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  1. #11
    pklopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brookesam View Post
    So the glucagon reponse only happens with protein? And the reason I needed so much extra through the night is because I ate more protein than I usually do in that time frame?

    I have so many questions about how my body works as somebody with type 1 diabetes...
    Short answer, yes, it's the protein.

    Long answer:

    Insulin is an acute nutrient availability signal. For all intents and purposes, insulin tells the rest of your body that "you've just been fed, govern yourself accordingly." Govern yourself accordingly basically comes down to assimilating the available nutrients.

    Assimilation is not strictly related to the nutrients that you've ingested. Once a glucose molecule is in your bloodstream, for example, there is no way for your body to differentiate a molecule that originally started out as amylopectin-A in your morning bagel from one that was produced by dephosphorilation of glucose-1-phosphate from your liver glycogen store.

    As a result, insulin signalling will induce tissues capable of glucose uptake to do so, even if the diet did not provide enough carbohydrate to maintain blood sugar levels at pre-prandial ( before feeding ) levels. But, luckily the body has regulatory mechanisms that prevent blood sugar from getting too low, and that is via the secretion of glucagon.

    While insulin is the poster child for pancreatic hormones, there is another, lesser known hormone that is always secreted in conjunction with insulin: amylin. Amylin is interesting because it has both endocrine and paracrine functions.

    Endocrine functions are those that affect remote tissues such as when amylin causes gastric emptying to slow, or induces satiety via its effects on the hypothalamus. Paracrine functions are when a secretion affects not remote tissues, but rather tissues in the immediate vicinity.

    For our purposes here, it is the paracrine function of amylin that we are interested in because that function is to suppress the secretion of glucagon from pancreatic alpha cells.

    Were in the home stretch now ... here comes the punchline. As a type I diabetic, you have a condition where your pancreatic beta cells are non-functional, and this prevents you from secreting both insulin and amylin. This means that your meals result in insufficient insulin release, and, adding insult to injury, an exaggerated post-prandial glucagon release.

    Although we've only been discussing glucose up to now, insulin is also essential for the assimilation of protein. Before the advent of synthetic insulin, patients with T1DM would waste away while being being ravenous and eating prodigiously. The takeaway from this is that protein behaves very much like carbohydrates in terms of insulin -> amylin -> glucagon signalling pathways.

    So, legal disclaimer here, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I would advise you to try to have the bulk of your protein early in the morning, because that way you can monitor your blood sugar throughout the day without needing to disturb your sleep. I would also restrict protein portion sizes and potentially increase frequency of protein meals. I would also steer clear of lean meats in preference of fatty cuts not just because they are far more tasty, but also because the fat affects gastric emptying and the rate of protein absorption from the digestive tract.

    -PK
    Last edited by pklopp; 11-11-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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  2. #12
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    Well said! For a time I could not understand my high readings because of my fixation on carbohydrate restriction, which of course led to using more insulin.

    I would advise you to try to have the bulk of your protein early in the morning, because that way you can monitor your blood sugar throughout the day without needing to disturb your sleep. I would also restrict protein portion sizes and potentially increase frequency of protein meals. I would also steer clear of lean meats in preference of fatty cuts not just because they are far more tasty, but also because the fat affects gastric emptying and the rate of protein absorption from the digestive tract.

    Logical to a "t." Thank you.

  3. #13
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    Just wanted to reach out to the diabetic poster here. I'm T1.5 (also on insulin pump, but only for pregnancy). I haven't had the protein spiking problem, but I usually don't have more than 50g in a sitting. It's usually in the form of a morning protein shake with at least 1/2c of heavy cream. Have you been having fat with your protein? Fat helps slow down the spiking process.
    --Trish (Bork)
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    So does anyone know how much protein can one take per meal? Is there really a limit? Now I just wonder if I go over the threshold that the protein might not be utilized

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklopp View Post

    Were in the home stretch now ... here comes the punchline. As a type I diabetic, you have a condition where your pancreatic beta cells are non-functional, and this prevents you from secreting both insulin and amylin. This means that your meals result in insufficient insulin release, and, adding insult to injury, an exaggerated post-prandial glucagon release.

    Although we've only been discussing glucose up to now, insulin is also essential for the assimilation of protein. Before the advent of synthetic insulin, patients with T1DM would waste away while being being ravenous and eating prodigiously. The takeaway from this is that protein behaves very much like carbohydrates in terms of insulin -> amylin -> glucagon signalling pathways.

    So, legal disclaimer here, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I would advise you to try to have the bulk of your protein early in the morning, because that way you can monitor your blood sugar throughout the day without needing to disturb your sleep. I would also restrict protein portion sizes and potentially increase frequency of protein meals. I would also steer clear of lean meats in preference of fatty cuts not just because they are far more tasty, but also because the fat affects gastric emptying and the rate of protein absorption from the digestive tract.

    -PK
    Thank you so much PK for taking the time to really explain that to me!

    I eat about 4 meals a day because I found with 2 or 3 meals I was sluggish and gained weight. So normally my protein is intake is around 25-40 grams per meal. All I had on hand that night was chicken, goat cheese and eggs so there was some fat in my meal. I also had some coconut butter.

  6. #16
    brooke.S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
    Just wanted to reach out to the diabetic poster here. I'm T1.5 (also on insulin pump, but only for pregnancy). I haven't had the protein spiking problem, but I usually don't have more than 50g in a sitting. It's usually in the form of a morning protein shake with at least 1/2c of heavy cream. Have you been having fat with your protein? Fat helps slow down the spiking process.
    Thanks for your reply!

    I usually don't eat that much protein in that time frame unless I'm just craving it and that happens about once every 2 weeks or so. The main source of protein that I had that night was chicken but I also had goat cheese, a couple of eggs and coconut butter.

  7. #17
    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    I've heard not to exceed 50g in a meal, but that might just be CW bunk.
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

  8. #18
    brooke.S.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnemer View Post
    So does anyone know how much protein can one take per meal? Is there really a limit? Now I just wonder if I go over the threshold that the protein might not be utilized
    Check out the link that otzi posted on this thread. I think it will answer your question

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnemer View Post
    Nice blog. I added it to my bookmarks. So from what I understand glucagon from the protein I eat is benefiting my burning of fat and building of muscle? It won't raise my insulin.

    Is some of the protein going to waste because I had a large intake in one time?
    The way this works is that you need to raise insulin in order to assimilate nutrients, so insulin is the storage hormone. No insulin, no storage, and you quickly die. This is why the development of artificial insulin was such a momentous event in medical history. Of course, part of storage involves adipose tissue, so you may add to fat mass, albeit very temporarily.

    Glucagon works opposite to insulin, it is the signal to the body to release stored nutrients. Release of nutrients generally involves the liver and adipose fat. Of course, you cannot release that which you did not store.

    So, effectively eating a meal consists of storage (insulin) and release (glucagon) of nutrients. To focus only on the insulin stimulating effects of protein is to literally miss half the picture, but this happens in the majority of discussions relating to insulinogenic effects of various foods. The net result of this is that people get terrified of insulin, when insulin is a critical life promoting hormone.

    With regards to wasting of excess protein, barring pathology, the body doesn't ever waste anything, it is highly conservative. So, if you eat a large amount of protein at one sitting, a number of things happen, including changes in the rate of digestion to ensure that you can assimilate all of the valuable nutrients you have ingested. There is, of course, a limit to how much protein you can metabolize, but you would need to be ingesting ridiculous amounts for you to approach that limit. If you are in the range of .75g to 1g per kg of body mass, you should be fine, and I would say even if you were to eat all of it at one sitting.

    -PK

    (Thanks for visiting my blog. I've been neglecting it of late due to some potato fast madness ... )
    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

    Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

  10. #20
    pklopp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timthetaco View Post
    I was reading a review paper about protein the other day. If you're into the whole science thing: From 2006
    Great paper.

    Thanks!

    -PK
    My blog : cogitoergoedo.com

    Interested in Intermittent Fasting? This might help: part 1, part 2, part 3.

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