Blood glucose, Ghrelin, Leptin and hunger

(Mike Ratcliffe) #1

On a previous extended water fast I measured my blood glucose three times a day.

From my understanding this is how our hormones control hunger:

  1. If your blood glucose is high, your body releases leptin that tell your brain “I’m full”.
  2. If your blood glucose drops, your body releases ghrelin, cortisol that tell your brain “feed me”.
  3. Eating too much sugar makes us insulin and leptin resistant so we continually receive the “feed me” message.

With this in mind there is one observation that doesn’t seem to make any sense: When my blood glucose is high I get huge, almost uncontrollable waves of hunger washing over me but when my blood glucose is normal I don’t feel hungry at all.

The was consistent over the last 4 weeks of a 38 day fast and is the opposite of what I would expect.

Does anybody have any ideas as to why this appears to be working the opposite way than it should be for me?

(Bunny) #2

Insulin sensitivity? And/Or reverse T3 Levels (a T3 and T4 inhibitor; a test rarely covered by insurance and most doctors do not test for it or even know it exists because it is deemed “worthless information?’“) are too high (indicating leptin resistance) from lack of insulin? Maybe? If true, burning actual body fat will be like trying to catch wet paper on fire (that’s when you get out the lighter fluid?)! Ever wonder why skinny people can’t gain weight? Same thing but in reverse, hence “reverse T3 (a byproduct of T3)?”

That is why you are getting so hungry with high glucose?


HOMA-IR (Homeostatic Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance Calculator)


[1] Reverse T3 Treatment Guide + How to “Flush” it out of Your Body

[2] Reverse T3- Problems With High Reverse T3- Dr Hagmeyer Video

[3] How High Reverse T3 Causes Low Thyroid Symptoms. Dr Hagmeyer

[4] (TBS #7) Reverse T3: The Thyroid Lab Test You’re Missing

[5] Reverse Triiodothyronine (Reverse T3) Metabolites | Podcast #192

[6] Resistant starch lowers postprandial glucose and leptin in overweight adults consuming a moderate-to-high-fat diet: a randomized-controlled trial

[7] How Resistant Starch Will Help to Make You Healthier and Thinner extremely comprehensive

[8] Your Gut Microbes and Your Thyroid: What’s the Connection?

[9] How to Calculate your Reverse T3 Ratio & Optimal Free T3 and Free T4 Levels How_to_Calculate_Thyroid_Lab_Ranges.pdf (123.5 KB)

[10] Foods to Avoid if You Have Thyroid Problems Foods_to_Avoid_if_you_have_Thyroid_Problems_1_.pdf (125.2 KB)

[11] Test Your Thyroid Function at Home

[12] How to Properly Test Thyroid Function with Labs

[13] “…Hypothyroidism can interfere with absorption of this important nutrient. Thiamine (or vitamin B1) is one of many B-complex vitamins. …If you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you may not absorb thiamine properly, leading to a deficiency that can exacerbate fatigue, a common symptom of hypothyroidism. …” …More

Throw me a Keto Lifeline! Seeking encouragement

This is an over-generalization. What has a drastic effect on leptin and ghrelin levels are the signals sent from “sweet sensors” at various places in your stomach to your pancreas and liver. During a fast, you are making endogenous glucose not digesting foods. One sign that leptin resistance is correcting itself is when the same type of sensors in your mouth notice a difference in how sweet something tastes. If you want a very detailed description there’s studies that show an immediate reversal on diabetes after stomach surgery.

How sure are you this is the only correlation? Does it have to do with anticipatory hunger because of the time of day?

Do you have any ketone readings to help diagnosis?

(Ilana Rose) #4

Oh wow, this makes so much sense of why artificial sweeteners disturb weight loss efforts. I’ve read studies that demonstrate that sweet receptors are sensitized by sweeteners and this leads to increased cellular glucose uptake. This is bad enough, but if sweetness is all it takes to increase leptin resistance then it’s no wonder that sweeteners can compromise weight losses.

(Mike Ratcliffe) #5

Do you have any ketone readings to help diagnosis?

I’m sure I have my spreadsheet somewhere. I’m not certain I documented when I was hungry. I do remember that my fasting glucose was on the high side.

I can imagine that adding a sweet tasting 0 calorie concentrate to my ketoade is probably making me unnecessarily hungry then.

(Mike Ratcliffe) #6

Ah, I did find this in my notes that seems to confirm what you are saying:
“Feeling fine again… I had some Pepsi Max yesterday, which doesn’t normally cause a blood sugar spike for me. I suspect that is what made me so hungry.”

(Jody) #7

From the Diet Doctor article…

“It’s your body making you breakfast,” — except that when your muscles are fat-adapted, they don’t want it.

This is a nice simple explanation for the dawn effect!

US nurse Kelley Pound, a low-carb diabetes educator who blogs at the site LowcarbRN, wore a continuous glucose monitor, which tests blood sugars every 5 minutes, to see how various foods and stimuli impacted her blood glucose throughout the day. She discovered that even while eating low carb, it was stress that had the biggest impact on her readings, far more than any low-carb food. “My blood glucose will average 20-30 points higher on mornings where I have not gotten at least 7 hours of sleep,” said Pound, who decided to focus on stress reduction as a key part of diabetes management. “Working so hard to keep blood glucose controlled with diet, only to have it go haywire with stress, is defeating my goals.”

THIS. I find managing stress really tough part of this process of healing.

(Mame) #8

Fascinating. Braised cabbage now tastes incredibly sweet to me as does 100% baking chocolate.

(Mike Ratcliffe) #9

That is an amazing quote… makes perfect sense.

(Bunny) #10

This is something Dr. Fung discusses on his blog called Cephalic Phase Response or Reciprocation; what did we do previously to wanting to diet? Maybe we ate food when we were stressed but we were not really hungry to make ourselves feel better? So we feel that stress again and it causes our entire body to do the exact same thing (starting the process of digestion); it does this as if we were really eating food when stressed (thought) eliciting an insulin response to a coffee drink or food not eaten yet; by sight and smell and even more so by the sight of solid food[3]?

How strange?


”…Of interest, sweetness itself is not sufficient to start the cephalic response. An unflavored artificial non caloric sweetener by itself did not stimulate insulin secretion. However, when paired with flavour, it may start the the cephalic phase, even if the gastric phase does not proceed (because it has no calories or bulk). …” …More

Note: artificial sweeteners do not trigger insulin or spike blood blood sugars? i.e. but can via sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system…


[1] Cephalic Reflexes: Their Role in Digestion and Possible Roles in Absorption and Metabolism

[2] Anticipatory physiological regulation in feeding biology

[3] The Cephalic Phase Insulin Response to Nutritive and Low-Calorie Sweeteners in Solid and Beverage Form


Heck, just looking at food is said to cause a response too. I don’t have a sturdy handy. Fasting (morning) glucose can be all over the map and I’m not sure if it’s something to do with an increased hunger.

re: diet coke, dr pepper etc
Even Doc Nally had backed off recommending those drinks having observed reactions in some patients regardless of various studies that indicate they have no effect.

(Mike Ratcliffe) #12

These days I make Ketoade and add a squirt of 0 cal concentrate and my blood glucose stays relatively flat… it’s a fascinating subject though.

(Bacon is the new bacon) #13

Part of the confusion you are experiencing is from the fact that leptin is secreted by the adipose (fat) tissue, and is not necessarily correlated with the serum glucose level. Another factor to bear in mind is that an elevated serum insulin level blocks the leptin receptors in the hypothalamus, so that the brain doesn’t know to shut off the hunger hormones. (Partly this is because so much glucose is being stored as fat that other cells in the body actually do need more energy.)

(Bunny) #14

How would you duplicate (simulate) in the diet what Gila Monster saliva can do in a human with leptin resistance?

Lizard Spit (Gila Monster)?

That’s so strange?

Exendin-4 Hmmm?

I once encountered one these Gila Monsters, they are big and run so fast your eye ball can barely see them or keep up with them!


[1] “…The problem is not in the production of leptin, but rather, studies show that the majority of overweight individuals who are having difficulty losing weight have a leptin resistance, where the leptin is unable to produce its normal effects to stimulate weight loss. This leptin resistance is sensed as starvation, so multiple mechanisms are activated to increase fat stores, rather than burn excess fat stores. Leptin resistance also stimulates the formation of reverse T3, which blocks the effects of thyroid hormone on metabolism (discussed below). …” …More

[2] Drug Derived From Gila Monster Saliva Helps Diabetics Control Glucose, Lose Weight

(Todd Allen) #15

My first guess would be your blood sugar is rising in response to a stimulus such as mental or physical stress which raises hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine or others that release liver glycogen and ramp up gluconeogenesis. In the fasted state liver glycogen is deeply depleted and substrates for gluconeogenesis are low. Increased demand for energy substrates in short supply probably spikes hunger.

(Ilana Rose) #16

Actually, I wasn’t talking about the Cephalic response at all. Insulin stimulation hasn’t anything to do with this mechanism which is why it’s pointless for people to look at their blood glucose in the hope of determining if an artificial sweetener is affecting their fat losses negatively. It doesn’t need to affect insulin in order to have a negative metabolic effect.

We provide here functional evidence for an intestinal sensing system based on lingual taste receptors…

Artificial sweeteners increase glucose absorption in the order acesulfame potassium ∼ sucralose > saccharin…

Our observation that artificial sweeteners are nutritionally active, because they can signal to a functional taste reception system to increase sugar absorption during a meal, has wide implications for nutrient sensing and nutrition in the treatment of obesity and diabetes…

(Bunny) #17

Thank you for pointing that out! Amazing stuff!

(Ilana Rose) #18

Here is another one.

Artificial sweeteners stimulate adipogenesis and suppress lipolysis independently of sweet taste receptors

What these sorts of studies show is that artificial sweeteners are simply not biologically inert. I personally wouldn’t touch any of them with a ten foot pole on any regular basis. We just have no idea of how these sorts of effects might be screwing us up.

(Full Metal Keto) #19

Did you actually see it move fast? I always understood the to be quite slow at running but can turn quickly to bite you. Almost every source I looked at said they have a running speed of 1 mph.

(Bunny) #20

I see them all the time from a distance and they move a lot faster than 1mph. Hmmm?

Could be captivity type thing, they aren’t as frightened?