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Please help me understand/interpret some things re my blood sugar and health

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 22, 2013 at 2:10 PM

[edit] this turned out and looks quite the lenghty post, I hope you aren't deterred :)

I obtained a meter a couple of months ago and have been testing a lot since. Fasting levels seem to average about 5 (90), randomly throughout the day is often in the low end of 5s but sometimes also up to 6. From what I can tell I've never gone above levels that relate to tissues being damaged (highest has been 7.2 (129.2) or so. Yet sometimes it seems that sugars linger and it takes a while for them to return to 'baseline' levels.

This may relate to my general eating pattern - have most of the time over the 6 months eaten in a compressed period of about 4 hours in the evening, although sometimes have eaten eating small somethings in the latter part of the day, particularly when I play sport (training is at night). I guess I'm wondering if anyone thinks I could be doing myself harm with this approach, and whether blood sugar seemingly 'lingering' at levels in the 5-6 range is potentially harmful, or indeed harmful. I've had 'baseline' hormone testing and it didn't seem to indicate that I have problems (although slightly above range DHEA-S might relate to something, same for T being on the lower side of the range, albeit in range, I don't know though), so what people say about fasting and one needing good adrenal function might apply to me. Again, I'm not sure though, and interested in hearing what some of you have to say, if you are keen.

I started eating a 'whole foods' diet which one might describe as 'paleo' about a year and a bit ago, and before then the blood tests I had over a few years showed my fasting blood sugar as being at 4.9/5.0. I am in early 20s so these results were after a couple of decades of eating a 'normal' western diet of boxed cereal/oat porridge and dairy in the morning, white bread sandwiches for lunch, and meat and veg etc (or pasta) for dinner, plus foods, sometimes meals in between (very many 'wheat bix' in an afternoon, sandwiches or toast after dinner, apples, potato crips, wheat crackers you know the drill..). I was ravenous and looking back it might have been blood sugar related, alongside me just being hungry while growing and exercising intensely (perhaps I was insulin resistant, and could still be now).

So after engaging my mind a fair bit (orignially seraching for better nutrition for sports performance), I came to cut dairy (I had mega-cravings and sensitivity issues including having sinusitits that I could feel building up when I ate dairy frequently in fairly large amounts. Also eventually stopped eating grains altogether (went through phase of 'healthy whole grains' before loving artisan sourdough rye/stuff that can probably be okay for many people in context. I'm happy though eating mainly meats and vegies, eggs, occasional nuts. Alongside the blood sugar stuff I also have some ongoing skin issues (mild pimple breakouts), below range WBC for a couple of years, fractured a bone in foot earlier in year...

Of course if the way I live in terms of eating patterns etc could be harmful, that wouldn't be all the great. Lingering blood sugar stressing pancreas, adrenalin being secreted during a daily 'fast', liver being less than optimal (I took warfarin for over a year after getting a DVT). Through this I probably wasn't as mentally well, aware of my'self' and people around me, as I am now. (to use but one example that is food related, I am guilty of once havig a view of health that is rather narrow and diet-centric, not a piece of life's puzzle. It is with increasing levels of awareness, acceptance and pateience with myself/the world/where/how I live that I'm considering the things written of thus far... I am okay at this moment, but thoughtful to some extent about it... Still okay though...

So I really I am after the opinion of some of you who are on here, many of you seem pretty well-informed about lots of different stuff and I'd appreciate any thoughts that are proffered. If you've read all or even most of what has turned into quite the lengthy/subjectivity filled and probably not resoundingly interesting post, thanks. Over to you...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 25, 2013
at 01:28 PM

Unfortunately not. I asked my GP (MD in the US) a few monthts ago and he only does the test for diabetics. This is the same with the other docs I've seen in the practice... Do you think what I descibred is symptomatic of there perhaps being issues with sugar clearnace etc...? Thanks a lot for commenting.

874ff271ca3379984344d5f9f760fec3

(471)

on January 24, 2013
at 11:09 AM

Do you know your current HbA1c ?

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 24, 2013
at 10:36 AM

Sleep is good, stresses of my present/past life situation becoming better understodd and worked through, but the eating window seems to be working alright for me. The only thing I am wary of is pushing back circadian ryhthms if I eat too late (have soccer training two nights a week at night too... I'm flexiable and if feel it stoped working, I would hope and envisage that I would try eating maybe two meals (would be easier for social pruposes too...) Just wanted to canvas some viewpoints/touch base with people on here about it and broader issues... Thanks again for your response :)

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 24, 2013
at 10:31 AM

Thanks! :) I started eating this way sort of intuitively when I was travelling for a week. Mostly I ate things like a piece of fruit or some nuts throughout the day then had a feed at night. When I went back home I tried it and it eased pressure that I'd had seemingly put myself under re the sourcing of quality produce etc/eating throughout the day when out. Perhaps there might be benefits with regard to 'autophagy' too. I've learnt a lot about myself since and generally am far less dogmatic/highgly strung about things then I once was. What remains though is the compressed eating habit. ...

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Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 22, 2013
at 06:58 PM

I read your entire post. :) It seems you are just asking if eating only in a 4 hour evening window each day might be harmful. From listening to Robb Wolf's podcast, I think it can be stressful on your body to fast 20 hours every day. Whether that causes a problem is probably dependent on a lot of other factors. Do you get good sleep? Do you have a lot of stress from your work and/or personal life? How much and what kinds of exercise do you do?

I am of the opinion, that if the rest of your life is low stress and you aren't exercising excessively, most people should be able to do this kind of fasting without negatively impacting their adrenals. If you are high stress or you are not "most people" then I think you could be right that it could be impacting your adrenals. It's probably worth getting tested if you want to continue eating this way.

I'd also though be curious to know why you choose to eat every day in only a 4 hour window? If you have no compelling reason, maybe it's worth trying to add a smaller mid-day meal and see if you feel/perform better.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 24, 2013
at 10:31 AM

Thanks! :) I started eating this way sort of intuitively when I was travelling for a week. Mostly I ate things like a piece of fruit or some nuts throughout the day then had a feed at night. When I went back home I tried it and it eased pressure that I'd had seemingly put myself under re the sourcing of quality produce etc/eating throughout the day when out. Perhaps there might be benefits with regard to 'autophagy' too. I've learnt a lot about myself since and generally am far less dogmatic/highgly strung about things then I once was. What remains though is the compressed eating habit. ...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on January 24, 2013
at 10:36 AM

Sleep is good, stresses of my present/past life situation becoming better understodd and worked through, but the eating window seems to be working alright for me. The only thing I am wary of is pushing back circadian ryhthms if I eat too late (have soccer training two nights a week at night too... I'm flexiable and if feel it stoped working, I would hope and envisage that I would try eating maybe two meals (would be easier for social pruposes too...) Just wanted to canvas some viewpoints/touch base with people on here about it and broader issues... Thanks again for your response :)

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