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Thread: My Blood Glucose Experiment Scary Results page

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    Sharonll's Avatar
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    My Blood Glucose Experiment Scary Results

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    In January this year I had my fasting blood glucose checked, and after 16 hours of fasting it was at 113. This was the same number from a year earlier when I had it checked. So, even though I had been eating primally since August 2009, and had lost fifty pounds, my fasting blood glucose was still at 113.


    My doctor didn’t even mention it as a concern when she mailed my lab results to me, instead choosing to focus on the cholesterol levels, which I wasn’t even concerned about.


    Since that test, during the entire month of March, I have maintained an average daily intake of 1,138 calories, consisting of an average of 78 grams of fat (62%), 13.6 grams of carbs (4%), and 91 grams of protein (34%). On 2/26/11, I was 202 lbs, and on 3/27/11 I was down to 192 lbs, so I lost ten pounds in one month.


    I felt great during March, and realized that cutting out dairy for the month had really helped me to lose more weight. But, I kept having nagging worries about my blood sugar levels. I felt sure that I could reverse the damage I’d done to my body during the years of obesity and yo-yo dieting by going primal, but even after losing over fifty pounds my body wasn’t healing itself. Having such a high fasting blood glucose level meant that I was prediabetic according to everything I was reading online. Here’s an excellent source of such information: Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes.


    So, I purchased a blood glucose meter a week or so ago in order to get an idea of what my fasting blood glucose levels would be after a month of such tight control. If anyone else is thinking of buying a blood glucose meter, the one I purchased is very simple to use and only costs $7.99. It’s the Bayer’s Contour Blood Glucose Meter.


    My results have been very interesting, to say the least. Every morning, I had a homemade espresso and then drove 15 minutes to work. I then tested my blood glucose at work, so about one hour after getting up in the morning, and after at least 10 hours of fasting. Here are the results:


    Tuesday 3/29: 131
    Wednesday 3/30: 117
    Thursday 3/31: 110
    Friday 4/1: 133


    By yesterday, I was feeling deeply disturbed by these high numbers, so I decided to conduct an experiment that closely mimics the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test that I would get at a doctor’s lab.


    Using 133 as my fasting glucose level, I drank two high sugar drinks (Odwalla Strawberry Mango Banana Smoothie 38g sugar, and Odwalla Mango Tango 44g sugar), so within a five-minute period I consumed 82 grams of sugar.

    I waited one hour and then tested my blood glucose: 191. I waited one more hour and tested again: 116. I waited another hour so a total of 3 hours since consuming all that sugar: 96.


    I am really not sure what to make of the results. I know the fasting levels are consistently too high. I know the one hour level after all that sugar was too high. I also know that the two and three hour levels were too high, but I am bewildered about how my body responded during the interval between one hour and three hours, as the numbers went down fairly quickly. This morning, after a ten hour fast, my blood glucose level was 107.


    After consuming all that sugar yesterday morning, I was absolutely starving after three hours. Hungrier than I have been in recent memory. Had a splitting headache, too. I then ate six dolmades, half a cup of hummus, and eight black olives. I haven’t had dolmades and hummus for a long, long time. For supper, I had a chicken thigh and went to bed. This morning, I weighed 197.6 pounds. Yesterday I weighed 191.6 pounds. So, I gained six pounds overnight.


    I’m glad I have conducted this experiment, even though I am unsure about the results. But, I have drawn the conclusion that while I might not be diabetic, I am definitely pre-diabetic, probably even mildly diabetic. This is the information I have, but I don’t know what I’ve learned:


    My fasting blood glucose levels are consistently too high.
    My fasting oral glucose tolerance test shows that my levels over the next 3 hours are far too high.
    I can gain six pounds overnight.


    My doctor, who I’ve been seeing for the last 13 years, is retiring, so I made an appointment with a new doctor, Ruby Farooqi, MD, for next Tuesday. Her profile suggests that she may be better informed than my previous doctor: “She is also interested in diabetes, hypertension, and management of other chronic diseases.”

    Meanwhile, as you may imagine, I am feeling quite anxious about my health. If anyone wants to comment on my results, I’d appreciate hearing from you.
    Last edited by Sharonll; 04-02-2011 at 08:27 AM. Reason: formatting

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    DON'T PANIC!

    I've just been reading all about this - go here ... Hyperlipid: Physiological insulin resistance the crux of the matter explained!

    If you want to show how good your system now is you need to carb load for three days in a row around 150 g then do a fasted test, that shows the real picture. Anyway read Peter's post above, and you will worry no more, I hope!
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    And PS, there are other markers which are much more important as you will read in his blog post. I would say those readings you achieved completely support the fact that you are now working properly :-) and congrats on the weight loss thus far and yes, isn't it amazing how bad sugar makes you feel, hard to imagine how we ever lived on such diets eh!
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    As a previous poster mentioned, your 'homemade' GTT was worthless because you can't get an accurate reading if you're eating low carb. When I had a GTT, my doctor advised me to eat at least 150g of carbs for 3 days prior to the test, and I've since learned that's standard and necessary for an accurate reading.

    My own fasting BG is always higher than I'd like, given that I eat 20g carbs or fewer, but Peter from Hyperlipid explains this as a phenomenon in low carb eating. (I'm in the 90s with a lab range of 110 max). My doctor isn't concerned because he also runs an A1C which gives your BG average over 3 months--and mine is always well within normal range.

    Keep in mind that if you are prone to diabetes--or are actually type 2--you won't 'cure' yourself with diet, but you should be able to manage and control it. You might want to take a look at Dr. Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Solution web page (he also has a book). What I like is that he explains the science behind controlling BG with diet. Since there's diabetes in my family (all of my siblings are type 2), I basically eat as though I'm diabetic to avoid becoming one.

    My doctor did the GTT because she thought that my low carb eating might be 'masking' diabetes, and although it would be good to be controlled through diet, it's important to know whether or not you actually have diabetes. I didn't. My current endo (I'm hypothyroid) watches for signs of diabetes because of the familial problem, and he credits my low-carb eating with the fact that I have not developed full-blown diabetes.

    When you see the new doctor, mention that you want to be thoroughly checked, but also keep in mind that diabetes can develop at any time, and a good primal diet is one of the best protections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelda View Post
    DON'T PANIC!

    I've just been reading all about this - go here ... Hyperlipid: Physiological insulin resistance the crux of the matter explained!

    If you want to show how good your system now is you need to carb load for three days in a row around 150 g then do a fasted test, that shows the real picture. Anyway read Peter's post above, and you will worry no more, I hope!
    Thank you so much for the link! I feel a bit better now. I've read the whole article and I'm now going to follow all the links to read the references as well. Meanwhile, this totally helps to explain what's happening:

    What is happening? Well, the first thing is that LC eating rapidly induces insulin resistance. This is a completely and utterly normal physiological response to carbohydrate restriction. Carbohydrate restriction drops insulin levels. Low insulin levels activate hormone sensitive lipase. Fatty tissue breaks down and releases non esterified fatty acids. These are mostly taken up by muscle cells as fuel and automatically induce insulin resistance in those muscles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmie View Post
    As a previous poster mentioned, your 'homemade' GTT was worthless because you can't get an accurate reading if you're eating low carb. When I had a GTT, my doctor advised me to eat at least 150g of carbs for 3 days prior to the test, and I've since learned that's standard and necessary for an accurate reading.
    Thank you for reminding me of that. I already knew about how you're supposed to prepare, but didn't realize how much of a difference proper preparation would make in the results. Eating 150g of carbs for three days is kind of scary, but I suppose I'll need to do that if/when this new doctor prescribes the test. I will update this thread as I go through the process so others can also learn about how all this works.

    Okay, now going back to read all the links in the article that Kelda pointed me to. I absolutely feel compelled to understand all this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kelda View Post
    And PS, there are other markers which are much more important as you will read in his blog post. I would say those readings you achieved completely support the fact that you are now working properly :-) and congrats on the weight loss thus far and yes, isn't it amazing how bad sugar makes you feel, hard to imagine how we ever lived on such diets eh!
    Drinking those two bottles of juice yesterday was a totally freaky experience. I couldn't believe how grossly sweet they were! And I see people drinking that stuff all the time! The really freaky thing, for me, was how awfully hungry I was three hours later. Dizzy, headachy, and just all-around weird feeling. I tried to find something vaguely healthy to eat, but felt instinctively that I needed some carbs. Fortunately, by suppertime I wasn't really hungry and just had the chicken thigh. But how in hell did my body manage to gain six pounds in one day? WTF? I'm planning to fast all day today.

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    Do you know what your BG numbers were over a few years before you began low carb?
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharonll View Post
    Drinking those two bottles of juice yesterday was a totally freaky experience. I couldn't believe how grossly sweet they were! And I see people drinking that stuff all the time! The really freaky thing, for me, was how awfully hungry I was three hours later. Dizzy, headachy, and just all-around weird feeling. I tried to find something vaguely healthy to eat, but felt instinctively that I needed some carbs. Fortunately, by suppertime I wasn't really hungry and just had the chicken thigh. But how in hell did my body manage to gain six pounds in one day? WTF? I'm planning to fast all day today.
    I've had the scale jump that much in one day after a night of alcohol or high salt foods and then it drops back down.

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    Carb storage takes a lot of water, that was the weight gain. And a fast today is a good idea to let the body settle down again. As for the hungry as hell bit ... it's all about the brain getting a dopamine hit and wanting you to go back for more. I have a link for that too I'll fish out.
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