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Old 12-20-2010, 06:03 PM   #1
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How to bring down high fasting blood sugar

I've been reading this forum for a couple weeks. About three weeks ago, my husband who is a diabetic had a dr appt, and the dr told him that he had to get his blood sugar under control. We had both been on a low carb diet several years ago, during that time, his diabetes was under control.

I reread Dr. Bernstien's Diabetes Solution and he started to follow the advice from the book again. He is doing great! After just two weeks of low carb eating and regular testing, his BG readings are all in the normal range except his morning readings.

They are not extremely high, but they are often over 120. I read a bit in Dr. B's book about Dawn Phenomenon, but he doesn't really give clear advice for fixing it.

We have experimented a bit with my husband having no evening snack, a very low carb snack, or a 6-10 carb snack. Most days his morning reading are still between 130-160. My Dh is at a near normal weight, and at the most would want to lose five pounds.

Do any of you have any suggestions?
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:48 PM   #2
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Metformin is a really good drug that improves insulin resistance. He could try taking one of the smaller dose (350 mg? I don't recall exactly) before bed. It is much less likely than the other drugs to cause dangerously low blood sugars. (I would say it doesn't, but I don't want to go beyond my level of competence here... I don't THINK it does!)

Ideally he would have readings that are REALLY normal as opposed to just OK by the doctor's standards for diabetics. THey are way too loose with those. Any time blood sugars go over 140 you are starting to get diabetic damage. The younger the person the worse this is, because they accumulate over time.

I try to keep mine in the 80s most of the time and rarely over 110 even after meals. (I take insulin in addition to Metformin, but my diabetes is much worse than your husband's.)

The Metformin will also help control his blood sugar if he strays from low carbing sometimes, perhaps when you aren't there to see it. This happens, especially when he isn't overweight and doesn't have that motivation too...

Studies have shown the sooner Metformin is started after diagnosis, the longer it works well to control blood sugars, so there is no advantage to putting this off. If he isn't controlling the morning readings now, it's highly unlikely to get any better as he ages, you know?

If he is determined not to take meds, and I hope that's not the case, does he drink alcohol? One glass of wine in the evening keeps the blood sugar lower all the way to morning. Not sure if it would go down enough, but it might. Other alcohol works too. You don't want very much of it, it's truly a medicinal dose! It affects the liver, which is what is shooting that glucose into his bloodstream in preparation for the day.

Good luck with this. It's very important!
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Last edited by ravenrose; 12-20-2010 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
One glass of wine in the evening keeps the blood sugar lower all the way to morning. Not sure if it would go down enough, but it might. Other alcohol works too. You don't want very much of it, it's truly a medicinal dose! It affects the liver, which is what is shooting that glucose into his bloodstream in preparation for the day.
This is very interesting info. My husband is diabetic, takes metformin, and sometimes his blood sugar is higher than it should be in the morning. It seems that when he gets in a little exercise (even a short walk) he blood sugar is better, but he has an odd schedule so it's hard to rule out what helps and what doesn't. I've never heard of alcohol helping...I'll have to have him try it and see if it makes a difference with the high morning reading.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
Metformin is a really good drug that improves insulin resistance. He could try taking one of the smaller dose (350 mg? I don't recall exactly) before bed. It is much less likely than the other drugs to cause dangerously low blood sugars. (I would say it doesn't, but I don't want to go beyond my level of competence here... I don't THINK it does!)

Ideally he would have readings that are REALLY normal as opposed to just OK by the doctor's standards for diabetics. THey are way too loose with those. Any time blood sugars go over 140 you are starting to get diabetic damage. The younger the person the worse this is, because they accumulate over time.

I try to keep mine in the 80s most of the time and rarely over 110 even after meals. (I take insulin in addition to Metformin, but my diabetes is much worse than your husband's.)

The Metformin will also help control his blood sugar if he strays from low carbing sometimes, perhaps when you aren't there to see it. This happens, especially when he isn't overweight and doesn't have that motivation too...

Studies have shown the sooner Metformin is started after diagnosis, the longer it works well to control blood sugars, so there is no advantage to putting this off. If he isn't controlling the morning readings now, it's highly unlikely to get any better as he ages, you know?

If he is determined not to take meds, and I hope that's not the case, does he drink alcohol? One glass of wine in the evening keeps the blood sugar lower all the way to morning. Not sure if it would go down enough, but it might. Other alcohol works too. You don't want very much of it, it's truly a medicinal dose! It affects the liver, which is what is shooting that glucose into his bloodstream in preparation for the day.

Good luck with this. It's very important!
wine raises my blood sugar.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:30 AM   #5
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And, if someone is taking metformin, the alcohol can cause leg muscle spasms. It sure does for me. So, if I drink anything in the evening, I dont take the evening dose.
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:51 PM   #6
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Thank you for the responses.

He does already take metformin and has for several years. He also takes another medicine, but has already decreased the dosage since low carbing. He doesn't drink alcohol at all, but would not be opposed to a glass of wine if that would help.

Maybe he should try taking his metformin a little later in the evening. He normally takes it with dinner. We'll have to do some more experimenting.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
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I was getting FBG of 105 to 110 and began to eat an ounce or two of cheese as a night time snack--result: fasting blood in the 90's--so I think the cheese helped with the Dawn Phenomenon. ( I think Dr B mentioned this or maybe Jenny in "BloodSugar 101".)
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:11 AM   #8
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A table spoon of vinigar right before bed helps some people. It helps mine about 15 if
I rember to take it. Something that also helps some people is some resistant startch.
Resistant startch is not like regular startch it takes many hours to digest. I also heard
that some people do well on a small dose of Lantis at bed time. Lantis has a small peak
at about 6 hours which may offset the dawn effect.

Even if your DH is only a pound or 2 overweight he may still have a lot of viceral (deep
hidden belly fat) so exercise and losing those couple of pounds may be good for him
also.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:15 PM   #9
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Last night he took the metformin at 8:30 with a low carb snack. His FBG this morning was 73. He is going to try taking the evening dose of metformin with an evening snack instead of with dinner to see if he continues to have lower readings in the morning.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:49 PM   #10
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"And, if someone is taking metformin, the alcohol can cause leg muscle spasms. It sure does for me. So, if I drink anything in the evening, I dont take the evening dose."

I had no idea. I don't drink very much but before xmas I was out a couple nights in a row and had two drinks each nite. I had horrible leg cramps and have not had any since and I haven't had anything to drink either. so having the alcohol and metformin must have done it.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:50 PM   #11
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My Dh has continued to take his metformin a little later in the evening, between 8:30 and 9:30 depending on when he has an evening snack. His FBS has been under 100 every day. A few times he took the metformin with dinner, and the next day the FBS was high again.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Merski View Post
"And, if someone is taking metformin, the alcohol can cause leg muscle spasms. It sure does for me. So, if I drink anything in the evening, I dont take the evening dose."

I had no idea. I don't drink very much but before xmas I was out a couple nights in a row and had two drinks each nite. I had horrible leg cramps and have not had any since and I haven't had anything to drink either. so having the alcohol and metformin must have done it.
I used to have muscle twitches during the day and even went to the doctor thinking I had something wrong. I even had to go throught he torture of having the electric shock thing with the needles in the leg muscles. And the whole time it was the alcohol and metformin. I even had horrible muscle cramps where my feet were pointing upwards. Very painful.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:31 AM   #13
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When I was first diagnosed, I was put on Metformin 500mg X2 per day. I experienced hair loss with this medication. My doctor was adament that it wasn't the metformin. I also did not gain very good control of my BG while taking it.

After about a year (and alot of hair) I took myself off of Metformin and asked to be put on insulin. Six months later, my hair is back to normal and my BG is much much better.

As far as the original question with the dawn phenom.. This is a struggle, and I wish I had an answer.. My sugars can be in the normal range all day and I'll wake up with a reading of usually 150. (I'm very consistently ranging between 150 and 156 in the morning.) Also- I am more insulin resistant in the morning- I can bolus with more than 20 units in the morning and I haven't budged in 2 hours.. Very very frustrating, but I am almost ready to chalk it up to just one of those things we have to deal with in being diabetic.

Maybe your husband should try a long lasting (levemir type) injection prior to bed time- this might lessen his morning numbers.
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