1

votes

Could you be reasonably lean and athletic but be diabetic? If so why? Through what mechanism?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 17, 2012 at 9:09 PM

SKIP TO LAST PARAGRAPH IF YOU DON'T WANT TO GO THROUGH THE LIFE STORY HAHAHA:

I have always been active my whole life and ate fairly healthy throughout my childhood, at least I thought I did. I did eat a ton of dairy and wheat but I ate vegetables, liver, bone broth, well cooked beans and lots of fruit. I was an under eater and over exerciser, though, and that really did a number on my hormones. I began dieting in 2008 to attempt to fix digestive issues and lingering skin issues, as well as other symptoms that since have been resolved on the paleo diet. I had a stint where I ate the typical bodybuilders diet of lots of chicken breast, raw oats, sprouted bread, brown rice, high fat dairy, and tuna. Quickly after I began a very low fat diet, where I ate lots of quinoa, millet, buckwheat, almond milk, legumes and only one serving of meat a week.

Why did I do all this? I don't know, I guess I just wanted good skin, and I thought this kind of diet would help. I was never overweight, not even skinny fat. Anyways the diet completely destroyed my digestion, and I quickly found BEE's Candida site, which promoted a high fat diet similar to the "Optimal Diet" to cure Candida, which I pinpointed as my new enemy and Bee, as my savior. I was a bit hesitant at first, not because I was afraid of fat, but because I was afraid of losing weight and diminishing athletic performance. She recommended very little protein and next to nothing amounts of carbs, and I was obedient, so what did I do to maintain my weight, I ate a ton of fat, 400 grams of it, my diet was close to 80% fat. My skin got better and so did my anxiety but my digestion got five times worse, I couldn't sleep at night, my breath stank, I began losing my hair, my teeth were graying, my libido was non-existant, yet I persisted for 4-5 months because she made me believe this was all candida die off, that would sooner or later go away, and open the path to perfect health.

Around that time I began to urinate frequently, my mouth was always dry, I would feel deathly tired after a meal, I guess it was bound to happen when you are eating 130grams of fat in one sitting. Lucky for me, I discovered paleohacks, and the various paleo blogs, and started slowly increasing my protein again and later my carbs. I went on a generously high carb tuber based diet for awhile and that seemed to improve a lot of symptoms, better digestion and athletic performance, but I was still urinating frequently and having some symptoms of hyperglycemia. I eat sporadically now, sometimes I binge on plain starch, other times I add a lot of fat, sometimes I skip the starch, and my symptoms come and go.

I have been reading through some of Stephan's stuff, and one of his theory's is that IR is caused by a super low carb diet (10% or less), like what I followed for a couple months. I am starting to think that maybe I gave myself diabetes for eating such a low carb diet? There is no history of diabetes in my family, I have very little body fat, and I use to never get these symptoms until I started dieting. Maybe I was exercising to intensively those couple months and not supplying enough carb and through some mechanism...I don't know...could be autoimmune diabetes or caused by some infection, bacterial overgrowth? I show no outward signs of insulin resistance, and I am very active. I guess the only way to know is by measuring my blood sugar. I bought a glucose meter, but didn't buy the strips, silly me. Either way, I get painfully obvious symptoms of hyperglycemia especially when eating a mixed macronutrient intake: high carb, high fat gives me the worse symptoms, as I pointed out in my previous question: http://paleohacks.com/questions/86237/adding-fat-to-starch-never-goes-good-for-me-how-about-you#axzz1pKIi2Cgu

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on March 18, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Rob, here is a link to Dr. Richard Bernstein's site: http://www.diabetes-book.com/ His book, The Diabetes Solution, the newest edition of 2011, will answer many questions. You can also ask at his forum.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:27 PM

and therein lies our common ground. If you look it can often be found. Cheers, as you say down there.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:27 PM

(Incidentally, New Zealand ranks near the bottom of nations for providing foreign aid and I applaud your nation’s financial sensibility). The US government has decided that it’s more important to send billions of US taxpayer dollars (much of which is borrowed money) to other nations, and to spend billions, if not trillions, on military bases around the globe. Did you know that our current President just established a new Marine base on the north coast of Australia? You are absolutely correct about a corrupt legislative process and vested interest –

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:27 PM

I enjoy civil discourse, provided that it remains civil, as this derailed thread has. I disagree that borders are irrelevant. They may be in Western Europe, where neighboring countries have similar economic stature, but when there is greater economic disparity between neighbors, it matters greatly. Also, the US has been committed to providing defense for Western Europe and Japan since WWII, at great expense. When European countries don't have to spend much on defense, they have excess to spend on things like healthcare, etc. Additionally, the US spends billions in foreign aid...

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 18, 2012
at 04:34 AM

The list actually seems to be a mix of T1s, T2s, and those who became T2s long after their playing days. 1/3 of Americans over 65 are diabetic. Another 1/3 is suspected of being prediabetic. So if you've made it to 65, on a minority would expect not to suffer from IR.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 18, 2012
at 03:22 AM

Yes to everything you said above, except the "misleading" part. Type I is still diabetes, and can still be controlled by many people through lifestyle. And it sounds like *if* the OP were diabetic, he'd more likely be T1 (if at all -- not trying to diagnose anyone here), as a never-overweight athletic person.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 18, 2012
at 03:03 AM

Actually, I think that list is a bit misleading. Yes, many were competitive athletes some time ago. But many athletes become diabetics at a rate higher than the general population. This includes football and basketball players, when their playing days are over. Most competitive athletes who were diabetic when they were actually competing were T1 diabetics. T2 usually follows after your NFL career is over. T1 could follow, too but T2 is the most common condition you'll see, since many still have the same appetitie when they were playing.

7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on March 18, 2012
at 02:31 AM

At the risk of a massive derail: in a tax-funded system, borders are irrelevant (viz Western Europe). In my country as in yours, illegal migrants (we have plenty of so-called "overstayers") are not eligible for state-funded care. If open borders were the issue, Canada would be overrun with US health migrants. It's not, because non-citizens are shut out of nationalised care. From my POV your challenges are easy to imagine, just difficult to solve: massive vested interests and a corrupt legislative process.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:25 AM

stephenj - New Zealand has a population of 4.3M and closed borders. The US has a population that is larger than 311M and open borders. Insuring everyone involves a set of challenges that you cannot even imagine and we're working on it. Perhaps we will get to join the rest of civilisation, as you say, one day.

7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Oh dear. Man, the US needs to join the rest of civilisation.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Thanks Namby, I am in the process of testing. Bought the meter but forgot to get the strips. :(

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:08 AM

Last time my fasting blood sugar got checked was at the ER, it was in the 80's while consuming 400 grams of carbs daily...Doc said my blood sugar was fine, but that was a while back. I really need health insurance.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Thanks for the list of athletes.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Testing is my main priority right now, because I honestly don't want to screw myself my up and continue eating in a way that could be damaging.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:05 AM

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2012/01/what-causes-insulin-resistance-part-vii.html He states he believes very low carb intake causes it, but that it could be reversible with the introduction of carbs.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 17, 2012
at 09:40 PM

No one that I know supposedly became diabetic from a low-carb diet. But it's possible, because I've seen autoimmune diseases proliferate once people started ketogenic diets: hashimoto's, psoriases, RA, etc. Possibly T1 diabetes, the type considered to be autoimmune.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 17, 2012
at 09:39 PM

Where is the link where Stephan makes that claim? He may have said it causes temporary IR based on lack of sensitivity to carbs, but you can overcome that quickly once carbs are eaten.

  • 742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

    asked by

    (3536)
  • Views
    1.2K
  • Last Activity
    1279D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

8
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 17, 2012
at 09:41 PM

Yes, of course you can be lean and athletic and be diabetic. My adoptive mom is exactly like this. She was a circus acrobat in her youth (yes, really), and grew up in wartime Germany eating practically nothing. When she came to the US, she remained very active, and ate what she thought was healthy food, but was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 1960. It just means that her pancreas could not keep up with the insulin demands of her diet, "healthy" as it was.

I don't know what dietary recommendation to make for you; high carb seems stupid, but low-carb apparently makes you better in some ways but worse in others. I suggest going to Jenny's Diabetes Update blog, and scrolling around her Blood Sugar 101 site. Definitely buy the strips, and test, test, test. Diabetes is nothing to fuck around with -- whether TI or TII, you could end up losing limbs or vision.

ETA: Here's a web site with a list of professional or competitive athletes who are diabetic: http://www.dlife.com/diabetes/famous_people/sports

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Thanks for the list of athletes.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:06 AM

Testing is my main priority right now, because I honestly don't want to screw myself my up and continue eating in a way that could be damaging.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 18, 2012
at 04:34 AM

The list actually seems to be a mix of T1s, T2s, and those who became T2s long after their playing days. 1/3 of Americans over 65 are diabetic. Another 1/3 is suspected of being prediabetic. So if you've made it to 65, on a minority would expect not to suffer from IR.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on March 18, 2012
at 03:22 AM

Yes to everything you said above, except the "misleading" part. Type I is still diabetes, and can still be controlled by many people through lifestyle. And it sounds like *if* the OP were diabetic, he'd more likely be T1 (if at all -- not trying to diagnose anyone here), as a never-overweight athletic person.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 18, 2012
at 03:03 AM

Actually, I think that list is a bit misleading. Yes, many were competitive athletes some time ago. But many athletes become diabetics at a rate higher than the general population. This includes football and basketball players, when their playing days are over. Most competitive athletes who were diabetic when they were actually competing were T1 diabetics. T2 usually follows after your NFL career is over. T1 could follow, too but T2 is the most common condition you'll see, since many still have the same appetitie when they were playing.

6
7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on March 17, 2012
at 10:27 PM

Type one diabetes can come on later in life. A friend of mine is a dancer, gymnast and capoeirista who's whippet lean and rock hard. She was diagnosed with type 1 in her mid-30s.

This kind of concern is nothing to mess around with or take advice from internet strangers. See your doctor.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:08 AM

Last time my fasting blood sugar got checked was at the ER, it was in the 80's while consuming 400 grams of carbs daily...Doc said my blood sugar was fine, but that was a while back. I really need health insurance.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:25 AM

stephenj - New Zealand has a population of 4.3M and closed borders. The US has a population that is larger than 311M and open borders. Insuring everyone involves a set of challenges that you cannot even imagine and we're working on it. Perhaps we will get to join the rest of civilisation, as you say, one day.

7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:17 AM

Oh dear. Man, the US needs to join the rest of civilisation.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:27 PM

and therein lies our common ground. If you look it can often be found. Cheers, as you say down there.

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:27 PM

I enjoy civil discourse, provided that it remains civil, as this derailed thread has. I disagree that borders are irrelevant. They may be in Western Europe, where neighboring countries have similar economic stature, but when there is greater economic disparity between neighbors, it matters greatly. Also, the US has been committed to providing defense for Western Europe and Japan since WWII, at great expense. When European countries don't have to spend much on defense, they have excess to spend on things like healthcare, etc. Additionally, the US spends billions in foreign aid...

A4587cfef29863db612c43f89c202cc1

(2053)

on March 18, 2012
at 01:27 PM

(Incidentally, New Zealand ranks near the bottom of nations for providing foreign aid and I applaud your nation’s financial sensibility). The US government has decided that it’s more important to send billions of US taxpayer dollars (much of which is borrowed money) to other nations, and to spend billions, if not trillions, on military bases around the globe. Did you know that our current President just established a new Marine base on the north coast of Australia? You are absolutely correct about a corrupt legislative process and vested interest –

7d01d86c539003eed77cf901bf037412

(1076)

on March 18, 2012
at 02:31 AM

At the risk of a massive derail: in a tax-funded system, borders are irrelevant (viz Western Europe). In my country as in yours, illegal migrants (we have plenty of so-called "overstayers") are not eligible for state-funded care. If open borders were the issue, Canada would be overrun with US health migrants. It's not, because non-citizens are shut out of nationalised care. From my POV your challenges are easy to imagine, just difficult to solve: massive vested interests and a corrupt legislative process.

1
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on March 17, 2012
at 09:47 PM

Here is a quick way of seeing if you have IR. U say u have a meter. What's the reading in the morning when you get up? What's the reading 2h after your largest meal?

Measure that for about a week before jumping to a conclusion. Better yet, go to Walmart, buy this for 10 bux, mail it in, and see what your HbA1c is. Last time I checked it was off by 0.1 to my Labcorp-calculated HbA1c. Good enough for me.

http://reli-ona1c.com/Home.aspx

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on March 18, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Thanks Namby, I am in the process of testing. Bought the meter but forgot to get the strips. :(

1
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on March 17, 2012
at 09:38 PM

Did you see Stephan's first post on insulin resistance? One causational mechanism could be cellular energy excess. And obviously this could occur without weight gain as long as the body solely induced IR, rather than body fat storage, to protect against energy toxicity.

Type 1 diabetes is autoimmune in nature and any factor (like a virus) influencing that could lead to the pancreatic beta cells death. This doesn't require any degree of obesity.

I definitely think you should consider going to a doctor or looking into these symptoms further. Glucose testing would be a good start.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!