The Disrupted Dance in Ms. Jones: Gastric inhibitory polypeptide

January 13, 2024by Dr. S. F. Czar0

Case Study: 

Ms. Jones, a 48-year-old woman, presented with classic Cushing’s syndrome features: weight gain, central obesity, moon face, and purple striae. Laboratory tests confirmed the diagnosis: elevated cortisol levels and suppressed ACTH. Further investigations revealed impaired glucose tolerance and fasting hyperglycemia.

Digging Deeper:

While her diabetes medication provided some glycemic control, Ms. Jones still experienced postprandial blood sugar spikes. Suspecting a deeper metabolic imbalance, Dr. Lee examined the GIP-glucagon axis.

The Missing Notes:

A GLP-1 stimulation test revealed a blunted insulin response, suggesting suppressed incretin production. GIP levels were also lower than expected. This pointed towards the detrimental effects of chronic cortisol exposure on Ms. Jones’ gut hormone secretion.

Tuning the Harmony:

Dr. Lee initiated treatment with a GLP-1 receptor agonist. This medication mimicked the actions of GLP-1, stimulating insulin release and suppressing glucagon, effectively controlling Ms. Jones’ postprandial hyperglycemia. The improvement in glucose control led to weight loss and reduced abdominal fat accumulation.

Beyond Glucose:

While glycemic control improved, Dr. Lee recognized the potential for other complications due to the disrupted GIP-glucagon axis. He monitored Ms. Jones closely for signs of fatty liver disease, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular risks. Early intervention, along with ongoing management of Cushing’s syndrome, helped mitigate these potential sequelae.

Ms. Jones’ case highlights the complex interplay between Cushing’s syndrome and the GIP-glucagon axis. Targeting this dysregulation with novel therapies like GLP-1 receptor agonists offers promising benefits for glycemic control, but a holistic approach remains crucial to address the multifaceted complications of this challenging condition.

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