View Full Version : ADHD, insulin and blood sugar levels


tudorose
07-14-12, 09:08 AM
I was trying to do some research on whether ADHD meds affect blood sugar. I came across this article but I can't understand it (sometimes I find it hard to understand what I read).

Can anyone who is capable of reading tell me what this is trying to say?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017090131.htm

What are your opinions on this? I can't work out whether they're trying to say that ADHD is caused by insulin problems or whether medication impacts on insulin levels.

hanikamiya
07-14-12, 09:40 AM
In the study they looked at diabetic rats (juvenile diabetis) and found that when the rats had too little insulin in their blood, dopamine release and reuptake were reduced.

DAT is a protein on the membrane of dopamine-using neurons and it pumps used dopamine back into the cell until it is activated and released again.

Apparently, dopamine can turn inactive when it's been used and float around the cells inactive, and in those rats the DAT didn't pump that inactive dopamine back into the cells, so that the cells didn't have anything in store which they could release when the amphetamine came. Normally, amphetamine makes the neurons release a lot of dopamine at once.

Their conclusion was that insulin might play a role in ADHD as well. But which, will have to be studied.

So, it's not that ADHD affects blood sugar, but that blood sugar and a lack of insulin response may affect ADHD.

Drewbacca
07-14-12, 04:45 PM
What are your opinions on this? I can't work out whether they're trying to say that ADHD is caused by insulin problems or whether medication impacts on insulin levels.

They are saying that ADHD may be caused by an insulin problem.

It is assumed that ADHD (generally speaking) is caused by a dopamine deficiency. We believe this because people with ADHD respond well to drugs that inhibit dopamine reuptake. We don't know with certainty what is causing the dopamine deficiency.

There are two types of drugs primarily used for ADHD treatment, methylphenidate and amphetamine.
Both types of drugs block dopamine reuptake; both increase dopamine levels.
If insulin is not available for the chemical reaction, methylphenidate and adderall won't work. They won't work because they are unable to interact with our neurons.

To put it another way:
Insulin is the employee at the department store who pushes the carts back to the front door. If you fire that employee, you lose parking spaces. Imagine that methylphenidate and amphetamine are cars, they have nowhere to park in the absence of insulin. Taking drugs is sort of like having a sale, it attracts new customers to the store (the old theory) but if they don't have anywhere to park, they won't bother to show up (what the study you linked adds to the theory). Without drugs, the store is dependent on local shoppers (who do not need to drive) in order to stay in business; the store won't get enough business to operate efficiently (so, the store has ADHD).

Since there are no parking places, customers will come for the sale (taking medication) but will just end up driving in circles and never parking. You can call the parking spots DAT. In order to do more business, the store needs both customers and somewhere for the customers to park their vehicles.

Both, methylphenidate and amphetamine, bring in customers but methylphenidate can only bring in one customer for every parking spot. Amphetamines bring additional customers. The customers, in this analogy, are the dopamine molecules. That's not exactly how it works, but it gets the idea across. Methylphenidate only blocks the reuptake of dopamine while amphetamines both block the reuptake and induce the release of more dopamine (more customers). Regardless of which medication you use, when you take insulin out of the picture, they don't function (can't shop if you can't park the car).


The article you linked shows that insulin is necessary for the medication to work. What they are suggesting, is that dopamine levels could be fine and that ADHD is actually caused by an insulin deficiency.
The study is important because it will force researchers to consider a different variable in future studies.
Another way to say it is: insulin and dopamine are both ingredients in ADHD soup. Too much or too little will ruin the taste. We need to look at other ingredients instead of just dopamine (and its precursors).

Drewbacca
07-14-12, 04:56 PM
My opinion:

The study is useful from a research point of view but mostly useless from a diagnostic perspective.

In diagnosing ADHD, IF you respond to the medication, then you aren't insulin deficient so the study is irrelevant. It may, however, explain why some patients don't respond to ADHD medication.

It's important for researchers who are trying to understand the biological mechanisms to be aware that insulin plays an active role in the mechanism and that it is not just an unhelpful bystander.

tudorose
07-15-12, 12:00 AM
My opinion:

The study is useful from a research point of view but mostly useless from a diagnostic perspective.

In diagnosing ADHD, IF you respond to the medication, then you aren't insulin deficient so the study is irrelevant. It may, however, explain why some patients don't respond to ADHD medication.

It's important for researchers who are trying to understand the biological mechanisms to be aware that insulin plays an active role in the mechanism and that it is not just an unhelpful bystander.

So if an ADHDer is insulin resistant (thereby producing too much insulin) does that mean that ADHD meds should work better?

Drewbacca
07-15-12, 01:03 AM
So if an ADHDer is insulin resistant (thereby producing too much insulin) does that mean that ADHD meds should work better?

They didn't evaluate that in the study. All that I know, based on the study, is that the removal of insulin prevents the dopamine response that would otherwise occur. My suspicion is that the reaction would become medication-limited instead of insulin-limited beyond a certain point but that's just a guess.

If you look at studies of ADHD and high sugar/simple-carb you might find something. Probably not since that other study was written in 2007. If I stumble on anything, I'll pass it along.

This might be useful as well:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/402727-hypoglycemia-caffeine/

Drewbacca
07-15-12, 02:49 AM
This doesn't answer your question, but I thought it a good link to share none the less. Full text available for free.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19379724

This may be alone the lines of what you are looking for, but I can't access the full article. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17803347

Amtram
07-15-12, 09:32 AM
There are other potential interactions between blood sugar and neurochemistry in both directions. Many antidepressants have caused weight gain or loss in patients who don't change their diets. Antipsychotics are notorious for altering glucose levels. And. . .people with fluctuating glucose levels often experience fluctuating moods.

The correlation doesn't mean causation, though. In order to find out whether you are one of the people who experiences this, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor. A fasting blood sugar test can uncover a problem very easily.

mildadhd
07-16-12, 05:19 AM
I was trying to do some research on whether ADHD meds affect blood sugar. I came across this article but I can't understand it (sometimes I find it hard to understand what I read).

Can anyone who is capable of reading tell me what this is trying to say?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071017090131.htm

What are your opinions on this? I can't work out whether they're trying to say that ADHD is caused by insulin problems or whether medication impacts on insulin levels.

I think the research suggests:

When a person with type one diabetes insulin levels are low.

The dopamine reuptake inhibitors don't function properly in their brains.


Part one

People with type one diabetes have a lack of the insulin hormone,

and are treated by taking daily insulin injections.



Part Two

Some ADHD medication are dopamine reuptake inhibitors.

The research conclude that dopamine reuptake inhibitors work in treating ADHD.



Part three

If a person has ADHD and type one diabetes.


If insulin levels are "not normal",

the ADHD medication does not work like normal.


If insulin levels are "normal",

the ADHD medication does work like normal.



"We have described a novel mechanism by which diabetes may affect brain function."(-from OP article)


In regards to ADHD.

To me his information suggests,

that people who take ADHD medication.

and who have diabetes.


Need to keep their insulin levels within normal range,

for ADHD medication to work properly.




My unprofessional conclusion:

ADHDers do have a higher level of "sensitivity" to hormonal regulation,

under normal conditions.


But not that ADHD causes diabetes,

or that diabetes causes ADHD.

In my opinion.

mildadhd
07-16-12, 06:01 AM
Thanks for the thread information.


What I am curious to know more about is....



If a person with type one diabetes and ADHD .

Is required to take insulin and ADHD medication.


If the person has low blood sugar (low insulin),

and takes the ADHD medication.


What happens to the ADHD medication,

if reuptake inhibitors are "not working" because of low insulin,

where does the ADHD medication "go"?


Also what are the effects of the ADHD medication,

when glucose levels are to high?


And what other hormones are involved with insulin in these "processes"?





.

aydodson
09-13-17, 11:07 AM
If you’re developing insulin resistance, insulin can’t fully get into the liver (I am guessing) to break down what it needs to into glycogen and fatty acids. Lipase breaks down fatty acids into lipids (to my understanding) and insulin stimulates the release of Lipase to break down the fats. Fatty acids soak up the fat soluable vitamins A, E, D and K. You need several of those to efficiently create nuerotransmitters. Then it carries the fatty acids and soluable vitamins to the cells.
If the insulin isn’t getting into your liver (resistance or decreased sensitivity), it’s flowing around in your blood somewhat unabsorbed, right? Insulin levels don’t often get tested until Glucose levels climb too.
Downstream of the lipid metabolic process, an enzyme breaks down one of its componants into 2 molecules (Glucose and Ceremide, the second being a precursor of Collagen).
I overcame this issue by taking Fish Oil with the fat soluable vitamins, Glucose tabs when I got “confused and spacey” and Green Tea to help get my insulin levels down when I get cranky and turn into a monster. I still am in early process of this all and have an appointment with the doctor in 8 days to get my insulin levels under control so my speech is cohesive again.
After all of this was done, I swear my IQ shot up like 30 points. Before this was figured out, I couldn’t complete a sentence without jumbling words and I would get periods of confusion and couldn’t do a simple math equation.
My diagnoses prior: Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, ADHD, Psychosis, Mood swings, anxiety, learning disabilities, decreasing vision, asphasia.
My diagnosis now: Insulin Resistance. The other stuff is pretty much gone. I’m working on lowering my insulin to fix the rest.