin… and you do it again next week, or two days later… how could it be good? Cranky may get crankier.
I hope all the bloggers are right and the problem is only in my head. But I don’t know. Nobody does. It is up to each one of us to decide if that’s one more of the risks we’ll take, like driving on a busy road, diving with sharks (my favorite vacation activity)…
I personally want to take the risk, because I feel better when I eat a little more carbs. But I can’t tell you if it’s a good decision.
People tell you to see how you feel… I don’t agree much. You may feel perfectly fine and have a horrible tumor growing inside you. Why so many bad stuff is diagnosed (too) late? I think you really can only decide if you want to risk it being very bad. Knowing that perhaps it is just fine. So many people live long, happy lives eating lots of carbs!
It’s the Russian roulette kind of thing. One more in life. Some of us will be fine.
Good luck with whatever you decide!