"High" fasting glucose levels - self experiment thoughts?
When I wake up in the morning my fasted blood glucose levels have been running 100-115. This has me concerned because I've read that those levels are pre-diabetic from what I read. I've been primal for 2+ years. I've seen all of the common results we all read about here. I feel great but over the last several months I started noticing that I would gain weight extremely fast if I was not very low carb. Note that I wasn't going back to eating the stuff that made me sick my whole life, wasn't "80/20" or anything close to being off primal. I know I can't do that. I eat nothing that raises my blood sugar materially. I test everything in my dietary roatation to see how it impacts my blood sugar. Though my fasted morning readings are higher than I'm comfortable with, it goes down throughout the day, sometimes even after eating. For example, last Saturday I woke up at 103, fasted most of the day ex coconut oil in my coffee, went for a long slow bike ride, levels decreased throughout the day, went out for a great big anniversary dinner including wine, tested after dinner...76. I have also just recently developed a Dupuytren's Contracture in my left palm. One of the recomendations for preventing or slowing the condition is good nutrition. Oh the irony. I was perplexed but read that the condition is common in diabietics which makes me think I might have an issue.
To keep a long story somewhat short, diabetes runs in my family. My older sister was diagnosed type I when she was mid-30s and much of my extended family are diabetic. My fasted levels would always be fine at my annual physicals and when the meter would get passed around at family gatherings. However, after going primal and reading everything I could get my hands on to see why I was able get fat so fast I realized that I had the markers of being type II before going primal. All of my teeth from canines back rotted out over a few years. (Before going primal I went through 16 root canals, two implants, 18 crowns, and a more. Because no plan could keep up with the decay, I had $60k worth of dental work done in 3 months. A horrible experience I wouldn't wish on anyone.) My waist size pre-primal was about 44 inches (35 now!) My blood pressure was always high (now avg 112/72 with a pulse of 42.) I would always pass out after big meals and so on.
After reading a whole lot of information I determined that if I wasn't type II before going primal I was awfully close so I bought a blood glucose meter about a year and half ago. I used to test the impact of what I eat on my blood glucose levels and to get a general sense of what my levels are throughout the day. I didn't document the times or what I had eaten but all of the fasted readings were in the 70-80s. I decided then that I had no blood sugar issues. It was the more recent exeriences of gaining weight fast if I wasn't very low carb and the contracture that led me back to the meter. This time I document everything and have been experementing to see if I can find anyway to bring my fasted level down.
I've tried not eating dinner, intense post dinner exercise, tried different foods, and other hacks. I noticed that if I do a long endurance days, like a big 6 hour intense bike ride or long hike my levels are a little lower, high 90s, the following morning. Other than that I can find no explanation.
I thought I might be eating too much protein which is getting turned into glucose via gluconeogensis and dumped into my system while I sleep. I tried cutting down on protein replacing those calories with fat. Though that has ramped up my fat loss again, it has had no impact on my fasted level.
I tested my meter. It is spot on. I have not been to a medical doctor but now that I see the pattern I'm considering getting their input. Before I go down that dark and scarry path, I'm hoping the primal community might have some thoughts and why this is happening and what I might try to resolve the issue. I'm out of ideas.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. Any and all thoughts are much appreciated.
Check out this guys' blog:
Also, do you fast daily? Chris Kresser has reported that in some people daily IF can increase fasting blood glucose:
Intermittent fasting, cortisol and blood sugar
I thought I had fasting blood glucose issues, but I think my meter was just mis-calibrated. I tested it against another and there was a 16 point difference. I also have a really strong family history of diabetes, so I'm doing all I can not to continue the family legacy.
Also, 45 is a very low pulse. It sounds like you do a good bit of endurance work, so maybe that is the cause, but it can also be an indication of hypothyroidism.
Keep us posted. Hopefully you can get to the bottom of it.
Keep us posted
Thanks for sharing yodiewan. That is good info. I wasn't regularly IFing before seeing these readings but have been IFing much more since in an effort to bring it down. I'll try Chris's advice and see if that has an impact. The very low pulse runs in the family but I also do a fair amount of endurance activities. My average resting pulse has come down since going primal but it was always relatively low. My sister had thyroid issues but that's all I know. The same sister that is type I. Chris's artcle brings up another good point. I currently have outsized work stress. I didn't say it in my initial post but that is one reason why I'm thinking of taking some time off from testing and testing again when the work stress let's up a bit. If I can't get this under control I'll probably give Chris a visit since it sounds like he can help. I've considered consulting with him before and he's local. Thanks again!
Google 'Dawn Phenomemon' or check Dr. Richard K. Bernstein's diabetic forum. It has something to do with hormonal interaction. Coconut oil 1tbs daily brought mine down. YMMV.
Thanks gg. I read about that and started putting a scoop of coconut oil in my coffee a couple weeks ago. I do that now instead of the bacon/egg/avacado I was eating almost daily. I am amazed at the level of energy I get from it. I noted that my levels come down quicker but so far no impact on the morning, fasted readings. I read where this pattern, dawn phenomenon without other blood sugar control issues, seems to be type of metabolic syndrome but with little attention paid to it. I believe it is something hormonal.
I am a diabetic, albeit fairly mild. My last A1c was 6.1 which is high for me. AM fasting glucose is dependent on dawn effect which is when your liver dumps some of its glucose to jump start you in the morning. It happens to everyone and is a standard part of metabolism. However, as a diabetic there are a couple things, one a very low blood sugar in the middle of the night will cause a large jump in the morning blood sugar(something I had to watch like a hawk when I was pregnant), the other is how late at night you eat dinner. A late dinner will cause an elevated morning sugar. The rest of your sugars sound excellent for a non-diabetic. Exercise will effect the next day's sugars by lowering it. If you are up, test your sugar around 3am, if it is very low(70 or less) then you need to eat more for dinner to keep your morning sugar from being high to compensate for the middle of the night low. Stress, illness, pain and infection will also raise your blood sugars even in a nondiabetic.
I just found this one by Chriss Kresser:
Despite this being a "normal" pattern for a low carb dieter, I'm still not comfortable with the readings I'm getting since some are well above the range he gives. I agree that I shouldn't be too concerned.
A few folks have reccomended a 3am test so I think I'll try that as well.
Despite all of my effort to combat it, I think stress is the culprit or at least part of the problem.