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Why didn't my blood sugar rise?

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  • Why didn't my blood sugar rise?

    I've been somewhat low-carb for about a year (gave up pasta and bread), and have been concentrating on being primal since the beginning of the year. Today was a special occasion, and my husband and I ate out at his favorite restaurant and ended up at Ted Drewes after dinner. Ted Drewe's is a St. Louis institution, but it's far from primal as it's a frozen custard place.

    When we got home, I took my blood sugar and amazingly it was only 85. I had a frozen custard with cookie dough and brownie mix-ins one hour earlier. That's even lower than my fasting blood glucose, which is typically in the mid-90's. How is that even possible?

  • #2
    Because you've given your pancreas a year off, basically, and you got lucky - it wasn't completely destroyed, as some people's have been since they have been on the SAD/CW for decades. So it did its job, as it's supposed to do when you get the *occasional* blood sugar spike.
    Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

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    • #3
      I'm assuming your mid-90s fasting blood glucose is taken with the same meter as your 85 post-prandial, so we'll leave out equipment error.

      I suppose that if you were sufficiently insulin sensitive and the glycemic load of the meal was sufficiently low you wouldn't have trouble clearing glucose from the occasional carby meal. I know cookie dough and brownies are basically all sugar but maybe the milk and egg (plus everyting else you ate beforehand) slowed digestion enough. Just a guess though.

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      • #4
        That's pretty cool, and just confirms for me that eating primal is the way to go. I've had all the symptoms of insulin resistance for years, and both my parents (and 2 of my siblings) are type II, so anything that looks like a healthy response to sugar is welcome news.

        I had a drink with my dinner, and I wonder if that had something to do with it as well since I know that alcohol lowers my sugar. In any case, tomorrow I'm back to eating healthy!

        Edit: PS -- Yes, same meter was used, which is why I was shocked. My hubby, who is mostly SAD when on his own, but eats whatever I cook at home had a reading of 120.
        Last edited by pebblehead; 02-26-2011, 08:54 PM.

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        • #5
          It could mean different things.
          1.Your year of low carb has been restorative in regards to glucose control and insulin sensitivity.
          2.Your body released a lot of insulin to cover the " glucose hit" your non primal meal had.

          I think it would be helpful to note your typical postprandial numbers.

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          • #6
            it means your body cleared the glucose....
            Get on my Level
            http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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            • #7
              or you ran home..........
              activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within

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              • #8
                as others said...your body did what it's supposed to do - it shuttled the extra glucose out of your bloodstream.
                Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kennelmom View Post
                  as others said...your body did what it's supposed to do - it shuttled the extra glucose out of your bloodstream.
                  still getting my head round the science, so got to ask ... did it shuttle it into fat stores?? Where did it go - healthily or not??

                  i know i should understand this by now. Need to reread GCBC

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by marcadav View Post
                    It could mean different things.
                    1.Your year of low carb has been restorative in regards to glucose control and insulin sensitivity.
                    2.Your body released a lot of insulin to cover the " glucose hit" your non primal meal had.

                    I think it would be helpful to note your typical postprandial numbers.
                    Re #2, I wondered about that, and suppose that's insulin doing what it's supposed to do. I used to get low blood sugars back in my pre-primal days, to the point where I'd almost black out. However, it usually took 2-3 hours after a high-carb meal before I'd crash. I even had a glucose tolerance test once, and for the 3 hour test my blood sugar stayed > 100, but by the time I drove home I was such a mess that I could barely think straight (no idea what my BS was at that point, but it had to have been low). My doctor had put me on a hypoglycemic diet anyway, since when the sugar did start to drop from the peak it did so all at once.

                    The low blood sugars were really my main motivation for going low carb and eventually primal. For years, hypoglycemia was nearly indistinguishable from depression, and after messing around with my diet I realized that they were related. Knowing that those types of reactions are often a precursor to diabetes, and having the family history that I do, I figured I needed to do something. I haven't had a single low blood sugar "episode" in over a year, and even though winter is usually a dark time for me, I've felt pretty good all this year (although there are other reasons for that, too, like adequate vitamin D intake and a new job).

                    For most meals that I cook myself, I stay below 110 1 hr postprandial, often < 100. I don't get to test myself much when going out to eat, but I remember testing my sugar after a nice Vietnamese pho meal (I ate some of the rice noodles, but left most of them in the bowl in favor of the broth and meat), and it was 140. So there are definitely some foods that leave my blood sugar high. However, this whole conversation makes me think that I should probably start testing at 30 minutes as well as an hour.

                    Fasting glucose this morning is 104, 10 points higher than "normal" for me so it seems I didn't get off scot free.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by localad View Post
                      or you ran home..........
                      Ha, if only! I only run if something's chasing me, and even then only if I don't think I could take it in a fight!

                      Originally posted by denise View Post
                      still getting my head round the science, so got to ask ... did it shuttle it into fat stores?? Where did it go - healthily or not??

                      i know i should understand this by now. Need to reread GCBC
                      Now that's an excellent question, and I hope that someone who understands this better than I do will answer. I have to suspect it's going into my (ample) fat cells.

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                      • #12
                        I spent years riding a carb coaster and know I was probably not far away from a type II diagnosis when I started primal in Nov. That's one totally awesome result for me: my blood sugar is steady as can be (don't test but I can just tell. I did have a recent blood panel done and it was 84 awhile after a big breakfast and my a1c was 87. I think the pp's are right that if you didn't totally destroy your pancreas, it has started working the way it was meant to. Once or twice lately, I have been offered something like a piece of dried fruit which normally would not have gone well on an empty stomach and my blood sugar stayed totally steady, like I remember it being oh about 30 years ago. This is not to say that we should constantly test our bodies in this way but it's great that the occasional indulgence isn't a big problem...
                        True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
                        The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

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                        • #13
                          Even though you didn't run home as Localad suggested , if we do indulge in carbs it probably is a good idea to to take a walk or do something to burn it off. My FIL who is a type II diabetic nightmare (shoots up insulin to eat twinkies), even knows to go walk around when his blood sugar gets high, not that he ever excercises with any consistency. Drives me crazy because primal could probably get him off of insulin and prolong his life but there are none so blind as those who will not see.
                          True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
                          The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl

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                          • #14
                            if we do indulge in carbs it probably is a good idea to to take a walk or do something to burn it off.
                            recently on the Heartscan blog:

                            "I confined my food choices mostly to vegetables and soups. Within about 30 minutes, I started to get that odd buzz in my head that usually signals a high blood sugar.
                            When I got home, my fingerstick blood glucose: 173 mg/dl. Darn it! Must have been cornstarch or other sugars in the sauces.
                            I got on my supine stationary bike and pedaled for 40 minutes at a moderate pace while I played Modern Warfare on XBox. (A great way, by the way, to fit in some low- to moderate-intensity exercise while occupying your brain. My wife often has to yell at me to get off, it's so much fun.)
                            Blood glucose at the conclusion of exercise: 93 mg/dl-- a nice 80 mg/dl drop.
                            This is a useful strategy to use in a pinch when you've either been inadvertently exposed to more carbohydrate than you can tolerate, or if you'd like to blunt the adverse glucose effects of a bowl of ice cream or other carbohydrate indulgence."

                            http://www.heartscanblog.org/
                            activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by denise View Post
                              still getting my head round the science, so got to ask ... did it shuttle it into fat stores?? Where did it go - healthily or not??

                              i know i should understand this by now. Need to reread GCBC
                              Some will be used for energy, liver and muscle glycogen stores will be topped off if necessary and then in to fat.
                              Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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