Blood Sugar still high and some weight gain.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 30, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Two separate questions. The first is regarding my mom. She is prediabetic and takes metformin. It might be useful to note that she also has graves disease and had a large part of her thyroid removed, and hence is now hypothyroid and must take synthroid. She's been fairly strict on the diet for about 13 days now. She took her blood sugar in the morning and was surprised to find out it was still high, at 6.8 (122.4). She's trying to wean herself from the metformin, so apparently she stopped taking it for a few days. Why is her blood sugar still so high? No wheat, no rice, no dairy. The highest GI foods she eats are blueberries. And she limits fruits to 1-2 servings a day. Any ideas?

As for me, the first week on the diet I lost something ridiculous like 7 pounds (With zero exercise). But then in two days I gained about 5 pounds. Now for the most part I've been clean. Yesterday for breakfast I ate 3 eggs, a few strips of bacon fried in butter, and some blueberries with cream in them. And my only other meals were an entire bag of pork rinds, 2 cans of sardines, and for supper ground beef with 2 cups of lettuce. Okay but when I did gain wait a few days ago, the previous night I ate about 10 pieces of ferrero rocher. And the previous night I had 2 fudge granola bars. How can these two relatively small lapses cause a weight gain of 5 pounds almost overnight? I figure it's all mostly water.



on February 01, 2011
at 06:05 PM

Hey Helen, are you checking your body fat percentage? I actually checked mine and I've dropped 1.5% of body fat despite seemingly gaining a few pounds.



on January 30, 2011
at 08:27 PM

I am very, very carb sensitive, and the kind of lapses that you describe will put 5 pounds on me just about overnight. I was eating blueberries for awhile, but found that I was gaining weight from them. When I stopped eating them, I lost the weight very quickly.

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5 Answers


on January 30, 2011
at 06:29 PM

In your Mother's case, Eva is right - stopping meds quickly while changing your diet does NOT equal lower blood sugar. Also, thyroid issues within a population of people with diabetes is challenging. If it has only been a few days, your mother might consider re-starting her meds (in the manner she was instructed when she was first prescribed metformin). Please also be aware that her doctor has prescribed both the metformin and synthroid in doses that will work together!

When working to bring down blood sugar (and 122 isn't terribly high, relatively speaking), you must expect that it will take AT LEAST 30 days to notice significant and lasting change. Depending on her blood glucose levels over time, what the range was, and how she has been feeling, this could take up to 6 months. If any longer than that, then the thyroid condition is playing a significant role.

Another way to make her insulin more responsive is to take a walk after every meal. Nothing elaborate, but 15-20 minutes at a leisurely pace makes a WORLD of difference to older folks (I'm assuming your mom is at least >50yo). Resistance training 2-3x/week helps too. I don't recommend HIIT in the beginning stages as that typically causes too much cortisol release, which starts the cycle of higher than predicted BG.

As for you, you're on a slight junkfood binge! Those processed foods contain a lot of sugar and sodium, so yes your tissues are holding on to more water. If you are female, hormonal changes can also cause more gain (or really not much change on the scale). I doubt your addition 5lbs is 100% fat.

Plan your splurges, and make them SMALL if you need them.


on January 31, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I don't want to comment on your mom because it deals with meds and conditions I know nothing about. In your case, however, I feel that you acclimated to paleo and then had some cheats and your body couldn't handle it, having habituated to eating less sugar.



on January 30, 2011
at 05:47 PM

You said your mother went off her medication for a few days. This would likely cause her blood sugar to go up. Improvement from eating low carb paleo does not usually happen over night or even in a few days. Typically, improvement progresses slowly over the course of months. I would advise against suddenly going off meds like that. What you should be doing is monitoring blood sugar daily and only cut back meds GRADUALLY if blood sugar is going too low. But don't go cold turkey like that and give the food time to do its work. After years of abuse, the body can't recover in just a few days.

I'd say the same with the weight loss. Weight varies according to glycogen levels, water rentention, how much food in in the intestines, etc. Much of sudden weight loss is usually glycogen and water retention being lower. Actual weight loss progresses slowly. So you've cheated some but still lost a few pounds is what I am seeing so far. The more you cheat, the slower you will go.

Some here will probably feel the urge to mention pork rinds aren't that healthy, even if they are lowcarb. I tend to be of the school of thought that sometimes you just need to do what you can to stay on track and if pork rinds help you get off carb addiction, then they are OK for now, but long term, you don't want to be eating thousands of calories worth of those things.

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on January 30, 2011
at 10:28 PM

Fructose intake determines fat gain/maintenance. Obviously eating chocolate is bad idea, but blueberries and even lettuces have somewhat high amounts. If you really want to lose all of your fat, eat potatoes for carbs and skip all fructose.


on January 30, 2011
at 06:50 PM

Thank you Cheryl and Eva. I insisted that mom at least go on paleo for two months before cutting down her meds but she's impulsive. In fact she's doing paleo out of impulse as well. I've been doing it in spite of the constant research and search for counter arguments against the diet.

As far as pork rinds are concerened, I know they're a little controversial but I don't see any harm in the plain kind. If the ingredients are simply, salt and pork skin then I don't see the harm in them. It would be just like making home made beef jerkies. Of course, the harm would be that they probably aren't pastured pigs.

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