Can You Get Diabetes If You Are Skinny?

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Thin Type 2s?

We’ve all read about people with Type 1 climbing mountains, dancing ballet, or playing professional football. But people with Type 2 are thought by many to be overweight and sedentary. Last week I learned different. It’s an interesting story. You occasionally hear from diabetes educators about “thin Type 2s,” but for a long time, I thought they didn’t really exist. I thought they were misdiagnosed Type 1s or 1.5s. I figured they had either LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults) or MODY (Maturity Onset of Diabetes of the Young). My reasoning went like this: Type 2 diabetes is driven by insulin resistance. Insulin resistance has many causes, but the main ones are physical inactivity and stress. So how could a very active person develop Type 2? Well, now I know. If you have the right genes, stress can drive even a very active person to Type 2 all by itself. Last week, I spoke at a support group for people with Type 2. Two of the group members, one man and one woman, were not only thin, but very active. The man kept tapping his foot and rocking his legs back and forth. The woman kept moving around in her chair. Both the man and the woman talked of exercising a great deal Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. dendify

    I am thin (BMI 21), exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet. Recently tested with fasting BG 6.4, 2 hour GTT 10.1 despite this. I'd like to hear from any other people who are in a similar situation on whether watching following the standard advice here (viewtopic.php?f=39&t=26870) has had any long term impact. Most of the information I can find is about people who can benefit from weight loss and starting to exercise. If my impaired glucose tolerance is just due to my unlucky genetics, should I just resign myself to an inevitable progression to full type 2?

  2. janeecee

    I have impaired glucose tolerance, slim build (BMI 20.4) with no dietary sins. I ate whole grains, fruit, veg, pulses. I didn't have a sugar habit, rarely touched alcohol, no family history. Unlike you, I'm not fit (housebound due to ME/CFS) and that's probably why I have developed this problem and why it's so difficult for me to address because I can't exercise. I've cut the carbs and I'm eating to the meter. I am working on increasing my physical activity but exercise for someone with ME is not the same as exercise for the general population, so it's not enough to make an impact on my blood sugar levels. I don't have a lot of weight to spare and I'm not specifically trying to lose weight either. Would a few pounds make any impact considering that some people lose stones? Again, it's not as if there's all that excess weight demanding more insulin than what's available. It's a tough call.
    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App

  3. CathyN

    I am officially Type 2. Diet and exercise controlled.
    Like you I am slim, I teach yoga and I had a good diet on diagnosis. So making huge sweeping lifestyle changes did not figure in my equation as much as it would if I had had weight to lose, or had been living a sedentary life up to that point.
    So in a sense, this is quite tough.
    However, through educating myself on this forum and doing a lot of reading, I have made changes that have influenced my Blood Sugar control, hopefully helping to keep my diabetes in the 'well controlled' bracket, and delaying any medication at present.
    Changes have been mostly dietary - changing the amount of carbohydrate I consume - which when I really looked into it, was fairly high for someone with diabetes. Since diagnosis, I have lost a stone without trying to. - so weight has dropped to 8st 5. So, BMI has improved which is no bad thing. ( I am 5'1 ).
    Cholesterol too has dropped through dietary changes and this is important for heart health when you are pre or fully diabetic.
    Pre diagnosis, I was feeling exhausted. Now, my energy levels are back to normal and I feel very well.
    My fasting glucose hovers around the 6.5 mark.
    I understand what you mean about resigning yourself to the fact that you have inherited this, and as you are fit and healthy and eat well and exercise well, you may be inclined to imagine there's nothing for it but to wait until Type 2 is finally diagnosed. But with improved glucose control you could well stave off the diagnosis of type 2 for some years whilst improving your chances of preventing diabetic complications which arise when blood sugars are allowed to stay high over a long period.
    You may be surprised with what you can achieve by just tweaking your diet for better control.
    So I would say, yes - following selectively the advice I have gleaned from this forum has made a long term impact on my diabetes. It is on going, and sometimes feels like a pain, but my HbA1C tests have all been lower than the one at diagnosis, so something positive has occurred!!
    I am 49 now and had Impaired Fasting Glycaemia first mentioned to me 10 years ago. I was given no advice from the doctor that this may result in diabetes down the line, and I became diabetic before I realised I needed to take action.
    My advice would be, take action!!
    best wishes

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