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Why do I now have elevated blood glucose levels?

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  • Why do I now have elevated blood glucose levels?

    Hi all,

    Sorry that my first post is so long, but I have tried to include as much background info as possible.

    I'm 8 weeks into my primal journey and I'm looking for some information on why I now have elevated blood glucose levels, when before my BG was ok.

    My Story

    Last year I went to hospital after waking during the night with a sharp stabbing pain in the kidney area . After giving me a x-ray they said they could not see anything and suspected it was a kidney stone... gave me some pain killers and sent me home (they did say I could stay if I was concerned). Anyway an appointment was made for me to have a cat scan... twelve weeks later I finally had my scan and no kidney problems were found, however the consultant said "I had Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease" (I drink very rarely) and told me to make an appointment to see my doctor.

    Appointment made I see the doctor and he sends me for blood tests, tests back I have a serum alt level of 73 and my triglycerides were 427. This shocked me as I have never been able to put on weight and these were problems I thought (I know better now) for people with obesity.

    At the time I was 46 years old 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighed 180lb I had a bit of a belly but my arms and legs were skinny and I had always thought I could eat anything I wanted because I found it so hard to put on any weight. I finally put some weight on when I gave up smoking at 40 and developed a taste for fast food, before that my diet was generally high carb low fat CW stuff.

    I was told by the doctor to follow a conventional diet cut out the fast food, exercise more, eat more fruit and come back in 6 months. When I went back 10 weeks ago I was told that my NAFLD had improved (now 28) but my cholesterol had not improved enough as my Triglycerides were still high at 267. Again I was in shock as I had followed my diet to the letter and was now 165lb, the only answer they had was that it must be genetic and suggested I should go on statins, which I refused.

    While searching the internet trying to find out why Triglycerides were still high after following the medical advice , I found MDA and began to learn about eating real food and the problems with too many carbs. That was 8 weeks ago and I have been LC/Primal now for about 6 weeks and I have been happy with my diet... my carbs are about 30 g mostly from fresh green vegetables, I have meat every night (Steak, Liver, Pork, Lamb or Chicken) and usually fish (Tuna, Salmon or Mackerel) for lunch with salad. Breakfast, if I have it is usually eggs and bacon or just eggs. No processed foods apart from bacon, no grains, no PUFAs, I only drink water, coffee with cream no sugar or green tea no sugar.

    What I had to eat one day last week for anyone interested

    I have been using an Elliptical Cross Trainer for 1 hour 2 times a week for 10 months, and since I started this WOE I have been weight training 2 times a week. I have been happy with the way things are going until last week.

    When I had my blood glucose taken 10 months ago it was 79. When I went back 6 months later it was 90, so I bought a blood glucose meter to see what was happening to my blood sugar on this WOE, and it normally ranged between 90 - 96 throughout the day... which didn't concern me so I stopped using it until last week. I had been feeling great and thought I'd try Intermittent fasting, as I was now hardly ever hungry. So on Monday I started going longer and longer before eating, sometimes I would only have one meal a day.

    On Thursday morning I thought I'd check my BG again to see if this had made a difference, Imagine my surprise when I had a reading of 116. Anyway I went to work, came home later and decided to check my BG again. Before evening meal it was still around 110, afterwards it was 136. 2 hours later back down around 107 and it has been acting like this for the past two weeks, it's not going any higher but also it's not coming down either... even if I don't have anything to eat all day.

    The reason this concerns me apart from it being high, is because my Father was diagnosed with diabetes at aged 56 and I was hoping that by eating this way I could avoid any future problems.

    I have spent the last two weeks searching the internet for answers. I have read posts from a number of people on various forums that are having similar problems with higher BG since going LC/Primal, but as yet no conclusions on what to do. Most people on this WOE have improved BG yet the less sugar/carbs I eat the higher my BG goes... this is now starting to freak me out.

    So my questions are

    a) Has eating LC/Primal made my blood glucose worse?

    b) I have read some info on Physiological insulin resistance could this be happening to me and if so
    what should I do? I'm not sure if this is normal or even safe

    c) Should I start eating more carbs and less protein?

    d) Should I wait until I go and see my doctor for my follow up blood test in August or go and get it
    checked out now?

  • #2
    I don't have diabetes, but all my siblings are Type 2, so I keep up with information to avoid it for myself. Do NOT add carbs.

    It's possible that your IF is causing the increased BG. What I've learned is that ANY food eaten in large quantities will elevate blood glucose, so that if you want to control your blood sugar, you're better off eating smaller meals more frequently.

    My sister, a Type 2, has a really busy job and she finds that often she doesn't eat all day and gets most of her calories in the evening. Even though she's not eating more (total food for the day) than she would if she had 3 meals, her BG goes over 140 (when it normally stays below 100) with that big meal.

    Dr. Richard Bernstein warns against this ideal of larger meals. He points out that even protein (meat or fish) will elevate BG if the portion is too big.

    If I were you, rather than continuing to monitor your BG, I'd ask the doctor for an A1C test, which gives your BG average over three months and is accurate in identifying any real problem.


    • #3
      Hi emmie,

      Thanks for your reply. I have thought about having an A1C test but until the other week my numbers have always been in the lower 90s... so will this tell me anything?

      I used to eat every 3 hours or so, but since eating this way I am hardly ever hungry.


      • #4
        Your numbers don't sound bad to me at all. In a healthy person, blood glucose numbers are ideally below 100 when fasting and 140 after meals. If you start seeing fasting readings of 100+, or you start hitting the 150's after meals, that's when it's time to worry.

        To get a more accurate picture, you want to take your BG four times a day - when you first wake up (before eating, this is your fasting glucose), then 2 hours after each meal. Keep a journal of what you eat and what your BG readings are for a few days. It will give you a good picture of what affects you the most.

        If your readings are usually normal and you get one really high one, take it again to be sure. I have had a couple fluke readings in my day (had to check regularly because of risk of gestational diabetes). Every time I re-tested, I got a normal reading.


        • #5
          I would have an a1c test done. When last I had bloodwork done my fasted glucose was high but the a1c was normal.
          Last edited by Beefy; 07-01-2012, 07:38 PM.


          • #6
            There is a possibility that through healing your fatty liver, it's dumping glucogen along with the triglycerides. I would not worry too much about readings around 100. Keep monitoring and get an A1c test if you are still concerned. Once your triglycerides are in check, you BS may stabilize.
            SW on 10/1/11: 380lbs.
            CW 12/13/12: 315lbs. (Was under 300#, added some muscle :-) )
            GW: 10% B.F. 250lbs. - 275lbs. (6' 4" tall)


            • #7
              What is an a1c test?

              I've never heard of an a1c before. What is it? I might need it myself, as my blood sugar has been elevated.

              Thanks, Johanna


              • #8
                Yeah I would query your doctor about what your fatty liver may be doing in regards to your blood glucose.

                The a1c is definitely a better indicator than any kind of immediate test, it tests based on red blood cells so gives a picture of your average blood glucose over the past few months.

                I doubt it's the primal eating that's exacerbating your BG, it's difficult to know because you don't know what it would be doing if you weren't eating primal, but I sincerely doubt it.

                I was prediabetic before primal and am now normal again, my a1c was about 5.6 with normal being anything under 6.2
                Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

                Current PRs:
                Bench: 45kg/99lb
                Squat: 100kg/220lb
                Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

                My blog
                My journal


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone for your input

                  Originally posted by Motorhead View Post
                  There is a possibility that through healing your fatty liver, it's dumping glucogen along with the triglycerides. I would not worry too much about readings around 100. Keep monitoring and get an A1c test if you are still concerned. Once your triglycerides are in check, you BS may stabilize.

                  Your theory makes sense as the less carbs I eat or the longer I go without eating the higher my BG goes, which is the opposite of what should be happening. This morning I had bacon, eggs and sausage for breakfast my fasting blood before eating was 116 checked an hour after 107 after two hours 103.

                  So with your theory, if I understand correctly… when I was eating badly my blood sugar was normal because my body released insulin to deal with then excess sugar but my liver was being damaged. When I was eating CW low fat healthy grains this at least gave my liver some time to get rid of some of the toxins that had built up, so my blood sugar was slightly raised. Now I am eating VLC and healthy food this has given my liver the chance to dump all its toxins so may explain the increased BG. If this is correct then my BG should level out over the next few weeks.

                  This makes sense to me. I'll keep an eye on it over the next few weeks and see how it goes.


                  • #10
                    I have type 2 diabetes and if I don't eat regularly, my liver dumps glycogen and elevates my BG, despite Metformin which is supposed to have an effect on this.

                    There's a study out of University of Texas South Western Medical Center which gives good results treating NAFLD with low carb diets.


                    • #11
                      I have observed the dawn phenomenon since diagnosis where my BG will be high upon waking (100-110), but before dinner I will be in the 70's or low 80's. It's been getting better, and my morning numbers are in the 90's now. I am on 500mg Metformin ER and while it does not seem to help lower my A1C much, it does help with the dawn phenomenon.

                      I do IF and usually only eat from 6pm-9pm, usually one or two meals in that time. On workout days or the day after I may eat lunch depending on what my body is telling me in the way of hunger. As I lose weight my NAFLD is improving, and AST and ALT readings are normal again. Any change in diet is taxing on your liver, I think the OP needs to give it time and continue to monitor.
                      SW on 10/1/11: 380lbs.
                      CW 12/13/12: 315lbs. (Was under 300#, added some muscle :-) )
                      GW: 10% B.F. 250lbs. - 275lbs. (6' 4" tall)