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Old 01-31-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
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Atkins low-carb and high blood sugar ?

46 YO Male...

Anyone have any experience on how quick the Atkins-approach and some exercise will bring down an elevated Blood-Glucose level. Personal anecdotes appreciated...

I'm a fan of the Atkins-approach (carb-sensitive and addicted) and I just found out why I've put on about 30 pounds the last 6-months...

My blood-glucose level was tested at 149 !

I have a Glucose Tolerance Test in another 10 days and I've been low-carbing and exercising a bit for about 4 days so far...

I'm hoping it comes down quickly...

Thanks!
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:51 PM   #2
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I wish there was an easy answer to your question! Every body is different and what worked for me may not work for everyone.

When I started Induction, it took me about a week to finally have my BS level out at around 100-105. That's the easy answer. I have been consistently low carb for a few years now. No more meds for me! Here was the problem, it I had one bite of something that wasn't low carb, my sugar levels went up and stayed up. (Like a potato--even if eaten with meat.)

I had to go through a series of "eat a food--wait 3 hours--check blood levels" thing because I found out that certain things that did not make others have a spike, made me have a spike.

All in all, if I stay about 40 carbs per day, exercise (walk .25 mile) 6 days a week, my sugar stays under 110.

Good luck on your low carb journey. Eating low carb is so much better than being on medication!
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:53 PM   #3
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Hi Brad,

Like you, I was looking for "rapid results" when I first found this forum ... and Dr. Bernstein's book ... and the first thing I learned was that I had to be patient. I've never been a patient person by nature ... but in this regard ... I had to learn it. :blush:

Last May I was diagnosed with Diabetes and an A1C of 9.4 [169]. I have been following a low carb approach since that time [much to the consternation of the CDA dietitian] ... and I've been exercising 3 to 5 times a week.

My last A1C was 6.5 [117] in October. I go next week for fasting blood tests and will get the results in mid-February when I go to the doctor. However, since November, my BG levels have been in the low 5's [90] to low 6's [115]. I've also lost a total of 34 pounds since last May. Again, not the very quick changes I was hoping for, but each day brings me closer and closer to my goal weight and goal BG level.

That said, I began to feel better almost immediately after beginning Low Carb and exercising. I don't know whether that was because I was adopting a pro-active approach ... or whether it was the diet and exercise themselves. Regardless, I have continued to feel better and better as time progresses ... and I know that ultimately, I have a good chance at thwarting some of the complications of this disease.

You don't say whether or not you were diagnosed as being Diabetic ... and perhaps your doctor is waiting for the glucose tolerance test before that step. I think it's important to mention to you that initially, I think I was hoping that if I got my blood glucose under control quickly, that I wouldn't be diabetic anymore. That isn't true. I will always be a diabetic ... I may be a "controlled" diabetic ... but I will never be "cured" of diabetes.

Good luck ... and come back often. There's a lot of really good support and information here.

Mary
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hpjrt View Post

You don't say whether or not you were diagnosed as being Diabetic ... and perhaps your doctor is waiting for the glucose tolerance test before that step. I think it's important to mention to you that initially, I think I was hoping that if I got my blood glucose under control quickly, that I wouldn't be diabetic anymore. That isn't true. I will always be a diabetic ... I may be a "controlled" diabetic ... but I will never be "cured" of diabetes.

Good luck ... and come back often. There's a lot of really good support and information here.

Mary
Thanks for the reply. Yes, the doc is waiting on the GTT to see if I'm really 'pre-diabetic' in the eyes of 'the medical community'. At 149, I of course know that I am in the eyes of Dr. Atkins. I've also read a couple of other books including 'Protein Power' and my education thus far says a healthy person stays below 90 or does something about it...

Good for you with the patience, I may have rude surprise coming Tuesday if it doesn't drop as fast as I presumed... Judging from no 'Ketone breath' my first 4 of 5 days of low-carb, you may be right...

I'll let everyone know how I do on the GTT on 2/8...

Thanks Again !

brad
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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yeah, losing 10# really fast (excess water in the blood) has lost me my high-blood pressure (and the red face) and my daily headaches. I've done low-carb before and I love the younger-looking skin and the better-vision I get too !

I always have a hard time losing weight on low-carb, but I feel much more energetic when I'm on it, except in high-intensity exercise like climbing a mountain or something. Then I miss my carbs and sometimes will eat them to give myself a little quicker fuel than the slow fuel of broken-down fat...

Brad
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:58 AM   #6
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Brad-

Do you know that for 3 days before your GTT, you must eat about 150g of carbs daily in order for the test to be accurate?

This is important because your doctor will not be able to draw any conclusions from a flawed test.
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brad574 View Post
Good for you with the patience, I may have rude surprise coming Tuesday if it doesn't drop as fast as I presumed... Judging from no 'Ketone breath' my first 4 of 5 days of low-carb, you may be right...

I'll let everyone know how I do on the GTT on 2/8...

Thanks Again !

brad
Hi again Brad,

I deserve no kudos for my patience. I have no choice but to be patient ... because I am diabetic and getting blood sugar levels down to 90 is much harder for diabetics. It's the whole diabetes mechanism that's at fault ... not the sufferer.

So, impatience solves nothing ... and would probably raise my blood glucose levels anyway.

Good luck on your GTT on Tuesday!

Mary
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Brad-

Do you know that for 3 days before your GTT, you must eat about 150g of carbs daily in order for the test to be accurate?

This is important because your doctor will not be able to draw any conclusions from a flawed test.
Ummm, I've never been told that ! I only heard I'm supposed to fast from the night before...

Maybe that's so they can catch someone trying to 'beat the test' as I am. I'm more trying to get my Blood Clucose down for my health than I am to pass the test, but maybe I should have kept up my unhealthy eating for another week until after this test. hmmm ??
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brad574 View Post
Ummm, I've never been told that ! I only heard I'm supposed to fast from the night before...

Maybe that's so they can catch someone trying to 'beat the test' as I am. I'm more trying to get my Blood Clucose down for my health than I am to pass the test, but maybe I should have kept up my unhealthy eating for another week until after this test. hmmm ??
Hi Brad,

While I can't recall exactly why one has to "carb up" for the GTT, I know we discussed it on here fairly recently.

However, given that the GTT is a test of how your body reacts to glucose, I'm not sure how much you can "cheat" it.

It's my understanding that your blood sugar is taken, then you are given a very sweet liquid to drink and your body's response to it is then tested at regular intervals.

While your fasting blood sugar reading may be lower than expected due to low carb eating, I doubt that your body's response to the liquid glucose will be affected ... except perhaps for the worst. If you have been low carbing, then your body's response to glucose could well be greater than if you had carbed up for the test.

Lowering your blood glucose overall is admirable ... but it's very important that you receive accurate test results so that you know how to correct it. Low carbing alone may not be enough ... and with accurate medical tests, you and your doctor can review the options available to help with lowering your blood glucose.

What possible good would it be to your overall and long term health to have skewed, inaccurate test results?

Just my thoughts ...

Mary
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Old 02-06-2010, 02:00 AM   #10
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When I first started LC over a year ago, my A1C was 8.9 (160.2). My most recent test in December showed at 5.4 (97.2) Low carb WORKS!!!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:33 AM   #11
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Low Carb, higher BS

I have been low carbing for 6 months and expected a reduction in my blood sugar that had been in the mid-90's. (I am not diabetic) I was amazed to see my most recent BS was 106...ten points higher. The response from the dr's office was "happens all the time". This was unexpected and unwelcome! The suggestion was that I may need to increase my carbs (only good ones) to prevent my body from converting protein into glucose. Another suggestion is that I may need to drop down my protein intake and increase fat.

I am a little baffled about what changes I should make to my low carb diet, if any.

Any suggestions? Janet229
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:50 AM   #12
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I would get myself a meter and strips and experiment with both approaches.

You can figure out both your carb tolerance and protein tolerance that way, hopefully.

I have insufficient insulin and so my blood sugar numbers can go up from adding in carbs or protein, or even just overeating.

There are other variables to blood sugar besides diet. That's what makes the disease so confusing and aggravating at times, and the same approach doesn't seem to work for everyone. Still, "eating to your meter" will help a lot!

I forgot to say that one number out of context isn't that helpful....was the 106 a fasting number? If yes, is it a trend of higher fasting numbers? A couple of fasting numbers like that got me a prediabetes diagnosis. Even with weight loss my fastings kept going up, so I had further testing that shows I have antibodies that lead to not being able to make enough insulin.
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:51 PM   #13
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Dear Janet,
If you are on low carb, but cheat a day or eat all your carbs in one meal, your body is not used to the carb and can't metabolise it as well. Your BG the next day can be higher as a result. From what I understand, about a third of protein's amino acids can be converted to glucose by the liver as you fast while sleeping, and hormones in the early morning hours cause greater insulin resistance in everyone. You no longer have enough beta cells to produce enough insulin to counteract the insulin resistance, so your BG is higher in the morning when the test is usually run. Please don't increase carbs, even good ones turn to glucose eventually. Start strength training to improve your insulin resistance and keep carbs down so your pancreas doesn't have to work so hard to store the glucose in your fat cells. My hubby is where you are at in terms of BG and his DR has a wait and see attitude, but we are both eating as though he already has a compromised pancreas. I think girondet is so right to get a meter and learn to test your blood. Dr. Bernstein's website has quite a few chapters from his book Diabetic Solution that you should read, which explains what you are going through and the restricted carb diet that has helped delay diabetes if caught soon enough and treated properly.
Hope this helps...
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:30 AM   #14
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Janet- Is this a 'fasting' blood sugar reading? I ask because there's a phenomenon in low carb eating where, for some reason I'm not sure of, fasting blood sugar is higher than normal for the person.

For example, I eat low carb, and my fasting BG is always mid-90s. But taken during the day, I'll be in the 70s-80s. My endo isn't concerned because he goes by the A1C, which is your average BG over a few months.

I'm not diabetic, but if you have concerns, ask your doctor to run an A1C.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:55 PM   #15
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In response

Hi All,
thanks for your replies. The 106 BS was fasting. I do not have any high carb days or high carb meals. I think I eat between 25-50 carbs a day. My weight is normal. I faxed my MD to ask him to order the HbA1c so that any action I take will be based on more than just one blood test. After that I will consider getting glucometer if it seems like I have to be on top of this more often than once every 6 months.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:57 PM   #16
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oh, another question I have, I keep reading about the difference between low-carb adapted people and others. How long does it take, generally, to become low carb adapted?
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:13 PM   #17
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Hey Brad--I was diagnosed at the end of May with a blood sugar (fasting) of 432. I went low carb within a couple of days (after doing research), and immediately lost 5 pounds within the first week. It took between 2 and 3 weeks for my blood sugar levels to fall into normal range (they WERE really high) but since then, NO problem! I had a couple of 'false hypos' as my body had to re-adjust to normal blood sugar levels. But other than that, I have never felt better than when eating LC!

I had an A1C recently, and it was 5 %!!!!

Low carb works!! I also second any recommendations of Dr. Bernsteins book, by the way...
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Old 11-29-2010, 06:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Janet- Is this a 'fasting' blood sugar reading? I ask because there's a phenomenon in low carb eating where, for some reason I'm not sure of, fasting blood sugar is higher than normal for the person.

For example, I eat low carb, and my fasting BG is always mid-90s. But taken during the day, I'll be in the 70s-80s. My endo isn't concerned because he goes by the A1C, which is your average BG over a few months.

I'm not diabetic, but if you have concerns, ask your doctor to run an A1C.
Peter Dobromylskyj explains why low carbers can have a higher fasting blood sugar reading in his post "Physiologic insulin resistance", from October 23, 2007 at his blog, "Hyperlipid". Here is an excerpt:

Elevated non-esterified fatty acids induce physiological insulin resistance and a higher than expected FBG level. A simple switch to higher carbohydrate eating (in myself) allows the normal underlying pancreatic and muscle function to show.

Last edited by Auntie Em; 11-29-2010 at 06:18 PM.. Reason: corrected error
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Old 12-01-2010, 01:30 AM   #19
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Janet229, I seem to rember reading that to become carb adapted may take form one to 2 weeks.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:13 AM   #20
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Janet, do you mean adapted so that the body has become accustomed to using fat as fuel or adapted so that one is not super sensitive to carbohydrates?
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:54 PM   #21
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There are two different things at play here, Brad.

Most important is your day to day REAL blood sugar readings. People talk about the damage diabetes does, but most of the evidence points to the damage being done by high blood sugars, period. Anything over 140, any time, is going to be starting some damage.

Keeping your blood sugars under that level could happen if you had a strong natural insulin metabolism, like most non-diabetics. Option 2 is taking meds that keep it under control. Option 3 is to keep it "artificially" lower by not eating carbs to speak of.

The best option for most of us who aren't blessed with a strong insulin metabolism is a combination of #2 and #3. If you catch it soon enough and are committed to your low carb way of eating, you may not need meds, at least for awhile.

But don't kid yourself that you are doing yourself any favors avoiding meds if your blood sugars are going over 140! Even if losing weight and eating low carb can work for you without meds long term, take the meds in the transition period. Just don't let the damage happen. It's ugly and unnecessary! *hug*

The drug you should work to get is Metformin. It's cheap, generic, and seems to be the ONLY diabetes drug without bad side effects. Now yes, it can have superficial side effects, making it hard to get used to it because of stomach upset, but not serious dangerous side effects.

Unfortunately doctors love the newest more expensive drugs. If you get a chance, ask to try Metformin first. It really is better!

The other issue is the glucose tolerance test. In many regards, my feeling is who cares how you do on this? So what if you have bad insulin response to a truckload of sugar if you NEVER eat a truckload of sugar?

It may, however, scare you into knowing how bad it is when you go off your low carb plan. Cheating just isn't worth it.

Best of luck and please keep talking to us about all this.

(Your high blood sugar may not explain your weight gain. Many people actually lose weight when their sugars are that high because they aren't digesting them fully. But low carb will help you lose in any case. Good luck.)
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:15 AM   #22
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HBa1c

I now have my hba1c and it is 5.8, pretty much mirroring my BG, (107) high normal. I guess I have to admit to being pre-diabetic. My life style diet will have to continue to be LC. Not a problem as I find the diet is easy enough to follow. Thanks for all the advice and information. Janet229
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