Fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF1) and FGF19 have been shown to improve glucose metabolism in diabetic rodents, but how this occurs is unknown. Here to investigate the mechanism of action of these growth factors, we perform intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) injections of recombinant FGF1 or FGF19 in an awake rat model of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and measure rates of whole-body lipolysis, hepatic acetyl CoA content, pyruvate carboxylase activity and hepatic glucose production. We show that i.c.v. injection of FGF19 or FGF1 leads to a ∼60% reduction in hepatic glucose production, hepatic acetyl CoA content and whole-body lipolysis, which results from decreases in plasma ACTH and corticosterone concentrations. These effects are abrogated by an intra-arterial infusion of corticosterone. Taken together these studies identify suppression of the HPA axis and ensuing reductions in hepatic acetyl CoA content as a common mechanism responsible for mediating the acute, insulin-independent, glucose-lowering effects of FGF1 and FGF19 in rodents with poorly controlled T1D.