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Insulin response to carbs - is it for life?

Commented on June 08, 2014
Created June 06, 2014 at 6:09 PM

I have hyperinsulinemia. I saw a new endocrinologist today and OMG he was actually NORMAL!!! This is the second normal doctor I have encountered in so many years.

We discussed my diet. I have very high insulin readings according to my blood test post high-carb meals. My body responds by producing a huge amount of insulin (many many times over the limit) after any amount of sugar or carbs.

His suggestion is to stay on Paleo and take all insulin-spiking foods (like carrots) in very small dosages and space them out. No high-carb fruit, and even low-carb fruit should be eaten sparingly.

He says I need to be very strict for at least three years to feel better since insulin has made enough damage to my system.

My question: after three years can I have some carbs back once in a while or do I have to be on a very strict low-carb diet for life?

Thanks.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on June 08, 2014
at 11:53 PM

Losing weight is not always the answer if you are insulin resistant. My daughter is where I was at her age, 13, very thin, and VERY insulin resistant --very high insulin and testosterone levels. This is PCOS. Elevated blood glucose and A1C elevations are much later downstream symptoms, after most of the metabolic damage has been done and one is on the verge of full blown Type II diabetes. We are not waiting around for hyperglycemia and A1C elevations to treat her with a low carb diet. She doesn't have weight to lose.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:59 PM

Thanks..... What high glycemic carbs did you stop eating? I eat no bread, pasta or white potatoes. I do maybe eat one cooked carrot per day, some cooked celery, spinach, 1/2 of a pepper. Full fat yogurt (8 oz) and cottage cheese (4 oz). So by your measure I'm pretty low carb.. More 75 to 100g. If I'm feeling fatigued from several hours of low level activity (yard work), I might supplement with some shredded japanese sweet potato cooked in lard or coconut oil.

I keep my exercise to low levels of VO2 max so it can be supplied by fat.... levels that I can keep up more or less all day.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:13 PM

However - if I'm doing 800 calories of exercise, and it's all supplied by glucose/glycogen, I need 200g of carbs just to satisfy my metabolic need.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 08, 2014
at 05:55 PM

Even when I bottomed out my eating at 1200 cal/day I was probably only as low as 150g/day carbs, but I had pulled the high glycemic carb part of that way back. To me 100g/day is definitely LC.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 08, 2014
at 04:56 PM

@thhq

when you say LC ....how low does that mean? I'm stable at 190 and I only do "7 minute workout" three days per week and then one day per week in the yard / garden. I'm typically under 100g of carbs per day out of about 2000 calories. Would you consider that LC? cheers

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 08, 2014
at 04:50 PM

@thhq comment is "spot on" ... once gets glucose metabolism fixed, it is vital to match carb intake with energy output. Daily exercise does not need to be excessively long or extremely vigorous just matched to how much carb one eats. I don't mind tending towards lower carb (less than 100g) because I'm not that active.

Walking every day is fine if that's what you can currently manage. A trick I read about, try doing about 90 secs of exercise (air squats or wall pushups) just prior to eating. Supposed activate muscles to accept glucose w/o insulin?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:37 AM

My blood glucose level was within range. I need to retest my A1C levels.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:36 AM

Wow, my comment just disappeared! Thanks for answering. Even though I am doing better, I am in no shape to exercise vigorously. I have problems with my thyroid, gastritis (autoimmune) etc. All I can do is walk every day. I will try to do it religiously.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:35 AM

Thanks for being so helpful, I have checked all your references.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:33 AM

Because I used exercise to lose weight I can't sort out the effect of obesity separately. I believe that all that visceral organ fat impeded glucose uptake, and that the obesity was the major cause of the diabetes. However, if I had remained sedentary I might still have to restrict carbs even at normal weight to keep A1C and blood glucose down. That underlying fear is my major motivation for continued exercise. I don't want to go back on a LC diet.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:15 AM

Yeah, exercising is the key to being able to eat carbs safely

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2014
at 09:21 AM

So... to answer my question - this is for life, right?

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on June 07, 2014
at 02:45 PM

I usually have up to 50g carbs daily but also tended to cheat on weekends so it's hard to tell really, maybe going VLC for most the time then having carbs once a week helped me handle them better. I still get increased heart rate though so I'm hardly a shining example of regaining sensitivity. I'm currently being strict VLC.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 07, 2014
at 02:07 PM

Could you please tell me what exactly did you do to regain sensitivity? Did you go ZC? I was on an all-meat diet for 4 months.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on June 07, 2014
at 06:15 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insulin_index

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_in...

Hard to find a good table that really takes preparation / cooking / variability into account for a list of real food. (Note, while raw carrots may be as low as 16, processed carrots are upwards of 70.) Annoying that most of that list from Harvard's health department focuses on a diet of corn pops, microwaved chicken nuggets, and snacky foods.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on June 07, 2014
at 06:03 AM

As I understand, high GIs imply excess glucose from rapid metabolism of starches + sugars, which is toxic, so insulin (or a flood of insulin) is released to drop serum to spec (or below spec, in your case.) With raw carrots not having much potential to raise glucose, I would think you wouldn't get such a rise in insulin, and thus, not much of a dip in sugar, but, perhaps not. Very tricky with gastritis, as the easier it is to digest, the bigger the rise in sugar + insulin. Thinking outside of diet, exercise / lifestyle changes + micronutrients would likely be key, and hopefully enjoyable.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 07, 2014
at 05:44 AM

Is there a GI meter chart? Because the more insulin my body produces, the lower my glucose levels are. So I end up with hypoglycemia as a result. I cannot eat raw carrots - I have autoimmune gastritis and it bothers my stomach. My doc recommended raw but... that's out of the question.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 07, 2014
at 04:19 AM

I know he doesn't have hyperinsulinemia but perhaps reading his work might give you some ideas about your future or where to look further. Are not hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance often coexistence conditions?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on June 06, 2014
at 11:14 PM

i know it it's all related, but note the OP is specifically referring to insulin response, so the insulin index/load for carrots would be more applicable (if one could find it)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 06, 2014
at 08:05 PM

Thanks for your answer. But Dr. Peter did not have hyperinsulinemia.

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5 Answers

best answer

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 08, 2014
at 09:53 AM

Do you have other symptoms of diabetes? Does your blood glucose sustain at high levels fasting? Is your A1C elevated?

These were my symptoms, and the most effective short-term treatment for them was a severe reduction in high glycemic carbs (sugars and starches). Long term, losing weight (from obese to normal) resulted in improved insulin sensitivity, and for the last 7 years I have been able to eat sugars and starches without elevating my fasting blood glucose. I continue to exercise daily, and I think this is the main mechanism for rapidly clearing the glucose.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:36 AM

Wow, my comment just disappeared! Thanks for answering. Even though I am doing better, I am in no shape to exercise vigorously. I have problems with my thyroid, gastritis (autoimmune) etc. All I can do is walk every day. I will try to do it religiously.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:33 AM

Because I used exercise to lose weight I can't sort out the effect of obesity separately. I believe that all that visceral organ fat impeded glucose uptake, and that the obesity was the major cause of the diabetes. However, if I had remained sedentary I might still have to restrict carbs even at normal weight to keep A1C and blood glucose down. That underlying fear is my major motivation for continued exercise. I don't want to go back on a LC diet.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on June 08, 2014
at 10:15 AM

Yeah, exercising is the key to being able to eat carbs safely

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on June 08, 2014
at 11:53 PM

Losing weight is not always the answer if you are insulin resistant. My daughter is where I was at her age, 13, very thin, and VERY insulin resistant --very high insulin and testosterone levels. This is PCOS. Elevated blood glucose and A1C elevations are much later downstream symptoms, after most of the metabolic damage has been done and one is on the verge of full blown Type II diabetes. We are not waiting around for hyperglycemia and A1C elevations to treat her with a low carb diet. She doesn't have weight to lose.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on June 08, 2014
at 02:35 AM

I'm a little less sensitive to carbs now, but that doesn't mean I'm eating cookies and cake! I can have a little rice or potato WITH my otherwise HFLC Paleo.

It's more important for me to keep insulin down than worry about foods I can't have.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 08, 2014
at 09:21 AM

So... to answer my question - this is for life, right?

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on June 07, 2014
at 09:26 AM

I feel you can regain some sensitivity. I find if i go ZC for a day or two then reintroduce carby foods one by one i can clearly tell what causes me problems, mainly just by paying attention to my heartbeat.

I was extremely sensitive to carbs around this time last year but now i can have a load of cooked tomatoes & carrots with no noticeable issues. I don't measure blood glucose or anything though, just pay attention to how i feel.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 07, 2014
at 02:07 PM

Could you please tell me what exactly did you do to regain sensitivity? Did you go ZC? I was on an all-meat diet for 4 months.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on June 06, 2014
at 10:34 PM

Carrots aren't particularly insulin spiking. They rank a 16 on the GI meter. You typically find meat protein in the 20-40's, where cherries are only a 22 or so. I suppose the problem would be after processing / cooking them into a mush of carbs (I much prefer them Bugs Bunny style.) How's your daily exercise regimen / BMI?

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on June 06, 2014
at 11:14 PM

i know it it's all related, but note the OP is specifically referring to insulin response, so the insulin index/load for carrots would be more applicable (if one could find it)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 07, 2014
at 05:44 AM

Is there a GI meter chart? Because the more insulin my body produces, the lower my glucose levels are. So I end up with hypoglycemia as a result. I cannot eat raw carrots - I have autoimmune gastritis and it bothers my stomach. My doc recommended raw but... that's out of the question.

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on June 06, 2014
at 07:08 PM

I think the human body has an amazing ability to heal & adapt given time and the input it needs. In your situation I would be very hopeful but time will tell. Take a look at Dr Peter Attias work . He writes about how there is distribution a carb sensitivity for people. He is sensitive, his wife is not. He has little carb tolerance despite being quite athletic We're all different

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 06, 2014
at 08:05 PM

Thanks for your answer. But Dr. Peter did not have hyperinsulinemia.

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