Idle question for amusement

So what would happen if you hooked a non-diabetic up to an insulin pump?

Obviously, if you gave someone a shot and didn't let them eat, they'd go low. But what if you hooked them up to a pump, with basal settings that roughy matched what their pancreas actually generated, and had them bolus for meals?

I mean, wouldn't their pancreas just kind of take a vacation? In a non-D, the panaceas and other systems are quickly reacting to the glucose level in the blood, right? (I'm pretty sure pancreases don't count carbs.) So wouldn't they actually be fine on a pump? Especially since it seems like whatever mechanisms release extra glucose when needed also function better in non-diabetics. (Normal people don't go low during exercise, even if they just ate and thus presumably have lots of insulin on board.)

No, there is no practical point to this question... just idly wondering, and procrastinating some work....

Kerstel:If their pancreas was still working, it would not shut down as a result of having extra insulin. If left untreated, the person would probably go into a serious hypoglycemic reaction, leading to coma, and then death. Remember Sunny Von Bulow, a rich socialite non-diabetic who took insulin injections and became comatose and died, supposedly at the hands of her husband Klaus? The movie was "Reversal of Fortune", starring Jeremy Irons as the opportunistic Klaus, One of my favorite actors in a weird but compelling drama based on real life.

God bless,
Brunetta

probably not. the most likely scenario is that their glucagon secretion would increase, plus if they went low(ish), epinephrine (adrenalin) would kick in too. the function that maintains blood glucose in healthy subjects is the synergic action of beta and alpha cells (they influence each other in order to maintain an appropriate insulin:glucagon ratio) and the action of liver and kidneys (which can produce glucose and release it into the bloodstream).
there is another thing that needs to be considered. in healthy people, the halflife of insulin is 5-10 min, so it acts very fast and gets degraded soon. in T1 diabetics, the insulin we take acts 4-8 hours, depending on type, so its action is a lot slower -> we need more of it to maintain healthy glycemia.
plus T1 diabetics produce insulin antibodies which form complexes with the insulin we take and destroy part of it even before it has a chance to lower blood glucose, hence we need more insulin than healthy people who don't have antibodies...
there are more things I guess, these few just came up to my mind right now :)

A little insulin plus some HGH and they could be the next Roger Clemens...;-)

Yeah, probably not something to be discussed in detail here, but insulin is a powerful anabolic hormone and certainly subject to abuse.

My guess? You'd probably kill them. That's what I used to tell my roommates in Paris, a bunch of disreputable characters! I'd point to the insulin and say, "If you do this, you die."