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Short intro and a question about blood glucose dysregulation

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  • Short intro and a question about blood glucose dysregulation

    Hey there -
    Name's Jesse, gonna keep the intro short so I can post the full story up in the intro section: Learned about Primal going on 2 years ago during a particularly stressful time involving 2 international moves and many many months of joblessness. Fast forward, been able to focus for ~9 months and am finally what I would call fully there. Have lost 50+ lbs so far and don't even want to guess where I'll end up (started somewhere north of 275 and am currently at 220, 6'0" tall)

    Now the question: I've started working with my mom (since she's seen the progress I've made she's a convert. Admittedly the bacon helped sway her) and we're having some issues related to her blood glucose. She picked up a tester so we could start by tracking it through several weeks to get an idea of how out of whack it was and where to go from there. Let me say it's seriously wonky. Today for example saw a fasting number of 110. Then came a meal that did admittedly include a dose of PUFAs and some starch, immediately following eating it stayed at 111. One hour later it spiked to 180. Then two hours after that it was back to 108.

    She has seen several days with similar readings, even when the meal was clean.

    Now for the back story - my mom is 61, has been overweight her whole life, went through chemo 14 years ago for breast cancer (clean since then), and was a moderate drinker for prolonged stretches with bouts of heavier drinking and bouts of staying dry (we've both been dry for 6 months now). She has also has what were unofficially diagnosed as adrenal issues that come and go (we now realize this may very well be blood glucose issues).

    I don't want to ramble in my first post so I'll stop there for now. What I'm wondering is if anyone has had a similar experience and what we should look for, start doing, stop doing, etc...she's been focused on staying Primal for a couple of weeks now and has seen 0 weight loss. I've convinced her that her body composition is changing and that it may take some time to show in actual pounds I right? My own experience was vastly different, by week two I was down almost 10 lbs!

    Thanks in advance and I look forward to participating more and elsewhere here in the forums as time allows!

  • #2
    i'll venture a response

    when i first started paleo-eating around a year ago it followed a rather scary blood panel where i learned my fasting blood sugar was over 300 after a 24-hour fast... this was following being a very strict gluten free vegan for a while (peer-pressure driven to thinking this was the way to go!) it also took me around 3 months to see any results after changing to a very strict "whole 30 all the time" style diet. but I did feel better after only a few weeks.

    one big change-- the strongest driver of all for me-- was cutting out ALL SWEET TASTES. no sugar or artificial sweeteners or even fruit. I find now that even almonds and carrots are "sweet" to me-- a slice or two of beet is like what a candy was before. but i am shocked at how "tolerant" my system was to the sweetness taste. however, this may not be everyone's experience.

    in my opinion everyone has very different blood glucose responses to foods and food combinations. my husband can eat fruit and bread all day and have low blood sugar. i look in the general direction of a packet of splenda and find myself feeling manic. don't even get me near a lara bar-- dates destroy me. however, downing a pound or more of cooked chicken doesn't phase my blood glucose, despite the fact that a large protein bolus is "supposed to" cause a spike (or so I have heard). i don't know why this is this way for me, but i go with it because it's my personal experience. unfortunately reading too much internet often spurs me to try alternate approaches which are never as useful to me as just going with what i've figured out through self-tracking and discovery.

    in short...

    you are doing a good thing by tracking this with your mom-- if you both have the time or energy, i would also track exactly which foods and in what amount were consumed, and how long the break between eating periods. it's annoying and data intensive, but to best understand how to progress you need to first understand what you're working with!
    Check out my new webpage: The Carnivore Runner
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    • #3
      Thanks ASmallOne -
      I think just hearing that it can indeed take some time will help immensely. When she didn't see the same results as me I think she went straight to frustration and resignation. I think it will also help to know that whatever damage she's done she can indeed recover from (at least most of) it. I'll pass on the recommendation to track intake and timing. If I didn't have to be at one of those cubicle jobs (working on that part) all day I could be of more help there...will have to see if brow beating works...


      • #4
        I'm 46 and female. It took me 6 weeks to see any weight loss. The key was to become fully keto-adapted and to not eat quite so much fat. Once a week of having only 1 meal a day (meat only) and daily only 2 meals with the occasional appetizer before dinner. No fruit and infrequent starches, nuts or cheese. The weight loss remains slow but that's what works for me.
        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


        • #5
          "Today for example saw a fasting number of 110. Then came a meal that did admittedly include a dose of PUFAs and some starch, immediately following eating it stayed at 111. One hour later it spiked to 180. Then two hours after that it was back to 108."

          Dude, here's the time for the tough love. Do you love your mom? Then you need to tell her the truth - a fasting number of 100 to 125 is pre-diabetes. Your mom is one step from T2D. She needs frankly to get herself to the doctor for a full work-up. Because T2D is a serious, serious problem that can lead to ugly complications. She's also now at high risk of serious heart/CVD issues. 100 is the borderline, and she's over it.

          At the pre-diabetes level, your mom has to be super, super strict if she wants to stay off meds and halt any progression to full-blown T2D. And by super-strict, I mean she should try eating at 50 total carbs for a couple of week until her blood sugar improves. No sweet potatoes, no white rice, no fruit, and very limited cream (if you guys eat dairy). Once she has a fasting level that's consistently in the high 80s or low 90s, then you can evaluate your options. Seriously, a lot of people feel now that a healthy fasting level is 86 or less. Get her there ASAP for her own sake.

          The 180 number post-prandial's also a major deal. She seems really on the edge - take care of her.

          Please tell her to take this seriously. She needs a thorough evaluation. Best wishes.