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Increased energy expenditure in poorly controlled Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients


The basal energy expenditure of 10 Type 1 (insulin-dependent) C-peptide-negative diabetic patients (2042±62 kcal/24 h) was found to be significantly higher than the 1774±52kcal/24h predicted from their age, sex and body surface area (p<0.01). Intravenous insulin treatment significantly reduced energy expenditure to 1728 ±19 kcal/24 h (p< 0.01), which matched predicted values. The observed increase in metabolic rate in uncontrolled diabetic patients is associated with increased protein turnover, increased plasma glucagon, but no significant increase in cortisol, growth hormone or triiodothyronine concentrations in plasma. It may be accounted for by the energy cost of protein synthesis, or gluconeogenesis, or possibly increased sympathetic activity. This increased energy expenditure will contribute to the weight loss seen in Type 1 diabetic patients.


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Nair, K.S., Halliday, D. & Garrow, J.S. Increased energy expenditure in poorly controlled Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients. Diabetologia 27, 13–16 (1984).

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Key words

  • Energy expenditure
  • metabolic rate
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • diabetic control
  • glucagon