This weekend I bought a blood glucose test kit on a whim -- and now I'm not sure what to do with it.
I'm certainly not diabetic, and I don't have a ton of weight to lose (fat, maybe). I'm female, 29 years old, 5'5", 125 lbs, have always been active. I've been paleo for 3 months now, and for the last few weeks have backed off of the veggies and tried to go VLC (but blow it with a piece of fruit when I realize my extremely bad mood is directly related to my being VLC). Otherwise, I've been below 100 g carbs consistently. Generally 60-65% fat.
So my point is -- what, if anything, is the benefit to my using the test?
If I should monitor my blood glucose, when do I test? After particular meals? Or just fasting? AND, if it's fasting, does it matter if I do it before or after my daily Synthroid?
Thanks in advance!
asked byRuth (2178)
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on August 16, 2011
at 10:54 PM
It's amazing after all the discussions on this board about the importance of insulin resistance and metabolism, that we could still pooh-pooh checking BG. This is largely due to the inability to interpret BG readings and what insulin resistance represents.
Look, you don't have to be diabetic to check your BG. Insulin resitance is the strongest marker of the risk of heart disease, next to smoking. It's a stronger marker than even your total cholesterol and LDL. Elevated insulin is also being linked to cancer development, other chronic diseases and autoimmunity.
You do not have to check your BG everyday, if you eat the same things and you show the same pattern. But I would check it weekly. I would check the fasting BG (important for men) and post-prandials (1h / 2h) after my largest meal (more symptomatic of insulin resistance in women). Or, conduct your own OGTT test w/75g of carbs (not w/liquid sugar but do it with safe starches like yams or cassava).
Your ability to convert food to energy is the strongest indicator of your metabolic health. Your ability to digest and handle carbohydrates has huge implications for your impending health, not just diabetes but practically all chronic diseases.
When your fasting BG starts climbing from 83 to about 95, or worse, above 100, that's the time to take action. Doctors won't tell you anything unless your FBG is 125. But your risk of contracting the above diseases skyrockets once you start moving toward insulin resistance. Btw, the normal BG for someone w/o any trace of insulin resistance is about 75-85. Don't base it on a single day's reading. Check like a week or two's average of FBG.
The prediabetic range is supposed to start from 100-125 but the range preceding prediabetic status is the time when you can really reverse your insulin resistance. The further along the continuum you move, the harder it is to reverse, until you're fully diabetic. At that point, you're already leptin-resistant and your insulin resistance is setting you up for more diseases. That's when your doctor starts earning his fees because now, he can treat you with prescription medications and recommend procedures that will earn fees for him and his hospital. Trust me, you do not want to wait until your FBG = 125.
on August 16, 2011
at 07:22 PM
The use for a person who is adequately slim and healthy could be to make sure that they are not having large BG swings that could indicate future problems. This would be more of an issue if there is a history of diabetes or insulin resistance in the family. I really wish I'd tested back in my early 20s when I was getting what felt like hypoglycemia (fainting, dizziness, mood swings related to eating lots of fruit , juice or other foods full of sugar) and turned out to be the lead in to pre-diabetes. If your mood swings or bad moods occur in a window around 1 to 2 hours after eating carbs, I'd for sure test.
But if none of that fits, it may not make sense to test. OTOH, the meters are pretty cheap, and an occasional check, esp fasting glucose is pretty good info to have. And if no BG problems (including big swings, which you have to do repeated checks across a day to catch) then there isn't any reason I know of to seriously restrict non-refined, non-grain, non-fructose carbs.
on August 16, 2011
at 06:02 PM
Now that you have it you can experiment on yourself. When you feel crabby do a test to see whether you might be hypoglycemic. Same thing if you're doing ketosis dieting. If blood sugar gets too low it's not a good thing. Another thing to check is glycemic response to starch or sugar an hour after you eat them. Blood sugar spikes highest at about that time.
Too bad the test strips are so expensive.
on August 16, 2011
at 05:02 PM
You've got me wondering why you bought it the first place... Yeah, return it unless you are curious or maybe really are pre-diabetic or suffering from hypoglycemia.
A fasting blood sugar shuld be in the 70-100 mmol/dl range, although there is some evidence that the closer to 85, the better yout health status. And yes, that would be before you take the Synthroid. It might be interesting to test again, say 30-60 minutes after taking it (without eating, of course) to see what effect it has. Then again, it might not.
If you are concerned about spiking postprandially, check every 30 minutes after a meal for 2 hours. Preferably a meal with a normal amount of paleo carbs, like a sweet potato. you may want to check your response to other cheat foods, but then again, why bother?
I don't really see the benefit, unless you need to control your blood sugar (as in the case of diabetes) unless its just scientific curiousity. But maybe someone else will have a better reason for why.