Blood sugar questions

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Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,047

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Posted: 12 Apr 2011, 19:43
I'm not diabetic, but my doctor has been warning me for a few years that I'm probably headed down that path. That's part of the reason that I'm working to get rid of extra weight.

Recently I decided that I was curious to see what was going on with my blood sugar, so I bought a meter. They're cheap, and I really like metrics, and I thought it would be interesting to know what sorts of blood sugar spikes I see after eating various foods. I've been having great good fun poking tiny holes in myself and taking measurements. (Yeah, OK, I'm weird.)

The interesting thing that I've noticed is this: my post-meal levels rarely rise to much above 125mg/dL, though I did see one spike at 135mg/dL. Typically I see 115-120 about an hour after a meal. However, my fasting blood sugar, as measured first things in the morning, is always at the high end of the normal range. I typically see this level at around 90-100mg/dL, though I've had a couple of readings as high as 105-109mg/dL.

I'm guessing there are a fair number of people around here who know a lot more about blood sugar than I do. My question is this: does this pattern of high-normal fasting levels combined with relatively moderate postprandial spikes suggest anything interesting?
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 398

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Posted: 12 Apr 2011, 20:47
The lack of a big spike after your meals suggests that you are doing a good job of balancing proteins, carbs, and fats in your meal plan, so you're keeping your blood sugar relatively stable. However, the fact that your fasting blood sugar runs on the high side is less positive. This is likely the reason that your doctor has been counseling you in this regard. I have the same problem. My fasting blood sugar has been as high as 115. However, and this is a big however, my HA1C is in normal ranges -- so this is what you want to check. If your HA1C is normal, then it is likely that you are NOT prediabetic, rather, you may be what's known as a "slow recoverer." In order for your blood sugar to drop into normal ranges, you need to fast longer than other people. I haven't actually tried this, but a friend of mine has. She fasted for 15 hours before her blood sugar was measured, and her blood sugar was normal. But if she only fasts for 8 hours before the test her blood sugar can be as high as 125. But her HA1C is normal. This confluence of factors is what caused me to choose a low-glycemic diet, which is designed to keep your blood sugar stable.
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,047

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 12:25
Thanks, that makes sense.
jhkoenig

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 26

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 12:57
I agree with Hermoines, you probably arent' diabetic. To give your body some help, do try to skew your food intake toward complex carbs instead of simple carbs. The slower glucose release will help.

Strange but true: eating hot peppers and cinnamon (not together, yuk!) can help hold those spikes down too!

Good luck,
--John
Trying to live a healthy and happy life. My wife and I feel strongly that social interaction and a constantly growing circle of friends is important. That led us to create WannaBuddy.com so that there's always a new buddy for what ever you want to do! Please check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks!
sooki

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 795

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 13:00
Sorta makes me want to buy a blood sugar meter.
DISCLAIMER: I expect to lose this weight over the next 6 months to 5 years. I'm not going to feel like a failure if it takes an entire month to lose 1 pound. I'm going to feel like a success when that happens! I may offer advice that I'm currently not taking myself. Feel free to call me on that!
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,047

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 13:15
sooki, the one I picked up is this one:

http://www.target.com/Blood-Glucose-Meter-Monitoring-System/dp/B0046Z33SG/ref=sc_qi_detailbutton

It was nine bucks, and comes with everything but the test strips. The strips are expensive, though, around $.35-$.40 cents each, depending on the quantity you buy them in: http://www.target.com/up-Blood-Glucose-Test-Strips/dp/B0046Z5M1M/ref=sc_qi_detailbutton

You also will need lancet refills over time. That kit comes with ten of them. Sources vary as to whether you need a new one each time, or whether you can reuse them. Most people I know have no problem reusing them a few times.
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 398

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 19:54
Sooki -- before you run out and get a glucose meter, make sure that you have been through the process with your doctor: fasting blood sugar and HA1C twice in 90 days, so you have a base line. Talk with your doctor about what you're shooting for. I've been going to the doctor every 90 days for the past 2 years so he could monitor my thyroid, blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. This is especially important if you already know you have abnormal numbers -- and as you lose weight. My numbers have changed dramatically for the better over time, especially as my levothyroxine dose has been adjusted. I'm just saying -- make sure you're on top of the total picture.
bad_dog_ny

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 7

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 20:42
You're readings seem relatively normal, especially for someone who may be pre-diabetic. However, to my understanding, and I am NOT a doctor, the swings are NOT GOOD. I am diabetic, and it is all because of lifestyle. When I had dropped weight, it came completely under control with no meds. Lose weight and exercise and you'll be fine.

Another note...the focus on low glyceimic index carbs to control these spikes. The spikes cause diabetes. In a nutshell, high glycs, like sugar, cause extra insulin release. In human evolution, we were not designed to eat all these processed carbs. So, when we do, our blood sugar starts to rise on a curve. In anticipation of that curve, the body begins to release what it thinks will be the right amount of insulin to handle it. However, the High glyc index carbs have a "falsely steep" curve, so the body thinks more carbs are coming than actually arrive. This causes the release of too much insulin. This has 2 effects: 1-You may eventually develop insulin resistance leading to diabetes; 2-The extra insulin will result in lower blood sugar at the end of the cycle, causing you to feel hungry and eat more. This is sometimes referred to as the "roller-coaster" effect. The good news...lean muscle uses insulin more effectively, so toning up is a great way top fight and even reverse these effects.

Also, your higher morning readings may be an indication that your liver is "carb dumping" at night. I believe this is normal, but usually happens at a rate the body can handle through normal insulin secretion. You need carbs in your blood to stay alive, and storing and releasing them as needed is a function of the liver. Your slightly elevated morning glucose levels may be an indicator that some insulin resistance is already developing.

All of the other advice on H1AC etc. is solid, and I don't want to raise any alarms. And you may just be a slow recovered. It is not good to eat late, because this will throw off your system as far as the liver's night release goes as well.

I hope this was helpful. Again, it is my understanding of the situation, boiled down to simple explanation...I don't type very fast. Smile
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 398

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Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 23:29
Bad Dog -- this is pretty much my understanding as well. But in addition, it has been really fascinating to learn over the past 10 months of reading that low glycemic eating not only controls blood sugar swings, but it is also the diet recommended for fibromyalgia and for women with low thyroid function. When I was first diagnosed low thyroid, I was counting calories and cholesterol, but not carbs -- and even with levothyroxine, I didn't lose an ounce in the first 9 months. In the first 90 days after I started low glycemic eating, I lost 30 pounds and my cholesterol (high cholesterol is a symptom of low thyroid) dropped from 317 to 240, and it has continued to drop. I still eat some simple carbs -- notably, my Friday night serving of Ben & Jerry's -- but no potatoes, no rice, no bread except sprouted grain, no high-sugar fruits or root vegetables. I use a delicious 8 grain and flaxseed pasta, limited to two servings per week, and eat lentils, hulled barley, beans, and quinoa as my starches. I feel better than I have in years, and the pounds are coming off. Today, my blood pressure came in at 118/76 -- not perfect, but pretty good considering I was at the doctor in excruciating pain from a tendonitis in my foot. So I'm sticking with the routine.
bad_dog_ny

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 7

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Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 11:50
Hermiones,
What is the Pasta. My family runs health food stores, so I can probably get it. (I found Dreamfields causes me significant digestion issues). My thyroid is also an issue...can you send any links you have about low glycs and thyroid? Does the same hold true for men? Thanks.

And to Hoser, like I said, you are fine, just trying to give you an understanding of how and why high glycs and even the minor spikes they cause can be a bad thing for some people, especially those with weight issues or very poor muscle tone. It sounds like you are on top of it and on a good track; but if you can replace some high load carbs with lower load carbs, it might help even the minor spikes, post-meal hunger, and overall weight loss.

Good luck to ALL ! ! !
jaime30024

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 666

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Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 12:34
Another note - if someone has not already mentioned it. If you take your blood sugar first thing in the morning (even though you have fasted) it could still be a little skewed. The reason for this is called "Dawn Phenomenon". What Causes Dawn Phenomenon?
The body prepares for waking up by secreting several different hormones.

First, between 4:00 and 6:30 a.m. it secretes cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrin. You may recognize these as the hormones involved in the "fight or flight response." In this case, their job is more benign, to give you the energy to get up and moving.

Besides giving you a burst of energy, these hormones raise blood sugar. You aren't going to be able to make any kind of energetic response if you don't have fuel, and after a long night's sleep, the fuel your body turns to to get you going is the glucose stored in the liver.

So after these stress hormones are secreted, around 5:30 a.m., plasma glucose and, in a normal person, insulin start to rise.

Though the normal person gets a rise in insulin to help cells use the morning glucose, people with diabetes don't, so instead of giving their cells a dose of morning energy, all they get is a rise in blood sugar.

So there you have something else to consider *smile*. So if you have taken it first thing in the morning you may want to wait until you are up and about before taking it. I know some people cannot wait that long to get their cup of java.

Good luck!
Start weight 245#
1st goal: 220# - met 04/07/11
2nd goal: 210# - met 05/21/2011
Start over: 221# 11/08/11
Start over: 233.2# 10/2012
Start over goal met: 220# 11/14/2012
Mini goal to be in 212's by Dec - met 12/31/2012
Mini goal: 207's by end of Jan- met 01/31/2013
Mini goal: 197's by end of Feb - met 02/27/2013
re-start grrr Mini goal: 197's by 09/19/2013
I have to restart again as I slipped. I am leaving the above so I can keep track. It happens and I have to keep learning.
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 398

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Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 17:54
Bad Dog -- the Pasta is listed in the FS food directory: Bella Terra 100% Organic from Racconto, 8 Whole Grain Pasta with Milled Flaxseed Capellini. It's imported from Italy. Note that it probably doesn't work for Atkins: It has 40 grams carbs, but 0 sugars, 7 g fiber and 7g protein.

Here is a google search link on hypothyroidism and low glycemic eating; http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&source=hp&q=low+glycemic+diet+thyroid&aq=0v&aqi=g-v2&aql=&oq=low+glycemic+diet+thy&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=c3bb86640ae08969

If the link doesn't work, just google low glycemic diet thyroid and you should come up with this list of articles.
Ed Endicott

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 140

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Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 20:45
Hoser - here's an interesting article about sugar in general that you may find helpful.....

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1
hkaruga

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 129

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Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 23:16
That's a very interesting article. Not mentioned is that not only was Ancel Keys an idiot, he is a fraud who hand selected 7 countries out of a total of 22 to 'prove' that a high fat diet causes heart disease and ignoring the other 15 countries that did not fit his hypothesis. Convincing generations of people that god created fats, both saturated and unsaturated, were evil and chemically extracted, over processed hydragenated fats were the way to go... And as a result we push an inadequate simply wrong food pyramid and tell people to avoid the fats that their bodies require for the production of hormones, absorb certain vitamins, and essential fatty acids like the plague. It is a shame and look at what has happened in this world since... Sad
Hoser

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,047

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Posted: 14 Apr 2011, 23:43
I've seen that article. I'm also very familiar with Dr. Lustig's positions-- I've watched that video half a dozen times, and recommended it to lots of people.
sooki

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 795

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Posted: 15 Apr 2011, 07:34
I had some blood tests on Wednesday, and my glucose was at 97 mg/dl. This was in the normal range. This was about an hour before lunchtime.

I would have expected it to be on the lower end of normal, though, given the low carb dieting I've been doing. Ah, well.
DISCLAIMER: I expect to lose this weight over the next 6 months to 5 years. I'm not going to feel like a failure if it takes an entire month to lose 1 pound. I'm going to feel like a success when that happens! I may offer advice that I'm currently not taking myself. Feel free to call me on that!
bad_dog_ny

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 7

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Posted: 16 Apr 2011, 19:20
Thanks to everyone for all the great input here. And thanks to Hermiones for the pasta recommendation. I don't do Atkins. I feel it is generally unhealthy. I read a few of the "Zone" books and decided balanced was the way to go, although I am not as strict as Sears suggests, butter was not brought to Earth by Satin to temp man. I would recommended that some of you may be interested in reading the short book "A Week in the Zone". Very brief description of some sound nutritional advice. My rule is the rule of thirds...1/3 protein, 1/3 carb, 1/3 veggies...and watch the portions; especially on carbs and not-so-lean proteins, green veggies go to town on. Try to eat the lower-glyc carbs when possible, but don't torture yourself. My balance has been pretty good since I started journaling again, and I have had key lime pie, tacos, and hash brown casserole, so I really just eat a balance and watch portions. Just one slice of pie for me please Smile (especially since it had more calories than the rest of the meal combined!)
bloodguilt

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 5

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Posted: 17 Apr 2011, 03:27
You guys are so great - very smart about your diet! I enjoyed reading [learned something new today] your posts. Thanks for sharing your vies and experiences.
"Don't be lazy, be lean!"
"Fitness is not a look, it is a lifestyle!" Marcia Prince
"Our mental attitude is the most important part of staying fit."
"Every human being is the author of his/her own health or disease." Buddha
gefd28

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 187

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Posted: 27 Apr 2011, 18:15
I just watched the “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” video... All I can say is wow! It really opened my eyes. It will not make a huge change in my diet (although I'm regretting the candy egg I had today) since I tried to cut way back on my sugar when I started my lifestyle change and I consume a good amount of fiber (plus a fiber supplement). This will make a difference in what I let my kids eat/drink.

If you watch it make sure you watch the whole thing or you will get your facts wrong. Best line was hen God made the poison, he packaged it with the antidote”.

The entire lecture on YouTube



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