1

votes

How to LOWER insulin sensitivity and glut4 sensitivity: Please hack my obscure glucose management issue

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 02, 2012 at 5:41 AM

Okay, this is a very very obscure one, hopefully someone has some ideas here!

I have been low carb paleo for about 2 1/2 months prior to this issue. I do not beleive its connected to my diet. I get lots of nutrients, eat food with fat, and have had no real issues until recently. Unfortunately because I am following this diet for treatment of what has been a pretty severe digestive issue, I am pretty unwilling to merely up my carbs.

So the story: On sunday I had a meal with a fair bit of cinnamon, some tumeric. I was also on a medication that reduced liver enzymes (no longer), which would have potentiated the spices alot.

Before I even finished the meal, I started a hypoglycemic reaction - Sweats, dizziness, confusion, irritability, faster pulse and anxiety. It resolved, that evening, when I ate some food, including fruits and sugars. Even though I cannot afford a blood meter, it seems to be classic hypoglycemia.

Since then ive been getting it every morning, and every time I go too long without eating. Before this event, I could exercise, sprint, fast, all with no issues. Just ages of no problems whatsoever. It appears to be slowly resolving/getting better, but its concerning and very unpleasant. This sucks!

Basically its "fasting hypoglycemia". Its not reactive hypo, I feel better after a meal.

What i have discover so far is this:

Cinnamon increases glut4 expression, possibly increases insulin sensitivity/signalling and also upregulates UCP-1 (thermoregulator). This is how cinnamon lowers blood sugar in diabetics. Tumeric may somehow increase insulin secretion.

I also had a green tea on that day, which also seems to possess some anti-diabetic properties. Of all of these cinnamon is the most studied, and was also consumed in the largest quantity the moment this all started.

All ive come up with so far is that AA o-6 in eggs and meat, downregulates glut4, and that in studies of cinnamon blood sugars started to creep slowly back up after about 20 days (too long!).

I have considered coconut oil, because it raises fasting BS, and preserves brain function in hypoglycemic diabetics, but have also heard that it increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood glucose...I am not sure on that now....All very conflicting information there..

Is there any advice anyone can think of that may help me here?

I am basically after some way to speed my bodies natural homeostasis, and get back to conserving glucose for my brain...(e.g. Lowering glut4, desensitizing insulin, lowering ucp-1). My body is storing glucose, and burning it too fast for my diet. It doesnt help that I often cant think as well to research this either.

(Keeping in mind, I have been to a doctor, who was totally dismissive, they arent familiar with any of this stuff, and most people are instinctively outright dismissive of the medical properties of foods or spices, let alone the lack of comprehension of low carb as well. If it goes on, I may try another doctor, but I have little hope that they possess the open-minded intellectualism for the task)

Anything, academic links, explainations of processes, even casual suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks so much, I am so sick of dipping in BS every morning, and between meals. Was at the supermarket today, and started to freak out, loose cognition etc. Even if studies indicate cinnamon effects generally resolve long term, the quicker I can get my body back to centre the better...

Thanks!!!!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 03, 2012
at 04:39 AM

Yes, I am very please to report, that on day five after my spice mega dose, that I have not experienced any overt hypoglycemic symptoms. Yay for homostasis!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 03, 2012
at 12:43 AM

I guess being low carb, and eating lots of meat and eggs, might be helping me recover. Its interesting that AA found in meat and eggs downregulates glut4, and some plant polyphenols may upregulate it. Its almost as if the body is using crude chemical markers to guess what kind of diet we are eating.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 03, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I didnt know that. Always nice to learn something new. I probably would have gotten an overload of that too, along with the actives and polyphenols.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 03, 2012
at 12:35 AM

Update: Seems to be getting better each day. I have read that your blood sugar usually comes back up after about two weeks from supplementing, and I am already feeling better on a day to day basis. So glad about that! It has certainly taught me not to underestimate the power of plants with medicinal properties!

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 02, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Oxalates are my worst enemy. The elimination of most oxalates from my diet solved a lot of issues I was having.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 02, 2012
at 10:56 PM

Nice list and not far off from mine.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:41 AM

Thanks :) It is okay, it is getting better. But I still keep thinking that there must be some scientific explanation to it. I know science is not that advanced but... I know I am not hypochondriac and it is definitely not psychosomatic.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:19 AM

^ being intolerant to fermented kinda fits with some kinda immune hyper senstivity. At least you can tolerate enough foods to get nutrition! Sorry youve had so many problems :(

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:15 AM

I had all kinds of test - ultrasound, enzymes, all kinds - my liver is perfect. I eat fruit - no problem, fruit does not affect me at all. Only fatty things and spices. And again, it only started recently and developed after I went Gluten Free. Oh, and I cannot have anything sour or fermented.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:41 AM

^ Seems like some kind of hypersenstivity. Often that can be "triggered" by some substance. Sugar/fructose can effect the liver for sure. could be a bit of non-alcoholic fatty liver..

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:30 AM

Jamie, the funniest thing - I have not had any alcohol in my entire life. I mean, I drink once a year and the amount I drink is about two-three teaspoons of champagne/red wine. I mean, if you add all that alcohol I drank in my whole entire life, I would not be enough to fill one bottle. But I did eat quite a few desserts (mostly chocolate cakes, ice cream and pastries). I wonder if that had an effect on my liver. Again, it all started after going gluten-free, I could eat any spices without any problems before.

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on August 02, 2012
at 08:16 AM

I am happy that your situation is better now... that is certainly not a pleasant experience but at least you learned that spices like cinnamon may not be a good idea for you!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:12 AM

I mean, if its not some weird reaction to a superdose of cinnamon, then its something abberant thats started acutely in my body, which doesnt really make as much sense at all. I _could_ up my carbs (barring that it would also make me very sick), but when protein and fat does the trick, I may as well just eat small frequent meals.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:11 AM

I eat some carbs. I am at about 60-80 grams a day (since this possibly higher). My digestive illness sort of prevents me going all out. But I have a bit of fruit, some carrots etc. That can provide immediate releif, but its not hugely different from just eating frequent fatty/protieny meals. I had roast lamb for dinner, with one carrot, half a capsicun, one zucchini and some aged cheddar cheese + 6 walnuts, and I feel fine now. Ive been eating low carb paleo for 2 1/2 months, nps, and this started abruptly this sunday so whatever this is, it doesnt seem to be _just_ diet.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:02 AM

Stomach wise , myself, I can definately handle cooked foods. What my digestive issues cant handle is - sugar, lactose, starchy foods, too much fructose. Basically anything that looks like a carb. I beleive its a bacterial problem. My spice issue I think is more to do with a combo of my low-carbness and the way my liver couldnt handle the cinnamon so it super dosed me. However, that makes it I guess, a bit similar to your experience of herbs and spices. If thats your experience, id guess staying away from drugs, herbs, booze etc would be very wise! (Of course, no doubt ur doing that anyway)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Lemon balm is a sedative. I have no idea what majoram might do. Thanks heaps for your reply VB! :) Its interesting that you can generally only tolerate uncooked vegetables (or uncooked meats?). There must be something thats denatured in the cooking process that you cant handle.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:55 AM

"There is one very interesting thing I have noticed: I cannot tolerate spices AT ALL. Two days ago I had tea made with home-grown lemon balm and marjoram. That put me to sleep for half a day." - I think this is probably related to your liver issues. 90% of cooking herbs and spices have medical effects. Some even contain psychoactives. If your liver is impaired (like mine was under the drug, or yours is generally), then the effect of anything normally cleared by the liver is magnified many times. I can totally understand your reaction, and it is in a way similar to mine.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:53 AM

I have compiled a somwhat similar list. Its a fair bit longer than yours, but I understand where your coming from. It takes loads of work to make sense of your body sometimes.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:50 AM

Interesting idea, and thanks!...however I dont think it applies, because I get releif from food...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:49 AM

Its only happened since sunday (when I had the cinnamon). I have had small amounts (1 pinch) of cinnamon before I was on the liver enzyme inhibitor drug without any obvious issues. I pretty much always now (since sunday) have hypogylcemia in the fasted state, but never before sunday. I feel better after I eat, and wont be touching spices again! :P I just had dinner, and I feel normal again now. If I go too long without food, it happens again. It may be gradually resolving, but its certainly a rare situation. Most fasting hypoglycemia is cause by a tumour, and not acute in occurance.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:10 AM

I know you will hate what I am about to say but... upping your carbs (carrots, fruit) might solve your problem.

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7 Answers

2
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on August 02, 2012
at 01:41 PM

It's interesting that you mention both cinnamon and turmeric, which are both extremely high in Oxalates and Oxalates have been known to cause a bunch of physical issues, besides just kidney stones.

742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on August 02, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Oxalates are my worst enemy. The elimination of most oxalates from my diet solved a lot of issues I was having.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 03, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I didnt know that. Always nice to learn something new. I probably would have gotten an overload of that too, along with the actives and polyphenols.

2
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 06:26 AM

Ok, Jamie, I am NOT A DOCTOR and never going to be one, but I kind of understand.

As you already know, my body is totally out of whack. I gave up understanding anything and I just follow my body's wishes.

I keep a food journal that is very simple. I have two lists: foods I can tolerate and foods I cannot tolerate. The first list is very short. The second can take all the way from the earth to the moon.

There is one very interesting thing I have noticed: I cannot tolerate spices AT ALL.

Two days ago I had tea made with home-grown lemon balm and marjoram. That put me to sleep for half a day.

I would understand if it was store-bought stuff. But made from scratch?

Okay, so here is a list of foods I can tolerate with no problem:

  1. raw leafy greens (any but herbs)
  2. raw peeled cucumbers
  3. raw tomatoes
  4. raw cabbage family (any)
  5. raw bananas
  6. raw carrots
  7. raw freshly squeezed beet and carrot juice
  8. raw organic home-grown apples with soft skin
  9. pastured whole milk
  10. organic beef liver
  11. salmon sashimi
  12. sardines in EVOO (I cannot tolerate EVOO)
  13. cod liver
  14. occasionally other vegetables, cooked at low heat
  15. walnuts and cashews if I shell them myself

No fermented foods, no spices, no cooked foods. No oils, no fats. Basically, nothing else.

I don't know if this list is going to be helpful or not, but maybe it will give you some information?

Here is some more. I was really really really sick when I got into Paleo so I have no alternatives but Paleo. I don't think that Paleo did it for me - it is basically my sickness that does not let me tolerate other foods.

It would be interesting to hear the explanation why this is the final list of foods?

Anyway, not sure if it helps.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:30 AM

Jamie, the funniest thing - I have not had any alcohol in my entire life. I mean, I drink once a year and the amount I drink is about two-three teaspoons of champagne/red wine. I mean, if you add all that alcohol I drank in my whole entire life, I would not be enough to fill one bottle. But I did eat quite a few desserts (mostly chocolate cakes, ice cream and pastries). I wonder if that had an effect on my liver. Again, it all started after going gluten-free, I could eat any spices without any problems before.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:53 AM

I have compiled a somwhat similar list. Its a fair bit longer than yours, but I understand where your coming from. It takes loads of work to make sense of your body sometimes.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:55 AM

"There is one very interesting thing I have noticed: I cannot tolerate spices AT ALL. Two days ago I had tea made with home-grown lemon balm and marjoram. That put me to sleep for half a day." - I think this is probably related to your liver issues. 90% of cooking herbs and spices have medical effects. Some even contain psychoactives. If your liver is impaired (like mine was under the drug, or yours is generally), then the effect of anything normally cleared by the liver is magnified many times. I can totally understand your reaction, and it is in a way similar to mine.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:02 AM

Stomach wise , myself, I can definately handle cooked foods. What my digestive issues cant handle is - sugar, lactose, starchy foods, too much fructose. Basically anything that looks like a carb. I beleive its a bacterial problem. My spice issue I think is more to do with a combo of my low-carbness and the way my liver couldnt handle the cinnamon so it super dosed me. However, that makes it I guess, a bit similar to your experience of herbs and spices. If thats your experience, id guess staying away from drugs, herbs, booze etc would be very wise! (Of course, no doubt ur doing that anyway)

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 08:41 AM

^ Seems like some kind of hypersenstivity. Often that can be "triggered" by some substance. Sugar/fructose can effect the liver for sure. could be a bit of non-alcoholic fatty liver..

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:59 AM

Lemon balm is a sedative. I have no idea what majoram might do. Thanks heaps for your reply VB! :) Its interesting that you can generally only tolerate uncooked vegetables (or uncooked meats?). There must be something thats denatured in the cooking process that you cant handle.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:19 AM

^ being intolerant to fermented kinda fits with some kinda immune hyper senstivity. At least you can tolerate enough foods to get nutrition! Sorry youve had so many problems :(

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:15 AM

I had all kinds of test - ultrasound, enzymes, all kinds - my liver is perfect. I eat fruit - no problem, fruit does not affect me at all. Only fatty things and spices. And again, it only started recently and developed after I went Gluten Free. Oh, and I cannot have anything sour or fermented.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 02, 2012
at 09:41 AM

Thanks :) It is okay, it is getting better. But I still keep thinking that there must be some scientific explanation to it. I know science is not that advanced but... I know I am not hypochondriac and it is definitely not psychosomatic.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on August 02, 2012
at 10:56 PM

Nice list and not far off from mine.

1
Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on August 02, 2012
at 01:22 PM

By all means, get a meter.

1
E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on August 02, 2012
at 07:34 AM

Have you considered gastroparesis? Do you always have hypoglycemia in a fasted state? Does it always happen when you eat cinnamon and/or right after you start eating?

E12ead3bf63c94b5b619b03722ef554f

on August 02, 2012
at 08:16 AM

I am happy that your situation is better now... that is certainly not a pleasant experience but at least you learned that spices like cinnamon may not be a good idea for you!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:50 AM

Interesting idea, and thanks!...however I dont think it applies, because I get releif from food...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on August 02, 2012
at 07:49 AM

Its only happened since sunday (when I had the cinnamon). I have had small amounts (1 pinch) of cinnamon before I was on the liver enzyme inhibitor drug without any obvious issues. I pretty much always now (since sunday) have hypogylcemia in the fasted state, but never before sunday. I feel better after I eat, and wont be touching spices again! :P I just had dinner, and I feel normal again now. If I go too long without food, it happens again. It may be gradually resolving, but its certainly a rare situation. Most fasting hypoglycemia is cause by a tumour, and not acute in occurance.

0
A968017ef27f0a24abf64cc4460463a0

on July 19, 2013
at 12:47 AM

You don't want to lower glut4.

0
Ead203d492b5da773074c0c5a6a8b305

on August 03, 2012
at 05:07 AM

you can get a meter for $15 on amazon. the expense is in the strips but if you're just testing when you're feeling poorly you can probably get by with one box for $20. you may be surprised...

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on August 02, 2012
at 09:57 PM

I can almost guarantee you that you are not too insulin sensitive, but if you want to lower your insulin sensitivity then just keeping eating a low carb diet

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