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What To Do About Unusual Blood Sugar And Insulin Test Results

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

During my first month of full on Paleo (2 cheat meals the entire month, even those were limited) my fasting insulin dropped a few points and I lost nearly 7lbs without a bit of exercise. I ate approximately 800 calories more per day than I would previously, and kept my carbs to 40g or less per day. (berries/nuts only)

I repeated the test the second month, and included a comp. metabolic panel and an A1c. During the second month I added exercise every other day (but some form of activity every day), kept my diet/calories the same. I lost 2.5lbs during the entire month. I expected to find my insulin levels had dropped. To my surprise, they were up 11 points, and my blood sugar was over 100. My liver function was also very elevated, to the point my doctor requested I no longer follow the diet, and to be less restrictive.

Has anyone else had unusual test results? My doctor has no input at all on what else to try, other than to stop my diet and test again in a month. I have no desire to eat garbage food again, because it causes a host of problems for me. I don't really understand how a diet that lacks refined sugar, and is very limited on fruit/berries can even lead to me producing so much sugar. I have to assume the liver function results are from being in ketosis for more or less two solid months. I've tried to knock myself out of it, but my body will quickly swing back in to it without any real effort. I can't realistically eat enough fruit or berries to top maybe 60g per day, so that isn't much of an option either.

I see my options as:

  • keep doing what I'm doing with diet/exercise
  • go back to not exercising
  • quit paleo entirely and eat SAD
  • take something like Metformin with this diet

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:10 PM

The stress hormones released during exercise cause your blood sugar to go up.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 30, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Currently 185. 150g/day is definitely lower than most, but for me, that's extremely high. Even with the apple, and a few extra berries, I still barely crack 60-70. I am always surprised when I see diets that say "cut your intake to 200g/day" because I wonder how on earth people do it. My metabolic testing showed 2200 as eating at a 500 calorie deficit, so I aim for that. It was also suggested my protein was too high, so I'm considering that as well.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 30, 2012
at 01:46 AM

It's easy to monitor. Also, carbs don't have to send your blood sugar skyrocketing. Fat can lower the spike. How much do you weigh? Also, I'm not talking about high carb, 150g/day is still lower carb than most. At 2400 kcals, that's only 25% of your intake.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I'll be honest - that's the exact opposite of what I would expect from it. I'll see about getting it monitored, but I'm definitely reluctant to - the higher the carbs, the faster I gain weight. (2lbs a week is not unusual for me with higher carb diets)

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Yeah, I'm suggesting that is why your blood sugar is so high.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 01:04 PM

100-150g carbs on my dietary preferences would approach "impossible" or "unreasonable" - the only fruit I can eat is an apple, and even those have a fairly low amount - 20-25g carbs depending on size. That combined with the berries brings me to approximately 40-60g per day.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 01:02 PM

Why do you jump to the conclusion that I am fixated on it? I asked a question, that's all. An elevated liver function implies that there are higher than normal levels detected, which can have a variety of causes. Obviously because my doctor recommended I quit the diet I am on, they were high enough for her to be concerned. My concern is that my doctor has already cautioned me that I am fast approaching diabetic ranges, and I do not want that to happen.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 12:50 PM

I wondered that as well - I did in fact exercise the day before the test.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I've done the 30 days pure already, which is where my blood work comes in. Since I switched over to this diet I eat nothing with HFCS, maltodextrin, or any other sweetener. No soda, juice, or anything else. It's entirely unsalted walnuts, salmon, olive oil, lean beef and vegetables, along with some berries, and the rare apple. Unless they sneak in HFCS or artificial sweeteners in produce, it's not in my diet.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on March 28, 2012
at 09:50 PM

"To my surprise, they were up 11 points, and my blood sugar was over 100. My liver function was also very elevated" It's only 1 day's reading. When u say liver function is elevated, what do u mean? U need to provide some context: what base ru starting from? What's your height/weight? Have IR? Why ru fixated on fasting BG and insulin? What level were your A1c and AST/ALT for your doctor to be so cunsurned?

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4 Answers

best answer

2
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 29, 2012
at 05:28 AM

When you restrict carbs so much your body switches to a state of physiological insulin resistance. You liver makes sugar in a process called gluconeogenesis so that can be reaising your blood sugar.

I'd try perfect health diet recommendations of 100-150g of carbs while monitoring you rblood sugar levels and seeing how you feel.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 01:04 PM

100-150g carbs on my dietary preferences would approach "impossible" or "unreasonable" - the only fruit I can eat is an apple, and even those have a fairly low amount - 20-25g carbs depending on size. That combined with the berries brings me to approximately 40-60g per day.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 29, 2012
at 02:45 PM

Yeah, I'm suggesting that is why your blood sugar is so high.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 30, 2012
at 01:46 AM

It's easy to monitor. Also, carbs don't have to send your blood sugar skyrocketing. Fat can lower the spike. How much do you weigh? Also, I'm not talking about high carb, 150g/day is still lower carb than most. At 2400 kcals, that's only 25% of your intake.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 08:50 PM

I'll be honest - that's the exact opposite of what I would expect from it. I'll see about getting it monitored, but I'm definitely reluctant to - the higher the carbs, the faster I gain weight. (2lbs a week is not unusual for me with higher carb diets)

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 30, 2012
at 03:47 PM

Currently 185. 150g/day is definitely lower than most, but for me, that's extremely high. Even with the apple, and a few extra berries, I still barely crack 60-70. I am always surprised when I see diets that say "cut your intake to 200g/day" because I wonder how on earth people do it. My metabolic testing showed 2200 as eating at a 500 calorie deficit, so I aim for that. It was also suggested my protein was too high, so I'm considering that as well.

2
Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on March 29, 2012
at 06:41 AM

I'm almost the same: FBG over 100, A1C up and while my Insulin is lowered, it is not where I would expect it to be with low-carb. And this is over a far longer time than 2 months. (All was normal on SAD.)

Both Chris Kresser and Peter at Hyperlipid have blogged about blood glucose being higher on a low-carb diet to make sure that there is enough glocuse for the brain. Also the physiological insulin resistance is normal. What I do not understand is why it only seems to happen to some people.

There is also the state of your liver. Like yours, mine works overtime and from all what I've learned, it will take a long time to "heal" the liver. I take NAC and have recently had FBG in the nineties - so there is hope. Elevated liver enzymes can also come from exercise, so try not to exercise a day or two before your next blood draw.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 12:50 PM

I wondered that as well - I did in fact exercise the day before the test.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on March 30, 2012
at 04:10 PM

The stress hormones released during exercise cause your blood sugar to go up.

1
Ecbbe38d84d6cd466e1e58c41b1dbc7e

on March 28, 2012
at 07:59 PM

Sugar comes in many forms mostly High Fructose Corn Syrup and is found in nearly ALL processed foods. Also sugar substitutes can cause spiking in insulin which in its self is not good. Try the Whole9 30 day challenge.

549669d3fa173251bcb487aaae4b1425

on March 29, 2012
at 12:49 PM

I've done the 30 days pure already, which is where my blood work comes in. Since I switched over to this diet I eat nothing with HFCS, maltodextrin, or any other sweetener. No soda, juice, or anything else. It's entirely unsalted walnuts, salmon, olive oil, lean beef and vegetables, along with some berries, and the rare apple. Unless they sneak in HFCS or artificial sweeteners in produce, it's not in my diet.

0
E57d8e182251b61ccc6ada197c359d7e

on March 28, 2012
at 09:24 PM

Eat some starchy carbs to stay out of the zone or eat more veg. You can also eat other fruits.

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