The accepted knowledge is that Diabetes destroys gradually over years. Ketosis Prone Type 2 diabetes is an acute form of type 2. This type 2 can reach fasting blood sugars of 300 or higher in months. This blog brings together all the documentation that I could find in the world and my speculation of what it means for KPD’s in specific and diabetics in general. I ask you to leave your stories about what happened to you so that we can all gain a better understanding of what we are dealing with.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Increased weight and insulin resistance revisited

This relates to a baffling previous post.Here This was puzzling because it involved KPD diabetics gaining weight after a DKA event and becoming normoglycemic. I've discussed remission in KPD's before and though the mechanism isn't well understood, it is known to be common enough to be considered a part of the KPD syndrome. No, what upset the apple cart here was that thin KPD's did not do as well as the ones who gained weight. This seems counter to all the advice about weight loss that is given to diabetics. Almost the first thing a doctor will say to a patient is to lose weight. If a KPD followed this advice their blood sugars would rise and lowering blood sugars is central tenet of all things diabetic. What the heck is going on here?

I am now going to put forth an idea that popped into my head after reading a post by Ned Kock over at Health Correlator. Here What got my attention were people who were heavy but were more insulin sensitive then their control group. What was even better: once they received medication they began to lose weight but became more insulin resistant with a rise in blood sugar.

Insulin Resistance is very much at the heart of obesity and thinness as far as I can see but it is also one of the central aspects of Ketosis Prone Type 2 diabetes. Pal Jabekk speaks of the fact that insulin resistance is a body wide behavior. I agree given insulin's importance in energy metabolism obviously everything has critical involvement with it. This doesn't, however, mean that insulin is used at the same rate through out the body all the time. At any given moment, there will always be some systems that are more or less resistant.

This brings me back to the puzzle of KPD weight gain while at the same time reaching near normal blood sugars. First of all KPD's are infamous in the fact that weight is not an issue. Just as many KPD's are thin as obese. Some have separated this along the lines of those who lack sufficient insulin so that they become thin and those who have plenty so they become fat.

When the DKA or severe ketosis event occurs KPD's, who recover, are shown to have a low normal reading of C-peptides. The cut off that has been cited is .9. In six months, it is common for this to go back into the normal range and higher. It is also known that KPD's recover near normal blood sugars even though their measurable IR isn't reduced one jot. It should be noted, as well, that the best blood sugars tend to go to the heavier KPD's and not the thin ones.

Given that the IR is still high, the  C-pep is normal or above and the blood sugars have normalized, we have to assume that there is relatively enough insulin present. What is the difference between thin and obese?

Now the leap of faith. It has to be relative insulin sensitivity issues. We can see with a thin person that insulin is putting relatively more energy in other systems besides fat. What those systems are we really don't know. What we can tell, however, is those systems on the whole are more sensitive to insulin than fat. Likewise, if the person is putting on weight then their adipose is relatively more sensitive to insulin than other body systems.

Now my thinking about the KPD's gaining weight with better A1c's. I believe fat works better for glucose storage then muscle or other systems. You can look at obesity as the body's way to reacting to high amounts of glucose. This is why I believe there are so many heavy people. Obviously, the body is sending glucose everywhere but the fat cells seem to get more. If we make this about controlling blood sugar then the fat cells become like the catch basin for the extra glucose in the system.

A thin KPD is relatively more insulin resistant in the fat cells, and this is why I say fat works better, sending glucose to other systems with fat lower down on the list doesn't normalize blood sugars as well as those who can send it to fat. So thin KPD's are typically not going to have blood sugars as good as heavier KPD's. This would also say that thin KPD's are more at risk of relapse to DKA then heavier KPD's. I would also add that this probably isn't how normal people work but we have broken metabolisms. Our livers are pretty much blind to insulin.


  1. Rapid weight loss is almost uncertain to achieve but in order to treat obesity preventive measures such as knowledge about nutrition, eating balance diet and having an active lifestyle are the basic preventive methods for such condition.

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  3. Nice post Michael; very interesting discussion.

    (By the way, the comment above by Okuma is the kind of nonsense spam that I delete often from my blog.)

    Let me bring up one issue that is a bit tangential to your post, regarding folks who are overweight and insulin sensitive. I don’t think they are insulin sensitive because they are overweight, but rather that they have a tendency to be overweight because their body fat cells are more effective at making fat based on glucose (via GLUT4).

    In fact, I suspect that if those folks were lean, they would be even more insulin sensitive. There is something about them that makes them like that. It is a double-edged sword, because if they are not careful they can get obese and, even if they don’t develop T2D, they may be at a higher risk for developing a host of other diseases (including cancer).

  4. Hi Ned
    I don't think your comment is tangential at all and I think it points up diet as a big part of the problem.

    It's known that certain peoples tend to have higher rates of obesity. Now that I think of it, virtually all the people we talk about in terms of diet like the Kitavans and Inuits tend to become obese once they move to western societies.


I'm getting way too much spam comments. Sorry for the inconvenience.