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  • Question about blood sugar

    In September I was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome with a fasting bs of 129. I've been low carb since September and really Primal since November. I've dropped 21 pounds since September (most of it in the first two months) I have about 25 more pounds to lose. My non-fasting bs readings have dropped to around 100 but my fasting in the morning is still up around 120. I don't take it often because I don't want to be wacky about it.

    I was definitely apple shaped and at 5'1" and now 158 pounds, I've still got belly fat so I know that does contribute to the higher blood sugar readings. I eat eggs and veggies sauteed in butter for breakfast. chicken or fish and veggies for lunch. Same for dinner. 3 squares of dark chocolate about 5 evenings a week. Hardly any fruit or nuts at all. I walk a couple of times a week and sprint once each week. My shoulders are healing but I still do squats and crunches and plank a couple of times a week.

    Why are the fasting readings still so high? Is it just the remainder of belly fat I'm carrying and will it drop as I drop more weight?

    I'd love some input,
    Thanks,
    Melissa

  • #2
    Melissa,

    I had almost the exact same experience. I dropped my normal blood sugar easily using a low carb diet after the doctor yelled at me, but my morning numbers would bounce up to the 120's. This really upset me, and worried me quite a bit. I eventually told myself it was just the best I was going to do, but after two months of doing pretty strict low carb, plus weight lifting and occasional light cardio (walking), my fasting glucose is great. I'm now below 100 every morning, often below 90. I even pop into the 70's once in a while. Maybe you just have to give it more time.

    As far as exercise, I only exercise the big muscle groups, just to bump up my glucose sensitivity as much as possible. All I do is: leg press, military press (machine), deadlifts, overhead close-grip supinated pull-downs, bench press, and australian pull-ups/chin-ups. I split those into two days a week. Sometimes I'll throw in a third day and do more isolated muscles with dumbbell curls or tricep extensions.

    I don't know if this will help at all, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      This is normal if you have been eating low carb, I believe.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by esimm View Post
        Melissa,

        I had almost the exact same experience. I dropped my normal blood sugar easily using a low carb diet after the doctor yelled at me, but my morning numbers would bounce up to the 120's. This really upset me, and worried me quite a bit. I eventually told myself it was just the best I was going to do, but after two months of doing pretty strict low carb, plus weight lifting and occasional light cardio (walking), my fasting glucose is great. I'm now below 100 every morning, often below 90. I even pop into the 70's once in a while. Maybe you just have to give it more time.

        As far as exercise, I only exercise the big muscle groups, just to bump up my glucose sensitivity as much as possible. All I do is: leg press, military press (machine), deadlifts, overhead close-grip supinated pull-downs, bench press, and australian pull-ups/chin-ups. I split those into two days a week. Sometimes I'll throw in a third day and do more isolated muscles with dumbbell curls or tricep extensions.

        I don't know if this will help at all, but I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

        Good luck!
        Esimm - thanks for the feedback. I have just two questions.

        1. Are you overweight or were you overweight when your glucose levels improved? (I'm just wondering if the weight loss is critical)

        2. Do you think it was the weight training that helped bring the levels down? (I'm doin' squats as we speak)

        Melissa

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        • #5
          Some of us, including myself, see higher fasting BG readings when eating too few carbs. Adding primal carbs like sweet potatoes and squash seems to have helped. You may want to experiment with the amount of primal carbs you are eating and see how that impacts your fasting BG.

          BTW, I have not tested my BG levels in a while. However, I had other symptoms when I was eating pretty low carb, such as anxiety and difficulty sleeping. I believe they were related to my higher fasting BG. After upping the primal carbs, those problems went away. One of these days, I'll start monitoring my fasting BG again to see how it is looking.
          My primal journal

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          • #6
            Melissa,

            I've only been doing this myself for about 10 weeks. I started 100 pounds or so overweight, and I'm down over 25 pounds from that now. I am certain that the combination of weight training with low-carb food made the difference. I've been shifting to a bit more of a Primal diet since discovering this whole way of eating, but I still keep very low carb within that framework. For example, I will sometimes eat squash and sweet potatoes (LOVE EM). I also eat one or two apples a day, but mostly I keep to the low end of the carb spectrum. I eat eggs every day without fear (to raise my choline levels). I actually have to struggle to eat enough food, because I'm just not very hungry. I think it's easier for me because I'm a guy, and I can eat many more calories at my current weight and still lose fat.

            The weight loss is very important for fixing insulin resistance. There's all kinds of resources on the internet about it, but my plan, perhaps naive, is to to teach my liver and pancreas that the rules have changed. My research led me first to low-carb, then to Paleo, then to Primal. In theory, even losing 10-15% of your weight can make a huge difference in increasing glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity.

            I expect that as I lose weight and fix my metabolism, I'll be able to introduce more healthy carbs. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Primal Blueprint recommends keeping lower carb while losing weight as well.

            Within 6 weeks, my blood sugar, verified with an a1c test, dropped dramatically. (a1c from 6.6 to 4.9, which is about equal to a glucose level of 146 down to 100). Every other blood marker improved (cholesterol, tryglycerides).

            Anyways, enough rambling. I hope this helps. If I've said anything stupid, hopefully someone will correct me!

            Best of luck!

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            • #7
              Low carb + anti-inflammatory diet (NO vegetable oils, NO grains!) + TIME will help reduce insulin resistance. In addition to weight training, long walks will help improve insulin sensitivity as well. It took you years to develop this problem, it will take more than a couple of months to heal it.

              But take heart, you are well on your way!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mobettabody View Post
                IWhy are the fasting readings still so high?
                I've been checking my BG recently and found my fasting readings slightly higher, too. I don't know if this applies but I found it to be interesting.

                http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/17561156.php

                3. Dawn Phenomenon. If your blood sugar is highest first thing in the morning, and normalizes after you eat or exercise and stays normal hours after dinner, you may have a disturbance of regulatory hormones that is called "dawn phenomenon."

                Our bodies prepare for waking up by secreting stimulating hormones shortly before dawn. These increase our insulin resistance in order to raise blood sugar a small amount. If we were animals who had to go hunt for our first meal, that excess glucose would be useful. Since were are people with refrigerators, it is less so.


                http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/2...ood-sugar.html
                Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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                • #9
                  Thanks everyone, great info! I'll keep on doing what I'm doing and add some more strength work and patience.

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                  • #10
                    My BG is normal, but my fasting number is unusually high (93-95). My endo isn't concerned because my A1C (3-month average of BG) is well within the normal range.

                    I read on Hyperlipid that anyone eating low carb (I have only 20-30g daily) will have higher than normal fasting BG--but only at that time. I asked my endo about this, and he says it's true--another reason he doesn't worry about my numbers.

                    If you're at all concerned, ask your doctor to run an A1C.

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                    • #11
                      It'll come down in time, do not add any starchy carbs, it's important that you stay VLC. Stay away from fruit, cut out the chocolate completely. Supplement Omega 3, D, and take systemic enzymes.

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                      • #12
                        Fasting helps increase insulin sensitivity - skipping meals or taking a whole day off eating. Train fasted especially for heavy lifts and sprints makes a difference too. But don't forget your body has worked for x number of years in one way, it ain't going to switch completely overnight! Give it some time!
                        Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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                        • #13
                          In my opinion, a fasting blood sugar up to 120 is healthy. Up to 140 after eating. I'm a T2 diabetic.
                          --Trish (Bork)
                          TROPICAL TRADITIONS REFERRAL # 7625207
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dr. Bork Bork View Post
                            In my opinion, a fasting blood sugar up to 120 is healthy. Up to 140 after eating. I'm a T2 diabetic.
                            No way. A normal fasting blood sugar should be about 90 (5 in UK measurements). 140 is also too high after eating..
                            Last edited by StoneAgeQueen; 02-09-2011, 09:38 AM.

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                            • #15
                              The other thing that might help ... this is from another forum I belong to - the guy is trialling no dairy

                              'I observe a 13.5 point drop in my average morning fasting glucose levels since I started my no-dairy experiment last month. I'm getting used to coffee without cream. Data: Dec. fasting glucose 106.6, stdev 8, Jan fasting glucose 93.1, stdev 11'

                              Thanks for the UK conversion I've been wondering about all the numbers in the 100s! I was a gestational diabetic 20 years ago and was sure I was supposed to be around 5 in the morning and not above 8 I think an hour after eating? Was thinking about getting a test kit to see where I'm at. Especially with regard to dairy an area I'm still wrangling with!
                              Seeking the natural way in a modern world ...

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