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  1. #1
    Phill's Avatar
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    Blood Glucose Question.

    Hi.

    I have a quick Question. I've been Primal for 12 weeks now and loving the benefits. I've cut processed food and additional sugars completely from the lifestyle and only really get any glucose from Veg and Berries.

    I'm a keen cyclist who currently commutes 50 miles a day plus normally a long weekend ride so I can be doing 300+ miles a week.

    The most noticeable benefits I'm seeing are no longer having Sugar High and Lows and whats more I've done 95 mile rides with no Carbs, just Sodium tablets, and not suffered from Bonking or hitting the wall. Fantastic. Previously I would have consumed plenty of Liquid and Solid carbs todo this.

    Today I had a full Health Check / Medical and it was very comforting to predict the results and have them confirmed by the Medical team. Sure enough my Total Cholesterol was above normal but with High HDL and low Tryglycerides the doctor was not concerned. All other markers were absolutely spot on or better than to be expected.

    My only question is regarding blood Glucose and I'm not sure if anyone can provide any insight. Having been on a very strict Paleo for 12 weeks now, I was expecting my Glucose to be lower. The reading I got was 5.6 after a 12 hour fast. Sure its within the recognised acceptable zone of 3.5 - 6 however I just don't understand why it is closer to the upper limit.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated ?

    My last meal last night was Almond Crackers with Blue cheese if that makes any difference 8-)

    Thanks

    Phill

  2. #2
    John Caton's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the good numbers. The reason why your blood glucose levels remain up despite your reduction in carbs, I suspect, is because you have an elevated glucose need and your body is doing what it's evolutionarily designed to do, make the glucose it needs via gluconeogenesis. You are proof that carb intake is not needed to meet glucose needs. I'm sure this statement may cause a firestorm that seems to follow me around the forum.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    I don't know what figures you might see or might expect to see. But I wonder if Vinnie Tortorich takes questions on his podcast. He has, after all, been doing long-distance cycling on something pretty much like a primal diet for a number of years.

    Vinnie Tortorich

    He certainly seems to answer tweets, so if you're on twitter you could try that. Obviously everyone is different, but it just strikes me that he does pretty much what you're now doing, and besides probably knows what a lot of other people see.

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    when you talk about it being 5.6, may I assume you're talking about hemoglobin A1C vs. the basic blood glucose number (normally in the 75-110 range)?

    I'm doing the program here because a few weeks ago my doctor diagnosed me as diabetic and my numbers - both of them - were high. One of the useful bits he passed along is that the average lifespan of a red blood cell is 3 months, so if you've been doing the program for 12 weeks, it's possible that those benefits are just beginning to be realized in the Hg A1C number. My doc won't even retest that for me for well over 3 months.

    Good luck!

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    Hmmm. How much fruit are you consuming? any fruit juices?
    Health is Wealth!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phill View Post
    Any thoughts would be appreciated ?
    Hi Phill, sure. Here are my thoughts:
    - your constant low-carbing (12 weeks you said) makes you more and more insulin resistant, and for a good reason. You don't provide enough dietary digestible carbs to avoid it. How can this happen ? Well, your insulin levels must remain quite near basal levels. So your glucagon level ("opposite" hormone) must be up to increase / regulate your blood sugar (it is very useful for not becoming hypoglycemic when one eats a significant amount of proteins, because the latter do raise insulin levels to some substantial extent). So glucagon makes sure that your blood glucose is not falling. BUT! because your brain does not get enough glucose, peripheral tissues such as muscles are told to ignore blood glucose, they now run almost constantly on fatty acids (note: I bet your level of free fatty acids is almost always "high", aka when insulin is at basal levels most of the time). So this blood glucose stays in the blood just to make sure the brain gets what it needs ...

    My advice to you: have a carb refeed day or 2 per week, 80% carb, 15% protein 5% fat. Can be 2 meals only. Make the meals with potatoes and / or rice (or quinoa, buckwheat, legumes even). You will reset this effect. But really, choose carbs with fibers or resistant starch (cook, cool overnight and reheat for best effect).

    As far as I could read, it'd be better if you did a whole carb refeed week or 2 weeks for I vaguely remember that the effect of insulin resistance due to very low-carbing for too long takes time to go away. I can try to find where I read that.

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    He's using the European scale. Multiply by 18 to get the American scale. If you were tested in the morning Dawn Effect may be in play. It's the daily sugar dump from your liver into your bloodstream to provide you with the get up and get for your day. Being as you are very physically active, you may be getting a bit more than someone who is less active. As a mild diabetic myself it is almost always my highest measurement of the day. Eating late in the evening will cause a higher morning sugar as well, especially if it's a bit carby. Twelve weeks in you may still be adjusting to the diet as well. Blood sugar can be elevated if you are getting sick. I find it goes up about 24 hours before I feel sick. It doesn't usually go up for mild stuff like a cold but anything with a fever usually causes a significant jump. PMS does too but I think this is a non-issue here. :P

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Caton View Post
    Congratulations on the good numbers. The reason why your blood glucose levels remain up despite your reduction in carbs, I suspect, is because you have an elevated glucose need and your body is doing what it's evolutionarily designed to do, make the glucose it needs via gluconeogenesis. You are proof that carb intake is not needed to meet glucose needs. I'm sure this statement may cause a firestorm that seems to follow me around the forum.
    It's because of carb reduction, but not because of gluconeogenesis. When you don't eat a lot of carbs, your body gets lazy about managing your blood sugar, because it doesn't have to do that as constantly.

    To OP: The secret to 'passing' the blood glucose tests is to eat high/normal carb levels for a week before the test.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

  9. #9
    Phill's Avatar
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    Heathen. Thanks for your advice on that. I'll see how it goes over time.

    Simpstr. Traditional fruit zero so no apples / bananas /Oranges etc. etc. I am having no more than a handful of berries every day. And also some, not much, vegetable fruit so tomatoes (not that many), peppers etc etc.

    FrenchFry. Thanks. I'll do a bit more reading about this.

    Ingvildr. Yeah I'm hoping its not PMS. Again a couple of bits for me to research. I like the idea of a morning high glucose and yes it was first thing in the morning.

    MagicMeri. Thanks. There sure is a lot I need to learn.

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