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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thinking about the nature of Abrupt Onset Type 2 diabetes

This is still a continuation of the “Abrupt onset t2 series”. You can read those Here. This is one of my “thinking about” pieces and this means a lot of speculation. I have to do this because the research is so spare for this. We do have the research on “ketosis Prone Type 2” diabetes but this syndrome is a lot bigger than that. Most people don’t reach ketoacidosis, I didn’t, even though I was definitely headed that way.

We are talking here about a severe metabolic derangement that comes on swiftly. This is different than just heading towards DKA. It is the parts of our metabolic system losing the ability to act in concert. Glugagon from the alpha cells causes the liver to produce glucose to respond to falling blood sugars. How long and when this happens will produce various effects depending on what the beta cells are doing with insulin. We would get a range of effects here. If insulin is high, blood sugar might rise only slightly, if at all. If insulin is high but glucagon is low, reactive hypoglycemia would occur. These systems are meant to match each other, when we have diabetes, they don't.

The term “metabolic derangement” is used because we aren’t talking about systems that have deteriorated due to autoimmune attack or toxicity. I’m talking of systems that are operational, meaning they’re functional capacity is not diminished. What is lost is the correct timing of the systems behavior.

Why would I make this statement given all the research on type 2 diabetes? One word, “speed”. Glucose toxicity or Glucose desensitization are long drawn out processes that are thought to take years to take effect. Sudden onset t2 is abrupt. It takes less than 6 months to go from near normal to fulminant and about the same time to return to near normal.  

The experiments that I’ve been performing on myself have been occurring in the space of a few weeks. This isn’t enough time for cellular failure or regeneration in any body system. This suggests that the underlying systems of blood sugar metabolism are intact but that the triggers that allow the timely interactions that give us normal blood sugars aren’t functioning correctly.

Now I’ll even go further out on a limb. The body has many more systems to prevent hypoglycemia than hyperglycemia. The obvious reason is that hypos can kill you in a day: hyperglycemia may take years. Given this, my guess, is that there is a failsafe set into the operation of insulin, in particular, the 1st phase of insulin. This first phase is essentially a dump of a large amount of insulin to offset blood sugar spikes from pushing blood sugar over the magic 140 barrier.

Now, as a thought experiment, think of a drug injected into a person that suppresses some signal that's essential for the alpha cells, liver and beta cells to cooperate to maintain blood sugars. Probably the first thing you would see would be spikes and reactive hypos. The spikes would be due to both glucagon and the liver. The liver would be putting out glycogen while glucagon suppressed insulin: this would be hyperglycemia. If the glucagon and liver stop then suddenly the person would go low, reactive hypoglycemia. This might go on for awhile but eventually something in the body would have to react to the lows and essentially shutdown part of the insulin production. I say "have to" because too much insulin will kill you very quickly and continuous hypos have been shown to increase mortality.

There has to be some sort of failsafe in the body to prevent this. Cutting off all insulin would be deadly as well but the beta cells have two phases; one is slow and steady and the other puts out large amounts of insulin in a short time. It would have to suppress the first phase. What we do know about type 2 is that early stages typically involve reactive hypos then the loss of 1st phase insulin. The later phase involves the steady rising flow of insulin to keep bringing blood sugars back in line. This is an interesting supposition but what I’ve shown is that hyperglycemia suppresses my 1st phase.

Here we go to a little control system theory. I am an Operations and Maintenance guy for industrial wastewater processes. (By the way, I’ll be going off to a project for a couple of months. This means and end to experimentation for awhile and it will slow down, if not stop, my blogging till I get done. This is another reason to try to get this post out.) I work with systems that sense conditions then send commands to various systems to keep the process in balance. Typically, systems will be nested in larger systems. Troubleshooting such systems will involve me looking at a system which isn’t functioning and testing it to see if it’s okay. If that system is fine then I move up to higher control systems to see how they are affecting the system that isn’t functioning.

What this has to do with hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia is that, if, as I’ve come to believe, the insulin system is intact, then the problem is higher up. My experiments tell me it must be involved in glucose metabolism, susceptible to the med I’ve been using, affected by hyperglycemia and interestingly enough by insulin. Why insulin? All the papers that I’ve read on KPD say that insulin performs better than any med in bringing people back to near normal blood sugars.

My candidate for this system is the hypothalamus. Here’s a paper which talks about the importance of the hypothalamus is the secretion of insulin from the beta cells. Pancreatic neuronal melanocortin-4 receptor modulates serum insulin levels independent of leptin receptor  

This talks of a hormone secreted by the hypothalamus which is part of blood sugar control but is suppressed by hyperglycemia. Role of orexin in the regulation of glucose homeostasis

This one shows the effects of hyperglycemia on the hypothalamus and suggest that these effects are reversible. Hyperglycemia impairs glucose and insulin regulation of nitric oxide

Here’s a paper detailing the relationship of the hypothalamus to the production of glucose by the liver. CNS Regulation of Glucose Homeostasis

This paper, though ostensibly about brain cholesterol, does talk about the curative effect of insulin on the hypothalamus. Diabetes and insulin in regulation of brain cholesterol metabolism.

A well known fact of diabetes is that the loss of 1st phase insulin is an early occurrence. What occurs because of this is hyperglycemia since a basal can’t catch up with the initial spike from food. A person will endure hours of blood sugars above 140. Now, I’m willing to go to the idea of beta cell toxicity due to continuously high blood sugars. I’m thinking that what we have is a mix.

This may explain the fact that, at least, half of KPD’s do not come back to remission. The damage done over time may well have reduced the amount of beta cells that are available for insulin secretion. This might explain the sudden onset as well. We have two processes, one which suppresses beta functioning, while the other is the dying off of cells due to hyperglycemia. A tipping point is going to be reached at a certain point.

What does all this mean in terms of dealing with this type of diabetes? The first thing always will be the fact that this isn’t a good set-up for carbohydrate metabolism. This is a deranged metabolism. A metabolism that has virtually no control over the liver will have serious problems with eating carbs. It doesn’t take much to spike me or many of the people I know with this. Glucose is already being added to the blood. Basal insulin is being secreted to try to match this. If you throw a significant source of glucose on top of this then you are going to be hyperglycemic. Diet, you see, is a must.

What we really need is more research and we won’t get that until we begin to get the word out on this. I’m doing my part, are you?


  1. What does your doctor say about that?

  2. My Docs pretty much follow my lead because they aren't as well versed on the particulars. Docs don't really have the time to get deep into these subjects that is why you have to do it yourself.


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