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Insulin still high after 2 months very low carb

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  • Insulin still high after 2 months very low carb

    I started low carb on July 4th and have been moving more and more paleo ever since. I started the process after getting a really bad report card on my annual physical in June. At 26, I'm 70 pounds over weight and I've already lost my gallbladder, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, an insulin resistance. Heart disease and diabetes run in my family and seem to be in my future. So I decided to take some action.

    I've been maintaining a very low carb diet plan (less than 15-20g per day) and started doing high intensity training, both of which are supposed to help with all of my symptoms, but weight loss has been less than 1 pound per week. Today, I had my blood work run again. My cholesterol levels have dropped significantly, but my insulin level hasn't budged. It was so high my doctor accused me of not fasting before the blood test. I told her I had been on a low carb diet for 2 months and she said "in that case you should have an insulin level of 1, not 17." She has me taking a chromium supplement and an herbal remedy called fenugreek plus. I'm also taking fish oil and vitamin D3. She wants me to come back in a month and see if anything has changed.

    Based on my understanding of insulin's role in fat storage and weight loss, I think this stubbornly high level is the reason weight loss has been slow. My question is what is causing it and what can I do to fix it? I expected a low carb diet to address insulin resistance.

    I'm not giving up. After years of obesity and struggling with diet failures, I really feel this is my last hope. I know people who have had amazing results and I'm starting to see results on my own. But that insulin level is very disappointing.

  • #2
    I'm T2 diabetic and I feel your pain. Insulin issues can be a real bee's-itch. Have you tried maintaining a 6 hour eating window? I keep mine from noon to 6p. I eat twice a day (usually), and limit my fruit consumption to 1/2c a week.
    I've found a supplement called Diabet-X has also helped me personally (Diabet-X - LifeSeasons)

    I think you're doing everything else right. I know it's rough. Try toning down intense training to intensely LONG walks and regular weights? That's about the only other thing I can think of.
    --Trish (Bork)
    TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
    http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
    FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Are you a he or she?
      Consider the leptin reset protocol.

      Comment


      • #4
        As others have said, consider the leptin reset.

        However, realize that you made terrible food choices for 26 years of your life, and 26 years of damage cannot be reversed in only 2 months. It may take 6 months to a year or more to feel and see a significant change. You are literally reprogramming your genetics to run on a completely new fuel source. It takes awhile for people with damaged metabolisms to be able to fully express the proper genetics.
        Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by paleo_newbie View Post
          I've been maintaining a very low carb diet plan (less than 15-20g per day) and started doing high intensity training, both of which are supposed to help with all of my symptoms, but weight loss has been less than 1 pound per week. Today, I had my blood work run again. My cholesterol levels have dropped significantly, but my insulin level hasn't budged. It was so high my doctor accused me of not fasting before the blood test. I told her I had been on a low carb diet for 2 months and she said "in that case you should have an insulin level of 1, not 17." She has me taking a chromium supplement and an herbal remedy called fenugreek plus.
          Magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity.

          Make sure you get good HIT instruction.


          Originally posted by paleo_newbie View Post
          Based on my understanding of insulin's role in fat storage and weight loss, I think this stubbornly high level is the reason weight loss has been slow. My question is what is causing it and what can I do to fix it? I expected a low carb diet to address insulin resistance.
          How to Lower Your Blood Sugar

          To use Dr. McGuff's analogy, the diet (low carb/paleo) turns off the faucet to an overflowing tub. So, you're slowing down the amount of glucose that a broken metabolism has to deal with, but that doesn't necessarily address the insulin resistance problem as illustrated by your blood test results. Along with low carb, definitely continue avoiding the neolithic agents of disease.

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice and encouragement. To answer your question, I'm a male. I have a fantastic HIT instructor and I've watched/read everything I can find by Dr. McGuff, Drew Baye, and their peers, as well as watched all the lectures from the Ancestral Health Symposium Ancestral Health.

            I will try the magnesium and Diabet-X supplements. I don't see how they could hurt. How does a 6-hour eating window work? I only consume food during those 6 hours? Does that help with insulin resistance?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by paleo_newbie View Post
              How does a 6-hour eating window work? I only consume food during those 6 hours? Does that help with insulin resistance?
              I've seen my fasting sugars improve pretty dramatically using a 6 hour window, if that answers your question at all. I went from fasting sugar of 120 down to the 90s (that's pretty huge for me & how bad my resistance is-- I was on an insulin pump for a year, and now I've been drug free since going Primal).
              So let's say your eating window is noon to 6. Eat your first meal at noon, and your dinner at 5 or 6. Don't eat after that. Don't snack in between. If you eat a big enough meal with protein and fat, you should be very disinclined to snack (You'll get warm fuzzies & think "Aaah. That's better. I could do this all day." *happy full*). Have an equally nice dinner that evening. Keep your carbs in the 20s still. Try it for a month and see if it helps.
              I do want to say that I eat a little higher carbs on the weekend, and often have breakfast Saturday mornings when the man is home. This helps keep me on track when the going gets tough. However, for your own sake, try a strict 6 hour window. If you do it right, you should not feel deprived/hungry at all. Mine is an emotional thing that I'm working through.
              Last edited by Dr. Bork Bork; 09-01-2011, 05:53 PM.
              --Trish (Bork)
              TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
              http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
              FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #8
                My fasting blood sugar was high for about 3 months after starting primal. I had to reign in my protein intake for a few months to fix it.

                If I ate over 100g of protein the day before, my FBS would be in the 120's. To get FBS in the 70's, my protein intake had to be under 80g the previous day. This was all while being >30g of carbs.

                My hba1c is great now, though my FBS still sits around 100, but that could be because I only eat 30-60g of carbs a day.

                Hope everything works out for you soon! It can get really frustrating sometimes.

                Do yourself a favor and become your own savior.
                Congenital Hypothyroid
                CW: 225lbs SW: 245lbs

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                • #9
                  Since you were tested by a doctor, I don't quite understand why you're asking here about cause and treatment. Those are questions I always discuss with my doctor after viewing test results that indicate a problem.

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                  • #10
                    A real doctor might tell them something they don't agree with or don't want to hear. Better to stick to the echo chamber here.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by marqueemoon View Post
                      A real doctor might tell them something they don't agree with or don't want to hear. Better to stick to the echo chamber here.
                      Frankly, most doctors are not nutrition experts. Or they recommend the CW advice for diabetics: "Eat more complex carbs and less animal fat". ( Yeah, that's working great! Look around!). Or they don't have time to discuss diet and exercise.
                      cj

                      height: 5' 10 1/2"
                      2/20/11: 210
                      9/19/11: 185.5
                      goal: #170

                      "Decide what to be, and go be it."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Personally I find a six hour eating window LESS stressful. I'm not worrying about "Oh, it's 9a. I should probably eat something. Oh, it's 11, I should have a snack." Worrying about only 2 meals a day (or 1 on really good days) is a lot less stressful, at least to me.
                        --Trish (Bork)
                        TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
                        http://pregnantdiabetic.blogspot.com
                        FOOD PORN BLOG! http://theprimaljunkfoodie.blogspot.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          A very high insulin level that is considered abnormal by an MD is an endocrine problem, not simply an issue that can be addressed with nutrition. That's why I suggested consulting the doctor.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by marqueemoon View Post
                            A real doctor might tell them something they don't agree with or don't want to hear. Better to stick to the echo chamber here.
                            I did discuss the issue with my doctor. She said to start the chromium and fenugreek supplements, continue what I'm doing, and come back in a month to see if there is any improvement. As for cause, she said it could be any number of things, including autoimmune disease, high levels of other hormones, insulin resistance, etc. She also said that I may not be eating as few carbs as I claim I am.

                            I also didn't really feel me and the doctor were on the same page. She told me my electrolytes looked low and wanted me to start drinking a Gatorade every day. I asked if sugar free would be okay, and she said no, it had to be the normal kind. It seems to me that if the goal is to get my insulin down, drinking 30-40 grams of pure sugar every day is not going to do the trick. It strikes me there should be an easier way to consume sodium and potassium.

                            So yes, my doctor did tell me something I don't agree with, because it strikes me a flat contradictory.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by paleo_newbie View Post
                              I did discuss the issue with my doctor. She told me my electrolytes looked low and wanted me to start drinking a Gatorade every day.
                              Writing as a primary care physician, when I read this line, all I could think was that you need to find another doctor. It's true that most physicians know little, if anything, about nutrition. Doctors aren't "health" experts, but "disease managers." The truth is that there isn't consensus on how best to nourish the human body (at least, there is enough controversy out there to make it confusing), and what is known about nutrition is usually taught to doctors in a few lectures in medical school, if that.

                              I have been a board certified family physician for ten years, and I would NEVER order and try to interpret an insulin level -- that is the job of an endocrinologist, in my opinion.

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