Okay, so a little bit of background:
I am 21y/o f who is not diabetic (although a doctor suggested I might have hypoglycemia in childhood). I check my blood glucose every morning because I need to test my equipment, approximately an hour after a bowl of oatmeal and almond milk, and I always check in at 3.8-4 mmol/l.
Since going paleo, I have of course stopped with the oatmeal. After a typical breakfast of buttered eggs and collard greens, my blood sugar clocks in at 4.5-5, more than a full point higher from a meal that contains really very few carbs.
I have been recently experimenting with the idea of waiting until I'm actually hungry to have my first meal of the day. This morning, I checked my blood sugar in a fasted state (would have been 14 hours since my dinner the night before) and my bgl was 6.1!
How can it be that the fewer carbs I consume, the higher my blood sugar? This seems to contradict everything I know about metabolism. Thoughts?
asked byJen_19 (600)
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on March 21, 2012
at 07:01 PM
The less carbs you eat, the more you are relying on burning fat (fat oxidation). This will result in an increase in free fatty acids (FFA) in the blood. An increase in FFA results in peripheral insulin resistance (ie. in your muscles). This is a normal response to spare glucose for the brain, but it can also lead to higher fasting glucose levels.
Peter at Hyperlipid notes that on a very high fat diet (80% fat or higher), his FBG is a bit higher than normal. He doesn't think it is a problem.
Also, when your liver glycogen levels fall (typical when starting a low carb diet), adrenaline and cortisol are released to bump up blood sugar and replenish glycogen from protein through gluconeogenesis. Cortisol is usually higher upon waking, but may be moreso for low carbers that haven't fully adapted.
Paleo doesn't have to be low carb - you can add some paleo carbs back in if you want.
Peter's post on this: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2008/08/physiological-insulin-resistance.html
on March 22, 2012
at 10:17 AM
Happened to me. I went from a "healthy" 84 on SAD to well over 100 on low-carb (fasting values). It crept up slowly over months and I actually avoided a lab draw for fear of being labeled diabetic. Now I am more than twice your age, so this may make a difference.
As far as I can tell, my fbg is slowly heading down again, mid-nineties these days, but I do not test every day. I put it down to my liver recovering and not working overtime any more. I still wonder if I will see 84 again.
on March 21, 2012
at 10:10 PM
you might react very differently to that same meal at a different time of day or the amount of exercise you had the day before could also play a role. Another variable is the presence (if ay) of food intolerances.
what is your BG like after other meals in the day?
on March 21, 2012
at 06:55 PM
Glucose can also be created from protein (gluconeogenesis). I wouldn't worry about the spike as long as your a1c test is normal, as in a person with a healthy metabolism glucose should only be created as needed. What we want to avoid is the environmentally induced unavoidable spikes caused by carbs. If you are really worried about it, then you can ask your doctor to order a glucose stress test. I don't know how to interpret that tests but I know that the healthy range for a fasting glucose test is different than a healthy glucose response.